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Unilever CEO Paul Polman Pockets Extra $722K for Sustainability Work

Unilever CEO Paul Polman Pockets Extra $722K for Sustainability Work | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Unilever rewards Paul Polman for sustainability, business guidance to the tune of $11 million, significantly above average European CEO pay.
Andrew Winston's insight:

A story from a few weeks ago, but really interesting. One of the first I've seen of a top exec getting a bonus (and a big one) for hitting sustainability targets. There's always a big question about why companies don't do more or go faster on environmental and social issues if there's so much value in it (and there is). Part of the answer is just incentives. Execs are paid for short-term performance, and longer-term innovation or shifting business models to drastically cut energy, waste, and material use is just not a quarterly exercise.

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Flora Moon's curator insight, April 4, 8:51 AM

If you want to add velocity to your sustainability efforts, add incentives!

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Without Much Straining, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities’ Carbon Emissions

Without Much Straining, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities’ Carbon Emissions | BigPivot | Scoop.it
While many have howled about complying with a proposed rule slashing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, Minnesota has been reining in its utilities’ carbon pollution for decades.
Andrew Winston's insight:

We're already finding out that the new Obama admin rules -- 30% carbon reductions by 2030 (which some have called economically devastating) -- are not going to be that hard for large swaths of the country. Here's Minnesota well on their way and discovering the benefits of renewables and having a more resilient energy system. Bravo. Next step is to set carbon reduction goals for the country and companies based on science, not what's politically 'feasible' -- that would be around 6% reduction in carbon intensity annually.

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The shocking truth about B.C.’s carbon tax: It works

The shocking truth about B.C.’s carbon tax: It works | BigPivot | Scoop.it
The province has the lowest personal income tax rate in Canada, and one of the lowest corporate rates in North America
Andrew Winston's insight:

So let me get this straight. A large region implemented a carbon tax and it didn't kill the economy, force people to live in the cold and dark, or cost every household half their income. Huh.  Kidding aside, this is a great summary of what's happened in British Columbia for the last 6 years. The big takeaways for those wanting a price on carbon in the U.S....Offsetting taxes with cuts elsewhere is the way to go. BC has actually "cut $760-million more in income and other taxes than needed to offset carbon tax revenue." BC has low personal income taxes and the economy has outperformed the rest of Canada. Very nice.

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Yale Environment 360: Roughly $80 Billion Wasted on Power for Networked Devices, Report Says

Yale Environment 360: Roughly $80 Billion Wasted on Power for Networked Devices, Report Says | BigPivot | Scoop.it

The world’s 14 billion online electronic devices, such as modems, printers, game consoles, and cable boxes, waste around $80 billion in electricity annually because of inefficient technology, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).


Via Flora Moon
Andrew Winston's insight:

Yikes. Not much to add to this, but it's just a nice little example of all the waste in the system we can tackle for very easy wins...very big easy wins. I have a plug at home that charges an iphone or ipad, but then stops current when the device is full. That's a good start on limiting 'vulture' waste.

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, July 2, 3:11 PM

In 2013, networked devices consumed around 616 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, with most of that used in standby mode. Roughly 400 TWh — equivalent to the combined annual electricity consumption of the United Kingdom and Norway — was wasted because of inefficient technology.

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Bipartisan Report Tallies High Toll on Economy From Global Warming

Bipartisan Report Tallies High Toll on Economy From Global Warming | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Treasury secretaries dating to the Nixon years backed a new report predicting a heavy loss of coastal properties, a shift of farming northward, and dangerous outdoor conditions because of climate change.
Andrew Winston's insight:

The momentum on discussing climate change in 'serious' circles has shifted dramatically recently. A couple days ago Hank Paulson, Republican, former Treasury Secretary, wrote a tough op-ed about how real climate change is and how much it reminds him of the financial collapse/bubble he oversaw under Pres.Bush. And this story is the follow up about a new report on the cost to society of doing nothing -- coming from Treasury secretaries of all stripes. This is no Greenpeace report. Now it's time for businesses to get moving -- we've had too many wakeup calls...time for action and a Big Pivot!

