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carbon footprint

To go green, avoid greenfields for offices and homes

July 28, 2008

There have been a lot of articles lately about green buildings and homes. So when I find out about the ones located in 'office parks' and low-density subdivisions on what had just been open space i.e. 'greenfield development' I just shake my head.

A 'green' building surrounded by a huge car-packed parking lot and a 'green house' on a cul-de-sac with a couple of SUVs in the driveway are the environmental equivalent of the fitness fanatic who jogs to the store to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Telework: the ultimate green commute

July 14, 2008

The greenest, fastest, and safest commute, one that requires the lowest investment from your pocket and from your tax dollars (compared with mass transit and HOV lanes) is from wherever you are in your home to your home office. The same goes for your employees.

Facet/Teletrips reports that each person teleworked or telecommuted just 1 to 2 days per week then each year they would save 100 - 200 gallons of fuel and 1.5 to 5 metric tonnes of CO2 / employee / year (equates to 7.5 percent -25 percent of an individual's annual carbon footprint). 

Teleworking is like giving your staff a pay raise and a cut in hours for free. Facet/Teletrips reports that it saves them each $2,000 - $10,000 in after tax dollars and frees up 160 hours of their time from commuting every year.

Your organization also benefits from teleworking as it can gain $2,000 - $10,000 real estate and other cost savings / employee / year, and greater staff retention and recruiting.

The rising gas prices are already reportedly making organizations think about teleworking. Employees, especially lower-paid ones like contact center agents are less willing to travel the same distances to work because they have to pay more out of their pockets.

Telework is also a proven disaster response strategy by distributing the workforce that makes operations less vulnerable to threats and 'events'. Telework ties into the Internet, which was conceived of and created by the US government to withstand and respond to an enemy attack by distributing computers over a network. 

And on 9-11-01 both telework and the Internet delivered.

If you pollute, you should pay

July 9, 2008

The carbon tax brought in by the Canadian province of British Columbia that came into effect on Canada Day, July 1, and which is being advocated at the federal level by the Liberal Party of Canada led by former environment minister Stephane Dion, recognizes if you want people, and organizations, to curb their pollution then they should pay for polluting. If they, and we, want to pay less then they, and we can pollute less. It's that simple. 

The hard fact is that pollution costs all of us. The environment is not a "free lunch".

For example, a study by the Ontario Medical Association, The Illness Cost of Air Pollution, estimates that in the province of Ontario in 2005 "overall economic losses associated with air pollution exposure are expected to be in the order of $7.8 billion. This total is expected to increase to over $12.9 billion by 2026."

Such losses are borne by all taxpayers.

Singapore Organization Creating 'Green' Building for Zero Net Energy Usage

November 7, 2007

The concept of “zero emissions”—or a system in which there is no net waste, because everything is reused or recycled—is challenging organizations and companies to come up with new green technologies, or uses for existing technologies, to cut down on carbon footprints.   One such project, underway in Singapore, was highlighted in a report Wednesday. It seems that a “zero energy” building is being created there by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the organization’s flagship “green” R&D project. The building is part of BCA’s Green Building Masterplan.

Business Link in UK Intros New Green Business Web Site

October 17, 2007

UK-based businesses have a new tool to help them be more “green.”, a resource Web site for businesses, part of the UK government’s Business.Gov agency, this week added a new section devoted to green business practices.   The “Environmental & efficiency” section of the Business Link Web site is broken up into three main areas: “Environment and your business,” “Sustainability and your business,” and “Waste and pollution.” Tools on the site include a self-assessment of environmental compliance, free e-mail alerts about regulatory updates, information about training and grants, and a variety of publications to help companies get their hands around “being green.”   Also featured on the site are phones numbers for several “green” related hotlines.   The new site looks like it will be a valuable resource for UK companies seeking to be more green. If you run a company in the UK, let us know if the site proved useful for you, or if there are better sources of information available.

Report: Australian Companies Not Ready for Carbon Emissions Reporting, Trading

October 17, 2007

Often on this blog you read about green technology programs and initiatives in the U.S. and Europe. But those aren’t the only parts of the world where people are concerned about the environmental impact of doing business. A recent report on the Web site of The Age, a newspaper covering happenings in Australia and New Zealand, highlighted an Ernst & Young report about efforts to reduce carbon footprints by companies “down under.”   According to The Age reporter Peter Hannam, the Ernst & Young report indicated that most Australian companies, while they’re making an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, are nowhere near being ready to report on carbon emissions or participate in emissions trading programs.

Companies Can be 'Green' With the Technology They Already Have

October 5, 2007

Lots gets written about these days regarding new types of technology that can help companies be more ‘green.’ These include everything from vehicle engines designed to run on corn-based fuel, computer chips that require less power to run, and revamped cooling systems for data centers. But, in terms of reducing impact on the environment, there is a lot companies can do with existing technology.   That, according to reporter Rebecca Thomson, was the message from Carbon Trust chief policy officer Michael Rea at a recent meeting. Carbon Trust is a London-based, government-funded company tasked with helping UK businesses and public sector organizations reduce their carbon emissions.

Rackspace Survey: Businesses Willing to Pay More for Services from 'Green' Vendors

October 2, 2007

Consumers and businesses these days are paying more and more attention to the impact their actions have on the environment. The “green technology” segment of the “green” movement—and the topic of this blog—includes everything from fuel-efficient cars to software the helps people telecommute.   On today’s menu: the efforts data center companies are now making to create “greener” operations by reducing power consumption. Last month, Rackspace Managed Hosting got curious to see how much businesses really care about the “greenness” of the service providers they choose.

Green Technology and IP Communications

September 11, 2007


September 7, 2007

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