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By Bryan McGannon
Posted on: October 17, 2014
The changes made possible by the Clean Water Act have proven to be vital to the success of American businesses. Companies rely on clean water to produce safe, high quality products, and to protect their workers’ health. There has been great progress over the past 42 years, but more work lies ahead. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948, the predecessor of the Clean Water Act, came at a critical juncture in our country’s history. Decades of industrial development had adversely impacted our water quality, and had mostly gone unnoticed. The Act changed that, leading to increasing... read more
By Fleming Roberts
Posted on: October 8, 2014
Q: What does a tech start-up firm in Colorado have in common with an urban agriculture business in Texas, a carpet manufacturer in South Carolina and a rural electric utility in Alaska? A: They all have something to gain from the booming green building sector, and they’re all headed to Greenbuild in New Orleans this month. While the construction, renovation and operation of green buildings create more and more green jobs, American businesses from all sectors are recognizing the benefits of owning these buildings. The LEED green building certification program, authored by the U.S. Green... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: October 7, 2014
Around 1980, the U.S. economy took a dramatic and dangerous turn. From the end of World War II until the late 1970s, wages advanced roughly in parallel with productivity. As workers got more productive, companies got more profitable, and they paid their workers more. The split between the haves and the have-nots was relatively stable. Most people – at least most white, male people – had confidence that the rising tide of our economy would lift all boats. But in the 1980s the growth in productivity diverged from the growth in wages. Since the Great Recession, worker earnings have flat-lined,... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: October 3, 2014
This week, corporate America set a new high water mark in its support for sustainability. A powerful group of innovative technology companies — Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and Yelp — announced they were leaving the American Legislative Exchange Council, a business lobbying organization, largely in response to its stance on climate change. One by one, important corporations are taking a principled stand against short-termism and narrow self-interest. ALEC, the entity facing defections, is an influential group funded by corporations to advance its members’ policy agenda. It operates... read more
By Eric White
Posted on: October 1, 2014
Residential solar is still in its infancy in the United States, as less than 1% of single-family households have solar panels on their roof. Many early adopters of rooftop solar were drawn by the positive environmental impacts of renewable energy, looking to contribute to a sustainable environment. But times have changed, and as solar costs have continued to decline, solar is no longer just an environmental dream – it is an economic reality. More solar panels have been installed in the U.S. over the last 24 months than in the previous 30 years combined. To meet that demand, thousands of solar... read more
By David Levine
Posted on: October 1, 2014
Great opportunities lie ahead for America: strong consumer buying power from a workforce that isproductively employed in meaningful work, financial stability, accessible health care, food security, and a clean and healthy environment. These essential components of a sustainable economy will meet our country’s economic, social and environmental needs. And they’re all within reach – if business leaders take their leadership to the next level. Unfortunately, for too long now, institutional lobbying groups that say they represent business have opposed improvements based on the old notion that... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: September 26, 2014
This week, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate released a new report on the costs and benefits of climate protection. The report concludes that the cost and benefit curves have now crossed: We will save money, save jobs and stimulate economic growth if we take steps to limit carbon emissions. At first this seems counterintuitive. How can we spend trillions of dollars on infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and not have it act as a drag on jobs and growth? The breakthrough in this new report is its focus on the infrastructure – power plants, cities, transportation networks,... read more
By David Levine
Posted on: September 25, 2014
On September 23, 2014, world leaders from business, government and civil society gathered at the United Nations as a part of the Climate Summit 2014 catalyzed by the leadership of Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon. It was my privilege to participate and to bring the voice of ASBC, as well as our organizational and business members—and their commitment to build a sustainable economy—into the room. This Summit comes on the heels on the massive outpouring of people on the streets of New York and around the world. The convergence of these activities marks a turning point in the efforts to take... read more
By David Levine
Posted on: September 23, 2014
It can be frustrating watching Congress fail to act when it comes to climate change. Simple fixes with bipartisan support, like ending tax subsidies to oil companies and passing energy efficiency legislation have gone down to defeat, while potential climate-busters like the Keystone pipeline continue somehow to be seriously debated. Even if Congress isn’t acting, sustainable businesses have an opportunity to make their voices heard. Financial markets, as we have seen from the successful history of reducing S02 emissions, can be an effective vehicle when it comes to moving us towards a clean... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: September 19, 2014
Imagine a cruise ship hitting a rock and sinking two miles offshore. Due to poor maintenance, many of the lifeboats can’t be launched. Hundreds drown. But two sturdy souls who have been blessed with physical strength, a calm disposition and experience on the high school swim team are able to swim to safety. What would we conclude from this disaster? Most would call for an inquiry to understand why the lifeboats weren’t usable when needed. They would demand that rules be tightened to make sure that sufficient lifeboats were always available. But some people will argue that the fact that two of... read more