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One Day After U.S. Announces Emissions Target, China Says Carbon Cap Is On The Way

One Day After U.S. Announces Emissions Target, China Says Carbon Cap Is On The Way | BigPivot | Scoop.it
One day after the United States proposed rules to limit the amount of carbon emitted from existing power plants, China said it will limit its total CO2 emissions for the first time possibly starting in 2016.
Andrew Winston's insight:

Big news on the heels of U.S. Carbon and coal rules (which i wrote an op-ed on for Fortune yesterday, saying that companies should move away from fossil fuels as fast as possible...see... http://fortune.com/2014/06/02/why-obamas-climate-change-policies-wont-hurt-corporate-america/).  But this is an amazing follow on story. Lots of businesses and politicians use China as the scapegoat for inaction. That story is getting less tenable. China will cap carbon and attack it relentlessly. Neither announcement may be as fast as the science requires, but it's a very good start.

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Barclays Downgrades Electric Utility Bonds, Sees Viable Solar Competition - Income Investing - Barrons.com

Barclays this week downgrades the entire electric sector of the U.S. high-grade corporate bond market to underweight, saying it sees long-term challenges to electric utilities from solar energy, and that the electric sector of the bond market isn’t pricing in these challenges right now. It’s a noteworthy downgrade since electric utilities which make up nearly [...]
Andrew Winston's insight:

Really important story that shows a major shift in thinking about the value of traditional energy infrastructure. Barclays is saying that utilities are getting less valuable as a whole as renewable energy proves its competitiveness. Some are saying that traditional utilities are in a 'death spiral', which may be  somewhat exaggerated -- we'll need a dependable grid for the foreseeable future. But it is clear that the centralized grid may not need to be any bigger than today (or much smaller). If the utilities can shift models to help build micro-grids and help make distributed generation a reality, perhaps they can maintain their value.

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Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt

Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt | BigPivot | Scoop.it
The depletion of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming accelerating the disintegration, two groups of scientists reported Monday.
Andrew Winston's insight:

I try to not dwell on the 'oh, crap' stories, but this is a very big deal. The ice is melting in the Antarctic, and sea level rise of 10 feet may be 'inevitable' now, according to scientists. We have some serious work to do as a society if we want to keep some bad outcomes from getting much worse, and time is really very short. The business community can and should take the lead on managing risk and creating the products and services that help us both mitigate and adapt to what's happening. But first we have to move past all debate that we have a problem. I think (and hope) a tipping point is nearing where it will be nearly unacceptable in business to express serious doubt on climate change.

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Climate Change Study Finds U.S. Is Already Widely Affected

Climate Change Study Finds U.S. Is Already Widely Affected | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Declaring that the issue of human-induced climate change had “moved firmly into the present,” a major study found that water shortages, torrential rains, heat waves and wildfires were worsening.
Andrew Winston's insight:

There isn't much to say to add to this story. It's all very clear. The key line is "Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present." I'm not sure anymore what it will take for the deniers out there to listen. At a talk I gave today, business exec had to come up and tell me the scientists were not in agreement -- said they were 50/50 on this. Well, actually it's 97%, and every major scientific body is in agreement. But the deniers are getting quieter as the reality of extreme weather NOW -- not in the future -- becomes clearer...

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Walmart Begins Anticipated Sustainable Chemistry Policy

Walmart Begins Anticipated Sustainable Chemistry Policy | BigPivot | Scoop.it
The policy covers household cleaners and detergents, health and beauty care, baby care, pet supplies and household paper products.
Andrew Winston's insight:

From a few weeks back, but an important story. Companies are setting their own standards on a range of issues...The Gap recently raised wages on its own, CVS not selling tobacco, etc. This story is another one of companies setting their own policies on chemicals. Walmart is pushing suppliers to get rid of certain substances, all of which are legal. I call this kind of pressure "de facto regulation." It doesn't matter what the government says if your biggest stakeholders -- your customers, consumers, or employees -- set higher standards.

