World’s largest source of business sustainability data launches

Data publishing site Ecodesk has profiled the sustainability strategy of 4,000 of the world’s largest companies and their cost savings making it the largest free, public database of business carbon, energy, waste and water scores in the world. These 4,000 case studies have already realised millions in savings from reporting and analysing their data through Ecodesk. These include DHL and Microsoft among many others.

‘We want to encourage transparency and accuracy in carbon, energy, water and waste reporting.’ —Robert Clarke, CEO of Ecodesk.

The site, which officially launches today and is funded by UK Sterling 1.5m private equity and government grants, has made carbon data scores available for free and comparable for the first time. There are over 17,000 profiles in total. → continue reading

Indigenous Alaskans struggle to cope with climate change

(USGS) Personal interviews with Alaska Natives in the Yukon River Basin provide unique insights on climate change and its impacts, helping develop adaptation strategies for these local communities.

The Village of St. Mary’s, Alaska

The village of St. Mary’s, Alaska where USGS scientists conducted interviews with hunters and elders to document their observations of climate change. The village lies in the Yukon River Basin on the banks of the Andreafsky River, a tributary of the Yukon River.

Photo Credit: School District of St. Mary’s, Alaska. (High resolution image)

The USGS coordinated interviews with Yup’ik hunters and elders in the villages of St. Mary’s and Pitka’s Point, Alaska, to document their observations of climate change. They expressed concerns ranging from safety, such as unpredictable weather patterns and dangerous ice conditions, to changes in plants and animals as well as decreased availability of firewood.

“Many climate change studies are conducted on a large scale, and there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding how climate change will impact specific regions,” said USGS social scientist Nicole Herman-Mercer. “This study helps address that uncertainty and really understand climate change as a socioeconomic issue by talking directly to those with traditional and personal environmental knowledge.”

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Report: Clean Energy Economy Generates Significant Job Growth

Contact: Brandon MacGillis, 202-88… and Andrew McDonald, 202-55…
Washington, DC – 06/10/2009 – The number of jobs in America’s emerging clean energy economy grew nearly two and a half times faster than overall jobs between 1998 and 2007, according to a report (PDF) released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew developed a clear, data-driven definition of the clean energy economy and conducted the first-ever hard count across all 50 states of the actual jobs, companies and venture capital investments that supply the growing market demand for environmentally friendly products and services.

Pew found that jobs in the clean energy economy grew at a national rate of 9.1 percent, while traditional jobs grew by only 3.7 percent between 1998 and 2007. There was a similar pattern at the state level, where job growth in the clean energy economy outperformed overall job growth in 38 states and the District of Columbia during the same period. The report also found that this promising sector is poised to expand significantly, driven by increasing consumer demand, venture capital infusions, and federal and state policy reforms.

America’s clean energy economy has grown despite a lack of sustained government support in the past decade. By 2007, more than 68,200 businesses across all 50 states and the District of Columbia accounted for about 770,000 jobs. → continue reading

Pollution causes record number of beach closings

WASHINGTON (August 7, 2007) – The water at American beaches was unsafe for swimming a record number of days last year, according to the 17th annual beach water quality report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). → continue reading