Newsweek Releases Ranking of Greenest Companies | IBM Only U.S. Company Among World's Top 20 Corporations

This is the fourth year Newsweek ranked the 500 largest companies on their environmental footprint (45% of score), corporate management (45%) and transparency (10%), using data from Trucost and Sustainalytics.

World’s Top Green Corporations

All the top companies got scores of 82 out of 100 or above - here are some very brief highlights on what makes them stand out.

IBM - which always tops these lists - is the only US company included in the world’s 20 top corporations.

It’s rated #4 in the world for its “Smarter Planet” service that helps clients measure and reduce their own footprint, while saving them money. At its Zurich lab, water that cools a supercomputer is used to warm nearby buildings. Read our profile on IBM.

Could a carbon tax fix the deficit and the environment?
“Most carbon tax proposals envision an initial tax rate of $15 per ton of carbon dioxide. The carbon tax is meant not to raise revenue but to change behavior: The ultimate goal is to have polluters avoid paying the tax by shifting to renewables. Nonetheless, Tufts economist Gilbert Metcalf, in a 2007 paper, calculated that a $15 carbon tax would raise about $82.5 billion per year, which would easily cover the $70 billion cost of extending the payroll tax cut through 2013. To maintain pressure on polluters to keep reducing carbon emissions, the carbon tax would have to rise steadily. Inglis and Flake’s bill would raise it to $53 in its twentieth year, which is about what’s envisioned in a report by Robert Shapiro, Nam Pham, and Arun Malik of the private U.S. Climate Task Force. The task force calculated that the revenues could keep the Social Security tax a little below its current lowered rate and still leave 10 percent of the money to pay for other programs to fight climate change. Alternatively, you could use this money to provide even greater payroll tax relief for people at lower incomes.”
-Timothy Noah, “The Best Way to Fix the Deficit—and the Environment”
Photo courtesy of the New York Times
via thenewrepublic:

Could a carbon tax fix the deficit and the environment?

“Most carbon tax proposals envision an initial tax rate of $15 per ton of carbon dioxide. The carbon tax is meant not to raise revenue but to change behavior: The ultimate goal is to have polluters avoid paying the tax by shifting to renewables. Nonetheless, Tufts economist Gilbert Metcalf, in a 2007 paper, calculated that a $15 carbon tax would raise about $82.5 billion per year, which would easily cover the $70 billion cost of extending the payroll tax cut through 2013. To maintain pressure on polluters to keep reducing carbon emissions, the carbon tax would have to rise steadily. Inglis and Flake’s bill would raise it to $53 in its twentieth year, which is about what’s envisioned in a report by Robert Shapiro, Nam Pham, and Arun Malik of the private U.S. Climate Task Force. The task force calculated that the revenues could keep the Social Security tax a little below its current lowered rate and still leave 10 percent of the money to pay for other programs to fight climate change. Alternatively, you could use this money to provide even greater payroll tax relief for people at lower incomes.”

-Timothy Noah, “The Best Way to Fix the Deficit—and the Environment

Photo courtesy of the New York Times

via thenewrepublic:

Infographic: 10 Indicators of a Warming World
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) produced this great, simple infographic showing ten indicators of our warming and changing climate. Seven are increasing and three are decreasing.
Increasing  
- sea level 
- air temperature near surface (troposphere) 
- temperature over oceans  
- sea surface temperature
- ocean heat content
- temperature over land
- humidity
Decreasing
- sea ice
- glaciers
- snow cover
* You can read more on the warming indicators in the NOAA’s State of the Climate report.
via plantedcity:

Infographic: 10 Indicators of a Warming World

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) produced this great, simple infographic showing ten indicators of our warming and changing climate. Seven are increasing and three are decreasing.

Increasing 

- sea level

- air temperature near surface (troposphere)

- temperature over oceans 

- sea surface temperature

- ocean heat content

- temperature over land

- humidity

Decreasing

- sea ice

- glaciers

- snow cover

* You can read more on the warming indicators in the NOAA’s State of the Climate report.

via plantedcity:

2009 Winter Outlooks for Temperature (left) and Precipitation (right) issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center on October 15, 2009.
Bitter cold temperatures and blizzards of historic proportions prompted the questions: Why were there so many historic snowstorms in the mid-Atlantic region this winter? Are they evidence that global warming isn’t happening? No, the globe is warming. But the real story behind the mid-Atlantic’s winter isn’t about climate change, it’s about climate variability. Climate variability, the term scientists use, explains why record-breaking snowstorms and global warming can coexist. In fact, many of the weather events observed this winter help to confirm our understanding of the climate system, including links between weather and climate. 
ClimateWatch Magazine » Can Record Snowstorms & Global Warming Coexist?