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Shell, Unilever Seek 1 Trillion-Ton Limit on CO2 Output

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Unilever NV joined 68 other companies in urging world governments to cap cumulative carbon emissions since the industrial revolution to 1 trillion metric tons to contain rising temperatures.
Andrew Winston's insight:

Many of the world's largest companies are making noise now to push for climate policy. This is a very big deal and welcome change from the normal lobbying approach which is to try and stop all government action and regulations. Granted, the effort is coming more from EU companies, but between this and the Climate Declaration, we have more noise from large organizations asking the world for aggressive climate policy. Bravo.

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Unilever CEO Paul Polman Pockets Extra $722K for Sustainability Work

Unilever CEO Paul Polman Pockets Extra $722K for Sustainability Work | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Unilever rewards Paul Polman for sustainability, business guidance to the tune of $11 million, significantly above average European CEO pay.
Andrew Winston's insight:

A story from a few weeks ago, but really interesting. One of the first I've seen of a top exec getting a bonus (and a big one) for hitting sustainability targets. There's always a big question about why companies don't do more or go faster on environmental and social issues if there's so much value in it (and there is). Part of the answer is just incentives. Execs are paid for short-term performance, and longer-term innovation or shifting business models to drastically cut energy, waste, and material use is just not a quarterly exercise.

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Flora Moon's curator insight, April 4, 8:51 AM

If you want to add velocity to your sustainability efforts, add incentives!

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Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come

Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come | BigPivot | Scoop.it
A United Nations report warned that climate change is already having sweeping effects and the poorest nations are likely to feel the most severe impacts.
Andrew Winston's insight:

On some level, there's nothing new here -- the IPCC results were 'leaked' in pieces starting last fall. Just your run of the mill armageddon warnings again. But it's good to see front page NY Times coverage for that fact that scientists are getting very serious in their warnings...and saying that this isn't about scenarios and modeling anymore, but reality on the ground today. See also the powerful AAAS statement the other day for more clearly stated warnings (http://whatweknow.aaas.org/).  It's time for business to get moving much faster.

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EU to force large companies to report on environmental and social impacts

EU to force large companies to report on environmental and social impacts | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Jerome Chaplier: Reforms will make CSR mandatory not voluntary but weak wording and loopholes could prevent meaningful change
Andrew Winston's insight:

A quick scoop -- a companion to the scoop about the Chinese GHG mandate. Forced transparency and reporting is the rage...

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Australia votes to repeal carbon tax

Australia votes to repeal carbon tax | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Australia's Senate votes to repeal the so-called carbon tax, a levy on the biggest polluters brought in by the Labor Party.
Andrew Winston's insight:

What a sad state of affairs. As the science, and cost, of climate change gets clearer by the day, Australia moves definitively backward from the most important policy we can use, a price on carbon. This is in direct contradiction to the piece I scooped yesterday about the success of British Colombia's carbon tax. We will end up with prices on a carbon everywhere. Two steps forward, one step back...

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Despite Heat, Low Electricity Prices In Texas Show How Wind Is Good For Consumers

Despite Heat, Low Electricity Prices In Texas Show How Wind Is Good For Consumers | BigPivot | Scoop.it
It turns out wind power isn’t just a source of clean energy — it also helps protect consumers from price volatility.
Andrew Winston's insight:

One of the common, and out-dated, complaints about renewable energy is that it will cost more and is not dependable. Both are turning out to be wrong (or greatly oversimplified in the case of 'undependable'). This is a cool story about Texas discovering that during a heat wave, when spiking energy should've driven up costs, increased wind provided a buffer and actually lowered costs. So having multiple sources of energy, with a large dose of renewables, creates a more resilient system. Nice.

