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Archive for August, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up – 8/23/13

August 23rd, 2013

We’re gearing up for our second Business & Environment Session of the year, Setting Goals That Matter: A Sustainability Toolkit.

As more companies and organizations work to reduce the environmental impact of their operations while maintaining their bottom lines, the web is bursting with resources on sustainability leadership, reporting, and more. Hopefully, this post helps you sort through the sustainability fire hose and provides you with something valuable or thought provoking to consider in your work.

  1. 8 ways to create the sustainability job of your dreams. (CSRwire)
  2. Stereotyping: Do young people value sustainability above all else? (The Guardian)
  3. Only 10% of  S&P 100 companies have incorporated sustainability into their bonus structures. Should executive compensation be linked to sustainability performance? (EDF + Business)
  4. Study finds that employees expect to be engaged with their company’s sustainability strategy as well as educated on how to be more sustainable in their day-to-day lives. (GreenBiz.com)
  5. Sustainability reporting has become more common, but what’s really makes it “good?” (TriplePundit)

Are you craving more? Get connected to emerging and experienced sustainability professionals through our Business & Environment Series LinkedIn Group.


Emily Franklin


Director of Communications

Sustainability Leadership: What’s the Secret?

August 22nd, 2013

It’s tempting to think there’s a silver bullet for integrating sustainability into the core of your company. If I just get this degree in environmental sciences… if I just get this GRI reporting down pat… if I can just get our suppliers to do what I ask!… These might be appealing thoughts to someone trying to land a great job in sustainability, or to a senior leader working to improve his or her company’s environmental and social impact. There has to be a secret to this… right?

Not so fast, explained George Basile of Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability in “The Secrets of Sustainable Leadership,” a recent webcast from GreenBiz moderated by sustainable business expert Joel Makower. Many companies today are stuck in a sustainability rut – attempting to use “business as usual” leadership skills to achieve extraordinary sustainability results. To truly embed sustainability in our organizations, we need to apply new tools and ways of thinking. Effective sustainability leadership requires a sizable skillset, including systems thinking and the ability to translate information from IT to HR to shareholders in a language each understands (or as Weber Shandwick’s Cindy Drucker called it – the ability to act as “Chief Translation Officer”). Leaders also need the ability to take numbers and turn them into a compelling story, and the capacity to inspire transformational change. (more…)

Georgia Rubenstein


Senior Manager, Sustainability Program

Project Green Fleet in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Report to Congress

August 19th, 2013

In 2005, as part of the Energy Policy Act, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to distribute funding nationwide to help fleet owners reduce emissions. The EPA estimates approximately 11 million older diesel engines without pollution controls are still in operation and will continue to run until they wear out and have to be replaced.

Since the first DERA allocations in 2008, Environmental Initiative has received several competitive grant awards to reduce emissions from older school buses, heavy-duty trucks, trains, marine vessels and construction equipment through EPA’s Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative Program with DERA funding. This federal funding allowed Environmental Initiative to significantly scaleSchool bus up emissions reduction activities in Minnesota through Project Green Fleet. For particulate matter pollution, the emission reduction technologies installed through Project Green Fleet are the equivalent of removing 350,000 cars from the road annually. We are grateful for our partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to improve air quality through this program.

The EPA recently released their Second Report to Congress: Highlights of the Diesel Emissions Program. The report summarizes outcomes of the federal initiative nationwide, including air quality benefits and health savings. Activities from Project Green Fleet were highlighted in the report including:

  • Our partnership with Twin Cities and Western Railroad Company to reduce idling through the installation of auxiliary power units on two locomotives,
  • An overview of Project Green Fleet as a whole (on page 35 in PDF file format) and,
  • A listing of federal EPA grants Environmental Initiative received through the DERA program.

We are honored to be included in this report and thankful for all of our collaborators – from funding partners to participating fleets to the installers who have made Project Green Fleet a success.

Emily Franklin


Director of Communications

Weekly Wrap-Up – 8/2/13

August 5th, 2013

Happy August, everyone! It’s been a busy week for energy and climate issues. Here’s the latest and greatest we’ve pulled from the web:

  1. New U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head, Gina McCarthy, gives her first public speech on climate change and energy (The Washington Post).
  2. New study states world energy use is expected to rise 56% by the year 2040 (The Los Angeles Times).
  3. Should Minneapolis take over electric and natural gas services from Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy? Read up on the hearing this week (Star Tribune).
  4. Southern Minnesota’s Riverland Community College is recognized for solar energy innovation (KTTC.com).
  5. Have you thought about buying or leasing an electric car? Here is one Minnesota family’s story about plugging in (Clean Energy Resource Teams).
Emily Franklin


Director of Communications
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