About two weeks ago, as I was sipping from a cocktail on a white-pebbled beach in a Greek bay with crystal blue clear water, I started thinking about the enormous amount of energy that is used every year in making people’s summer holidays happen. Holidays account for a surprising amount of the energy we use each year, with flights, driving, hotel stays and added extras like boat trips all contributing to our carbon footprint. continue
For a few years now, clean energy and sustainable business practices have been driving large-scale efforts inside companies of all sizes. Whether the end goal was cheap energy, response to impending government regulation or even a little positive media exposure, evidence of the new green corporate landscape is everywhere. The green movement is gaining a substantial amount of momentum with little evidence of slowing down, due to large-scale implementation of energy efficiency projects. I recently stumbled on an article that discussed how Google has invested $280 million through a partnership with SolarCity, a California-based solar design and installation company. continue
On March 16, I will be visiting Las Vegas. In an effort to encourage corporate sustainability, specifically sustainable tourism, I’ve taken it upon myself to support companies that exhibit environmental stewardship and energy efficiency. That’s why I just might seek out and congratulate a Caesars Entertainment Corporation representative for the company’s very successful corporate sustainability strategy.
At this point, it bears mentioning that the timing of my visit to Las Vegas, the location of Caesars’ Nevada headquarters and a certain college basketball tournament are all purely coincidental. Also coincidental: that I planned this trip with seven other Murray State alumni last June. continue
If you are keeping up with the developments in Congress around “Cap and Trade” and the newest incarnation moving through the House, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, then you can picture the face-off this appears to be. Essentially, you have two sides, which are bickering on points that would benefit from a little round-table discussion. What we need here is a little peace, love and understanding.
First, we have the Cap and Trade folks who want to insert regulation, which will hold large greenhouse-gas emitters responsible for polluting. In a nutshell, the process would work like this: A company is told they can produce a certain amount of pollutants (Cap), and depending if the company over-pollutes or under-pollutes, they can purchase or sell credits (Trade) to ensure compliance under the proposed system. Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast, because this produced a firestorm of critics and lobbying efforts to denounce even the thought of a Cap and Trade system. Opposition runs the gamut from paranoid (the government is trying to control everything) to financial (the excess costs a company would incur would be passed to the end customer, which would spiral Americans into a desolate country of glorified panhandlers.) continue
It appears I started something with my last post on nuclear power, as my colleagues Dominic Barbato and Kevin Cowart have added posts on nuclear power in the last couple of weeks. I’d like to return the favor by elaborating on something Dominic wrote.
Dominic commented on the “scientific elegance of harnessing the power of the atom.” Indeed, the scientific concept of nuclear energy is remarkably simple and efficient, which makes it all the more amazing that this source of energy has gone undeveloped in this country for more than 30 years. continue
I never miss an opportunity to relate football to any subject. As a manager with direct reports, I used to hold a “Monday Morning Quarterback” meeting each week. We would review relevant topics such as “never let it come down to your kicker,” or “…to be successful with the Wildcat offense, you have to have the best backs…” Football is one of those universal sports, that resonates with a variety of people. Knowing the game has served me well in a male-dominated industry and even prepared me for motherhood -who knew that a topiary could be used as a weapon? “Don’t hit your brother – that’s roughing the passer! Ten yards from the spot of the foul or you go to bed early!”
I began my undergraduate studies in the heat of the fall in South Alabama as a co-ed at Auburn University. I spent four years at the loveliest village on the plains. I walked the halls that once housed the likes of Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and John Heisman. Auburn girls participate in sorority rush a few weeks before classes, but more importantly, we like to be settled on campus in time for the first home football game. From that first game, until we breathe our last breath, we are officially Auburn Girls. We know and love football. We especially love our Tigers. continue
I’ve been reading articles about the coming nuclear power “renaissance” or “revolution” for years now, but America’s energy future never seems to arrive.
For a while there, it appeared the economic and political climates had aligned in favor of nuclear expansion for the first time in decades. The industry had worked hard to rebrand nuclear energy as a clean energy, focusing on the fact that it produces no greenhouse gas emissions and is more efficient and dependable than wind and solar. Such efforts caught the attention of politicians anxious to transform America’s carbon-heavy energy diet into a more climate-friendly, “green” energy future.
In 2008, presidential nominees from both major parties spoke favorably of including nuclear power as a part of the country’s sustainability strategy. The Obama administration proposed an additional $37 billion in federal loan guarantees for the construction of new reactors. About 30 new reactors were making their way through the application process, with four already under construction.
Then along came the Great Recession. continue
Ahhh, bipartisanship. The inner workings of our beloved government can strike feelings of frustration, confusion and an overall sense of general disorder in the typical layman. Many would associate the shift in power and control in Congress with the sometimes violent childhood game of Red Rover. The verbal swipes between parties seem even more similar to “clotheslining” the kid down the street. Well, at least to me.
Take the friendly topic of “cap and trade,” which began innocently enough as a program to curb pollutants. The overall goal was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large producers by 17% by 2020. Sounds great, right? Well supporters of a cap-and-trade system believe it will be positive both economically continue
A recent conversation with a client regarding their corporate sustainability strategy brought to mind one of the smartest people I have ever met. He was generations ahead of his time. His daily life was a practice of sustainability and energy management before those words would even become relevant. He had no more than a sixth grade formal education, but my Grandfather Jim, or “Red” as everyone knew him, learned his trade through apprenticeships, on the job experience and observation. He ended up becoming a valued electrician and member of the AFL – CIO, but more important was the value he gave to his 30 plus grandchildren.
As many summers as we could, my family would make the long trek from Roswell, Georgia to Sea Isle City, New Jersey. Sea Isle was home to Pop Pop’s “Beach House”, as we Southerner’s call it, or “Shore House” as my northern relatives would refer to it. It was a duplex with a ringer washing machine, one shower and a screen door that had a distinctive latching sound that would rat you out at night if you dared to come home late. continue