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The CEO of Coca-Cola on Using the Company’s Scale for Good

The CEO of Coca-Cola on Using the Company’s Scale for Good | BigPivot | Scoop.it
A Q&A with Muhtar Kent.
Andrew Winston's insight:

This is an interesting Q&A with Muhtar Kent, a CEO who has been out front on a number of sustainability issues for years. The key part for me is at the end where he talks about being "constructively discontent" about progress on sustainability issues. As he elaborates, it's a way of "recognizing achievement but also understanding that we can never be satisfied with it." I think that perfectly describes the challenge of continuous improvement in general, and work on big environmental and social issues in particular. We have a long way to go, and we must appreciate what we accomplish, but keep pushing.

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One Day After U.S. Announces Emissions Target, China Says Carbon Cap Is On The Way

One Day After U.S. Announces Emissions Target, China Says Carbon Cap Is On The Way | BigPivot | Scoop.it
One day after the United States proposed rules to limit the amount of carbon emitted from existing power plants, China said it will limit its total CO2 emissions for the first time possibly starting in 2016.
Andrew Winston's insight:

Big news on the heels of U.S. Carbon and coal rules (which i wrote an op-ed on for Fortune yesterday, saying that companies should move away from fossil fuels as fast as possible...see... http://fortune.com/2014/06/02/why-obamas-climate-change-policies-wont-hurt-corporate-america/).  But this is an amazing follow on story. Lots of businesses and politicians use China as the scapegoat for inaction. That story is getting less tenable. China will cap carbon and attack it relentlessly. Neither announcement may be as fast as the science requires, but it's a very good start.

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Video: Obama on Combating Climate Change

Video: Obama on Combating Climate Change | BigPivot | Scoop.it
President Obama discussed climate change in his speech at West Point, saying he intends “to make sure America is out front in putting together a global framework to preserve our planet.”
Andrew Winston's insight:

At West Point, the President drew a direct line from climate change to national security to international leadership. It's amazing how far the climate discussion has come. We're really talking systems and interconnectedness in new ways now. Gone is the 'if you believe in climate change' or 'what some scientists say is happening' and in its place is 'this is happening, so here's why it matters to you.' The President is only picking up what the military itself has been saying -- the idea that climate is a "threat multiplier" has been included in Pentagon and other strategy documents for a few years now. But this was a fascinating way for the President to connect the dots before the coal rules come out on Monday.

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A look inside Nike's struggle to balance cost and worker safety in Bangladesh.

A look inside Nike's struggle to balance cost and worker safety in Bangladesh. | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Nike executives were divided over boosting manufacturing in Bangladesh, amid debate over controlling costs and maintaining safe working conditions.
Andrew Winston's insight:

A fascinating look at how proactive risk reduction matters. NIke cut ties to factories in Bangladesh that they had no faith in, before the Rana Plaza tragedy a year ago. It's rare to see a company willing to opt out from a cheap option. We need more of this kind of leadership. The next level is for companies to increasingly share this kind of info and maybe force behavior change on suppliers. But it will only go so far if we're all not willing to spend more for clothes (and many other things) made by people in safe conditions, paid a living wage.

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Rising Temperatures

Rising Temperatures | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Average temperature in 1991-2012 compared with the 1901-60 average.
Andrew Winston's insight:

Great visual: This partly explains why people in red states lag on belief in climate change. Unfortunately, belief is tied at times to the weather/temperature where an individual is (vs. Science on global temps). Apparently, the southern U.S. has NOT been warmer over the last 30 years. So people in that part of the world (<1% of global surface area) may not be experiencing warmer temps. They are however experiencing more extreme floods, droughts, etc.... 

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A Risk Analyst Explains Why Climate Change Risk Misperception Doesn't Necessarily Matter

A Risk Analyst Explains Why Climate Change Risk Misperception Doesn't Necessarily Matter | BigPivot | Scoop.it
A longtime analyst of risk misperception says leaders can’t wait for the public to “get” global warming.
Andrew Winston's insight:

An interesting exchange between Andy Revkin at NY TImes and an expert on risk assessment. The risk analyst says it might not matter that people aren't reacting to the risk of climate change with demands for action now. I kind of agree...we can't wait for a consumer perception shift that 44 Earth Days haven't brought about yet. Business can move forward and head toward 100% renewables, and it can demand policy changes to support that shift (like a price on carbon), with or without 'public' support. And I think business will do this for many reasons that relate to reducing risk and driving resilience. One sector will of course fight this to the end, but the rest of the business world will see the benefit of the Pivot.