2009 Winter Outlooks for Temperature (left) and Precipitation (right) issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center on October 15, 2009.

Bitter cold temperatures and blizzards of historic proportions prompted the questions: Why were there so many historic snowstorms in the mid-Atlantic region this winter? Are they evidence that global warming isn’t happening? No, the globe is warming. But the real story behind the mid-Atlantic’s winter isn’t about climate change, it’s about climate variability. Climate variability, the term scientists use, explains why record-breaking snowstorms and global warming can coexist. In fact, many of the weather events observed this winter help to confirm our understanding of the climate system, including links between weather and climate. 

ClimateWatch Magazine » Can Record Snowstorms & Global Warming Coexist?

emergentfutures:

7 Tipping Points That Could Transform Earth
When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issue its last report in 2007, environmental tipping points were a footnote. A troubling footnote, to be sure, but the science was relatively new and unsettled. Straightforward global warming was enough to worry about.
But when the IPCC meets in 2014, tipping points — or tipping elements, in academic vernacular — will get much more attention. Scientists still disagree about which planetary systems are extra-sensitive to climate shifts, but the possibility can’t be ignored.

emergentfutures:

7 Tipping Points That Could Transform Earth

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issue its last report in 2007, environmental tipping points were a footnote. A troubling footnote, to be sure, but the science was relatively new and unsettled. Straightforward global warming was enough to worry about.

But when the IPCC meets in 2014, tipping points — or tipping elements, in academic vernacular — will get much more attention. Scientists still disagree about which planetary systems are extra-sensitive to climate shifts, but the possibility can’t be ignored.



The  Climate Dress | Geeky Gadgets
The climate dress is an environmentally chic dress that was created by a design team in Denmark. The dress is composed of hundreds of LED lights connected together by a conductive thread. The dress has a carbon dioxide sensor, which is its most notable feature. The sensor on the dress can detect CO2 in the air and will light up in different patterns when carbon dioxide is detected.

The Climate Dress | Geeky Gadgets

The climate dress is an environmentally chic dress that was created by a design team in Denmark. The dress is composed of hundreds of LED lights connected together by a conductive thread. The dress has a carbon dioxide sensor, which is its most notable feature. The sensor on the dress can detect CO2 in the air and will light up in different patterns when carbon dioxide is detected.

Every day, on and above Earth, millions of sensors collect vast amounts of data representing interactions among the planet’s systems of land, air, water and life. This is the kind of data needed to address the complexities of climate change or a move to a low-carbon-dioxide world economy, but gathering it is just the first step. The next steps, barely possible given the state of information technology, involve integrating data from air- and space-borne and terrestrial instruments with computer models of climate, ecosystems and biological systems, then analyzing and reporting results that can be scaled to the needs of nations and communities. (via “Planetary Skin” Tool Aims to Improve Response to Climate Change)

Every day, on and above Earth, millions of sensors collect vast amounts of data representing interactions among the planet’s systems of land, air, water and life. This is the kind of data needed to address the complexities of climate change or a move to a low-carbon-dioxide world economy, but gathering it is just the first step. The next steps, barely possible given the state of information technology, involve integrating data from air- and space-borne and terrestrial instruments with computer models of climate, ecosystems and biological systems, then analyzing and reporting results that can be scaled to the needs of nations and communities. (via “Planetary Skin” Tool Aims to Improve Response to Climate Change)

Today marks the release of our second annual State of Green Business report, our assessment of how, and how well, companies are doing from an environmental perspective. The free 62-page report offers 10 trends of the past year as well as our GreenBiz Index, a set of 20 indicators that, in aggregate, provide a picture of U.S. companies’ environmental achievements. (via Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog)

Today marks the release of our second annual State of Green Business report, our assessment of how, and how well, companies are doing from an environmental perspective. The free 62-page report offers 10 trends of the past year as well as our GreenBiz Index, a set of 20 indicators that, in aggregate, provide a picture of U.S. companies’ environmental achievements. (via Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog)