Raising our Expectations of the Business Case for Solar

I have been involved in a couple of discussions recently about solar photovoltaic (PV) and how the business case can be improved. The business case works in some locations, but in many it doesn’t.

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In these discussions, we talk about taking a percentage point off the costs here and there, and whether thin film technology might cost less.  Once you have a solar installation you don’t have the carbon reductions unless you buy the renewable energy certificates (RECs). So we also talk about the price and validity of RECs.

It seems to me that we are setting our sights too …

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How We Determine Our Positions on Climate Change

As I mentioned in a post earlier in June, I have spent some time listening to the discussions between climate change skeptics and proponents.  One of my main takeaways is that rarely is a thorough understanding of the science the basis for people’s views.  Proponents can quote scientists and so can skeptics. I don’t believe that many of us though (myself included) have really done our own analysis of all the research papers and, even if we had, that we would know how to reach our own judgment on the sensitivity analysis, scenarios and balance of risks.

Most of us, on …

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Innovative Conference Approaches – Engage CSR 2010

If you read my posts regularly you might have noticed that I am interested in innovative conference formats.  At Freedom to Connect in March 2008, the speakers stood next to a giant chat screen on which attendees conversed about the current presentation, or worse, about something completely different.

At a CRO conference in 2008, I enjoyed watching T Boone Pickens attend by video link. In fact, I felt it was in many ways superior to a person standing at a distant podium.

I enjoyed the unstructured approach of the Unconference last year, and this year’s equivalent the Solutions Lab 2010 series.…

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Guest Post BASF – 3:1 Emissions Balance

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Armstrong Leader of BASF’s Construction Markets North America and also a board member of the Sustainable Building Industries Council and Chair of the Construction Market Team of the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council.

Jack described to me the “3:1 Study” that compared the carbon benefits and carbon burden of the chemicals industry. I was intrigued by the parallels with the Smart 2020 study produced by The Climate Group and Gesi, that I have written about previously and that looks at a similar comparison between benefit and burden in the …

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Guest Post from EMC: Speaking of Climate Change…

A couple of weeks back in Some Thoughts on Climate Change I shared some responses to the recent controversies within the climate change space and in particular how corporations should respond. Kathrin Winkler, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at EMC Corporation shared her thoughts on the same topic on her own blog Interconnected World. I found them very enlightening and asked Kathrin if I could repost……

The subject of Climate Change has inexplicably (OK, maybe explicably) become a touchy one, particularly here in the U.S. (though I’m assured by a friend Down Under that we are not alone). …

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Some Thoughts on Climate Change

There have been some significant back-currents recently in the wave of progress on climate change; the outcome from Copenhagen that was short of many people’s expectations; some climate change scientists and some involved in the IPCC pursued poorly conceived public statements, exchanged particularly unscientific emails or exaggerated the strength of their findings; recently three significant members of USCAP have left that group. Skeptics have appropriately highlighted these issues.

To put things back in perspective, I enjoyed reading Frank Robert’s economic view on balance of risks in the New York Times on Sunday. Of course, we need to be careful not

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Sustainable Behaviour in the UK

I am in the UK. Vacation last week, work this week. Some observations thus far;

Browsing the newspapers, perusing the roadside and station platform advertising, I see very little green marketing compared to past visits or compared to the USA. Interestingly the only advert I have seen that refers to green issues is from Exxon, an American company. My impression is that the UK has moved on from green advertising and I might be tempted to conclude that the UK has slowed the pace of sustainable activity, but a closer look reveals another perspective.

I see comprehensive green actions in …

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Want More Junk?

My children are at a wonderful school, with wonderful programs on environmental responsibility. They recycle and compost and learn about the importance of biodiversity from an early age. As they grow up they will carry with them a much deeper sense of responsibility to the environment than my generation.

But when it comes to school holiday events, participation is still recognized with piles of cheap plastic trinkets. This reinforces one of the key behaviors we need to change, that disposable material goods are the reward for success. But we grown-ups demonstrate exactly those behaviors too, and at sustainability conferences of …

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Guest Post: Autodesk

A ‘Wild West’ of Corporate GHG Target-Setting

As I have mentioned in my blog before, at BT we launched our Climate Stabilization Intensity Target in 2008. Until now we have been (as far as I am aware) the only company with such a target. However I am thrilled that Autodesk has now launched a target with a similar approach. Emma Stewart kindly agreed to provide some insights in a guest blog.

Emma Stewart, Ph.D., is the Senior Program Lead at Autodesk’s Sustainability Initiative, where she combines expertise in environmental trends analysis, policy and metrics design, and management consulting. Her

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Guest Post: Reducing Japan’s Carbon Emissions

Colleagues in BT across the globe who have an interest in sustainability share their insights with me. I find that perspectives from outside of the relatively small group of us immediately involved in sustainability can be especially enlightening. A recent update from Takeshi Fukada, a BT Conferencing sales manager in Japan especially caught my attention for its illustration both of the challenges in reaching a global agreement on emissions reduction but also the support for countries to take action. Takeshi kindly agreed to share his insights below:

The Nikkei newspaper carried an interesting article on October 4th referring to Japan‘s

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