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Interface: How our engineers slash massive waste, emissions

Interface: How our engineers slash massive waste, emissions | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Striving for zero impact drives a push for new tech. Here are 6 lessons to help other businesses innovate.
Andrew Winston's insight:

Congrats to Interface. A great story with some interesting lessons about how to make eco-efficiency work go much further than most companies expect. Efficiency never gets the attention it deserves. I'm reminded of something i saw in Office depot's sustainability report -- a comment about the work the company had done on lighting, building technologies, and more to reduce carbon and energy use 43%:  The boring stuff works. Lighting, HVAC, energy management systems may not be sexy, but they save."

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Exxon Mobil's response to climate change is consummate arrogance

Exxon Mobil's response to climate change is consummate arrogance | BigPivot | Scoop.it
Bill McKibben: As scientists laid bare the impacts of climate change, the oil and gas giant said climate policies are highly unlikely to stop it digging up fossil fuels
Andrew Winston's insight:

As usual, Bill McKibben has blunt words for Exxon and all those that would slow action on climate change. His assessment of Exxon's disclosure/report (see http://cdn.exxonmobil.com/~/media/Files/Other/2014/Report%20-%20Energy%20and%20Carbon%20-%20Managing%20the%20Risks.pdf) on the company's risks of climate change action/policy leaving their fossil fuels "stranded"  is accurate. Exxon makes it clear that because of growing demand for energy around the world, and lack of  aggressive policy, they don't envision their fossil fuel assets being stranded at all. It's possible they're purposely misleading, because why would they tell the world their assets are worthless? Or worse that they're right and demand and policy weakness will keep the carbon fuels flowing. I think their view of an energy future that still heavily depends on them is self-serving at best and possibly delusional about the impacts on all that economic growth they're expecting if we let climate change run unfettered. Let's hope the world can pivot and prove them wrong.

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SAP Will Power Data Centers, Facilities With 100 Percent Renewable Electricity in 2014 | Sustainable Brands

SAP Will Power Data Centers, Facilities With 100 Percent Renewable Electricity in 2014 | Sustainable Brands | BigPivot | Scoop.it
SAP today announced that it will power all its data centers and facilities globally with 100 percent renewable electricity starting in 2014. The shift will help minimize the company’s carbon footprint as it moves to a cloud business model, and will help eliminate carbon emissions caused by its customers’ systems by moving them into a green cloud.
Andrew Winston's insight:

Another big company joins the 'we're going all renewables, at least in some big chunk of our business' club. Very good to see. The tech sector is starting to race ahead on renewables. Apple is already there with datacenters (100%) and 75% overall. Microsoft is taxing itself for carbon emissions and plowing money into efficiency, renewables, and offsets. The cloud is not so light in energy draw, so this is all welcome news.

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N.Y. Regulator, Con Ed Embrace Plan to Climate-Proof Power Grid | InsideClimate News

N.Y. Regulator, Con Ed Embrace Plan to Climate-Proof Power Grid | InsideClimate News | BigPivot | Scoop.it
New York regulators are requiring the state's biggest electric utility to armor the grid against all sorts of sweeping global warming impacts that could black out the nation's financial capital and disrupt services like cell phone networks and water and gasoline supplies. The Feb.
Andrew Winston's insight:

I open my new book, The Big Pivot, with the story of Con Ed getting slammed by Hurricane Sandy. This is a really interesting follow-up story. Con Ed was a prime example of what a lack of resilience to extreme change can do to a company -- flooded grid meant exploding transponder and lower NYC going dark for days. Not good. So the company is now party choosing, partly being forced to "armor the grid" against extremes. This is the beginning of science-based goals and planning. As the article says it's the "first-in-the-nation decision to require a utility to integrate climate science into its operations".  We will see much more of this.

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