Green


Note: First published in Behind the Green Scene

At first glance, Fujitsu’s paperless party video seems like a pretty hokey attempt at positioning their ScanSnap scanner as a tool for greening the office. Employees celebrate by creating everything from cut-outs to paper mache. One guy even creates a piñata in his own likeness.

I don’t know Fujitsu’s intention, but it piqued my curiosity — not about the scanner, but about their sustainability record. Greenwashing, avoiding greenwashing, and covering up greenwashing are big business these days, so…

I checked out the company’s sustainability report, which they’ve been publishing as far back as 2000. It appears to be pretty forthcoming and thoughtful in process and approach — detailing their internal set of regulations — Green Product Evaluation Standards and product environmental assessment.

While I’m not endorsing Fujitsu products, am not (and have never been) paid by them, I thought would share information that I pulled from the section on eco-friendly products.

The Fujitsu Group has adopted a unified Group-wide approach to eco-design for newly designed products and works to improve environmental performance throughout the product life cycle.

We have been implementing our own environmental assessments for products since 1993, and we strive to develop eco-friendly products that reflect environmental considerations in such areas as energy saving, 3R design, non-use of hazardous chemical substances, packaging materials, and information disclosure.

If you’re still curious about the video, here it is…

Whether it knows it not, 2010 has a lot riding on its arrival. Its unemployed are awaiting jobs. Its businesses are hoping for growth. Its markets are expecting a turnaround. Its global governments are hoping for a reprieve.

And, its spiritual guides are ‘knowing’ that it is arriving on time.

How is 2010 handling the pressure?

AndaPR sat down for an interview with 2010, and this is what it had to say.

2010: I’ve been waiting in the wings for awhile, but I will be arriving on time. I realize the later half of this decade has been tough for many of you, but you will make it through.

All that I ask is that you move forward with me. I may not fly like 1999 or rise as high as 2007. I won’t progress as quickly as 2005, but I won’t knock you on your *** like 2008 and 2009 either!

You might trip. You might slip. Heck, you might even fall. All that I ask is that you get back up, because I won’t leave you behind.

Predictions: 2010 is going to be the year of global emergence!

In 1999, Alan Greenspan asked, “How long can the U.S. economy remain an island of prosperity in a world of depression?”

  • In 2010, the United States and other world economies will more honestly realize the interdependence of our economies, and the collaboration needed to emerge from the doldrums.

Until 1994, South Africa upheld apartheid, a system of legal racial segregation and discrimination against native, Black South Africans.

  • In 2010, the continent of Africa will take its place in the spotlight. From South Africa hosting the World Cup – to Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Africa’s first female elected head-of-state) announcing her intention to run for re-election – to the continent’s growing importance as an investment destination, Africa, its people and its economy will come to the forefront.

Throughout 2008 and 2009 the world looked toward all things green as an economic and social savior.

  • The promises of green tech, cleantech and green building are going to take hold. Formerly seen as disparate industries, the integration of green tech, cleantech and green building will drive entire economic sector that will benefit and influence other lagging sectors including the automotive industry, (reformed) finance, and development.

Happy New Year and welcome to 2010!

I’m usually one of the last people to jump on the “let’s name a day” bandwagon, but Blog Action Day for Climate Change is one I can embrace.  Beyond the “sexy factor” of climate change, green, sustainability and the like, is a real need for people to understand what climate change is and why it’s relevant now.

The Environmental Protection Agency defines climate change as “a change in long-term weather patterns. [Weather patterns] can become warmer or colder. Annual amounts of rainfall or snowfall can increase or decrease.”

Climate change seems to be a normal occurrence, natural even.  But, problems arise with the degree and rate to which our climate changes, resulting in global warming, the greenhouse effect and sea level rising, among other things.

How are we doing?

Climate Change in ºF
(Environmental Protection Agency)

  • Average global temperature has increased by almost 1ºF during the past hundred years
  • Scientists expect the average global temperature to increase an additional 2ºF to 6ºF over the next one hundred years.
  • At the peak of the last ice age (18,000 years ago), the temperature was only 7ºF colder than it is today, and glaciers covered much of North America.

It’s easy to take for granted that the world as we experience it today will remain the same for all of OUR tomorrows, but what about when our children and grandchildren are planning for the future of their families?

What’s happening in California
(California Department of Water Resources)

  • Snowpack: By 2050, scientists project a loss of at least 25 percent of the Sierra snowpack, an important source of urban, agricultural and environmental water.
  • Floods: An increase in extreme weather will lead to higher winter river flows, runoff and flooding.
    • Runoff water contaminates the water supply by carrying soil contaminants, motor oil and other ground coverings into bays, watersheds and out into the ocean.
  • Water Quality: Less fresh water flowing out of the Delta in spring and early summer will allow more salt water to intrude.
    • Salt water is great for soaking, not so great for drinking.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not the doomsday type. I am not ready to go off the grid. I realize that I am very privileged to have a life where water magically flows at the twist of a lever and I can communicate via gadgets galore.

I also realize I have a responsibility to not only do less harm, but to do more good; look at the little things I can do to contribute to making a big difference.

10,000 people from 150 countries are taking time today to blog about climate change in an effort to get your attention.

Want to know what you can do to make a difference?

Following are some resources to get you started.

EPA
Climate Change: What you can do

TUAW
Five Apps to help save the world

Ecology Center
Ecology Center resource page

On Twitter: Follow #BAD09 – @AndaPR – @blogactionday

Blog Action Day

You’ve heard about the Triple Bottom Line, now meet the Triple Bottom Line Threat, courtesy of David Gottfried, author of Greed to Green.

The founder of the U.S. Green Building Council gave an impassioned talk about current trends in clean technology and the greening of America and shared his view on the economy we’ve built — where fiscal and environmental debt and time-famine are the norm — during the grand opening of the GreenV Sustainability Center.

The Triple Bottom Line

Whether you subscribe to the Three P’s of People, Planet and Profit or the The E’s of Economy, Environment and Equity, the Triple Bottom Line is an approach to business where instead of viewing economic gain, environmental prosperity and social justice as conflicting concepts, all three are seen as important considerations in smart decision making. 

As for the Triple Bottom Line Threat, David pointed out several key threats to be addressed if we are to move forward successfully:

Equity / People
  • People being treated as waste, to be thrown away when the focus is on short term profitability 
  • Time famine, as people spend more than ten hours a week commuting to work
Economy / Profit 
  • An economy of go, go, go, build, build, build
  • Growth as an embedded, implicit term in our existing economy, where bigger is seen as better
Environment / Planet
  • The treatment of resources like water and energy as free, building an economy around a comfortable lifestyle, without taking waste and depletion of resources into account
  • A lack of understanding of data of the earth 
Moving forward
  1. It’s time for green to start at home, with how we live… our footprint.
  2. The nouveau green movement should continue to focus on the individual / health benefit of being green; an important shift as we move from not only “greening” structures, but “greening” the way we live.
  3. It’s time to focus on regeneration, supplying more than we take while preventing or eliminating waste. 
  4. It’s time for the billionaires of the future to build business models around doing more by using less.
So, let’s get to it!

Follow @AndaPR on Twitter for more.