The Sustainability Buzz

Author Archives: swittchen

2016 — The Real Work Begins

Welcome to 2016, the year with the best chance so far of concerted progress towards sustainable improvement in the U.S. and the world! What will it mean for you, your company and your world?  Let’s take a look back at what happened in 2015 and see how that positions us for the new year. There […]

Why the EPA’s Clean Power Plan Is Good for Your Business

“On August 3, 2015, President Obama and EPA announced the Clean Power Plan – a historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes real action on climate change. Shaped by years of unprecedented outreach and public engagement, the final Clean Power Plan is fair, flexible and designed to strengthen the […]

Beyond the Carbon Footprint: What’s Next?

“So we have our first carbon footprint measurement.  What’s next?” Coupled with wanting to know how their company compares with other companies, this is the inevitable question management teams ask when presented with their first carbon footprint number. A carbon footprint is only a baseline, and it is difficult for companies to compare themselves to […]

How Shadow Pricing Can Improve the Outlook for Sustainability Projects

Suppose you have a project that you’d like to undertake that, based on standard cost/benefit analysis, doesn’t quite meet the payback period that your company requires. However, you know that in addition to the easily quantifiable benefits of the project there is one more, less obvious, benefit. The completed project will reduce the company’s carbon […]

Governor Wolf’s New Budget Includes Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Programs

Tucked into Governor Wolf’s proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015, is a $675 million bond program that, among other things, supports investment in infrastructure, energy and technology. The bond program includes a $225 million initiative to ensure a comprehensive energy portfolio that supports gas, coal, oil and renewable resources, as well […]

Say What? Florida Bans “Climate Change.” (But they’re not the only ones.)

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” – Philip K. Dick The Governor of Florida has decided that ignoring climate change will make it go away. According to the Miami Herald, “DEP officials have been ordered not to use the term ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’ in any official […]

Combating Sustainababble and Making Reporting Relevant

These days it seems like there’s constantly a new flavor of the month in the sustainable lexicon.  Weren’t we just talking about transparency?  Then along came materiality, and now it’s all about resilience.  Even the term “sustainability” can seem a little hollow these days, taking on just about whatever meaning the person uttering it wants […]

Visualizing Energy Usage Across Philadelphia

Last week, Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) announced the release of its Energy Benchmarking Data Visualization Tool, developed in conjunction with local rock-star geospatial analysis firm, Azavea. We at iSpring are particularly excited about this tool because it makes energy data easy to understand, and we love it when organizations use visuals effectively to communicate data. The new […]

Don’t Wait for Trickle-Down Sustainability: How Local Efforts Move the Needle

To misquote Tip O’Neill, all sustainability is local. On October 15, 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Fifth Assessment Report on the state of the global climate.  The full text is readable here.  This was by far the most comprehensive and scientifically detailed of all its work done to date. In it, […]

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Carbon But Were Afraid to Ask

“So why are we doing a Carbon Footprint?” The question stopped me dead.  We’d been working for months with our industrial client to develop their first Carbon Footprint. Their team of very talented engineers had been excellent partners and we were making significant progress and then, the question. “So why are we doing a Carbon […]

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