Living in the twenty-first century demands that all of us take a proactive role in shaping our financial future. One of the ways in which many Americans build wealth and meet their financial goals is through investing in the stock market. With the plethora of investing options to choose from, many of us wonder which investment tools and vehicles suit our economic needs but also reflect our personal value system. I spent a considerable amount of time asking myself the following question: What are my core values and how do I align them with my investing goals? After contemplating for a long period of time, I realized that I wanted to invest in revolutionary, cutting-edge ideas that had the power to change and enhance the quality of life for society. I grew up in a household that emphasized energy conservation and limited dependency on technology. Therefore I needed my financial goals to reflect my environmentally-conscious values. Through research, I discovered a variety of companies that develop sophisticated technology that would address our energy needs and combat global warming. One of the companies that I chose to focus on was Global Green Solutions. Global Green Solutions specializes in developing and implementing eco-friendly energy technology that takes biomass waste and converts it into renewable energy. Currently, Global Green Solutions main project, Green Stream Technology, will use farm animal manure, energy crops, and forest waste to produce industrial steam and electrical power. If implemented, Green Steam Technology will result in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, decrease in fuel costs, increased access to electrical power, and the proper handling and removal of biomass waste material. The company plans to license its technology to various partners once the Green Steam Technology project reaches the implementation stage and is ready to be introduced to the market. As of July 19, 2010, Global Green Solutions finished its demonstration unit at Aera Energy in California. The completion of the demonstration unit serves as an important milestone in the development of the ground-breaking project. My decision to become a social investor by investing in Global Green Solutions stemmed from my belief in the importance of preserving our world. Investing in Green Technology has allowed me to take an active stance in creating financial security while supporting companies that demonstrate social and environmental awareness. As we move ahead in the twenty-first century, our global community continues to create technologically advanced solutions that create comfort and efficiency in our lives. We need energy solutions that will allow us to live in balance with the earth while sustaining our growing quality of life. Companies such as Global Green Solutions reflect the growing demand for environmentally-friendly industrial technology. Even though investing in new endeavors means taking on considerable risk, investing in ideas that hold the power to serve the common good and produce economic gain and success for others will benefit society in the long-term.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 14:58

Obama Expects 800,000 Clean Energy Jobs by 2012

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Speaking at a Milwaukee-area battery plant, President Obama says he expects the administration's clean energy policies will generate 800,000 jobs by 2012. "That's not just creating work in the short term. That's going to help lay the foundation for lasting economic growth," he said at ZBB Energy Corp. this week in Menomonee Falls, Wis. The company's batteries and fuel cells are used in renewable energy products. Obama noted that the U.S. manufacturing workforce has shrunk by a third and that the recession was the worst since the Great Depression. Among the policies Obama cited are investing in clean energy projects and tax policies that encourage companies to keep and create jobs in the U.S. You can listen to the president's speech in this White House video:
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 12:10

5 Ways to Make Your Vacation Better for the Planet

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Global Basecamps, a Carbonfund.org partner, has dedicated itself to providing travelers with fun, diverse and sustainable vacations. Travelers can set up a basecamp in one location and explore different places in a short period of time. Global Basecamps has identified ways to help reduce a trip’s impact on the environment.
  1. Plant a Tree When You Travel – Planting a tree is a way to fight climate change (about 20% of global warming is due to deforestation), restore habitat and preserve biodiversity. Global Basecamps plants a tree in Nepal for every vacation they book.
  2. Offset Your Trip’s Carbon Footprint - Flying, driving, lodging, eating and everything you do on your trip has an impact on climate change. The only way to neutralize that impact on climate (short of not traveling) is to offset your footprint by supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects. Calculate and offset your trip here.
  3. Support Local Charities at Your Destination – Global Basecamps is a strong supporter of Pack for a Purpose. You can choose a local charity at your destination and help their mission by donating some of your money or items such as pencils, medical supplies or soccer balls.
  4. Basecamp – Get a true flavor of the locations you visit by basecamping. Choose a central base and explore many places in a short trip. This can cut your carbon footprint and provide a great experience at the same time.
  5. Commit to Live Sustainably When You Get Home – Take the lessons of your trip home with you. Volunteer when you get back. You can also offset your vehicle and home carbon emissions to reduce your overall footprint.
For more information on how Global Basecamps makes sustainability central to their mission, click here.
Monday, 16 August 2010 16:01

Mussel Up: Climate Change Threatens Seafood

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Summer 2010 has been one for the record books, with record-setting temperatures, a brutal heat wave in Russia and deadly flooding in Pakistan. Not only is climate change wreaking havoc on the weather, according to a University of South Carolina study, it could affect dinner plates soon as well. Researchers at the university concluded that higher air and water temperatures along the East Coast are shrinking the range of blue mussels. In the past, mussels lived as far south as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; now, the southernmost area that mussels can be found is Lewes, Delaware. Sierra Jones, a Ph.D. student at the University of South Carolina, explains the concern of the findings, saying, “These mussels are a very important part of the food chain, help clean the water, and are farmed commercially. If temperatures continue to increase, we can expect range changes of species like blue mussels to continue, and the health of our oceans is at risk.” Food shortage due to decreased food production and availability are among the consequences of climate change. For more information about the S.C. study, check out this article by E2 Wire's Ben Geman.
Monday, 16 August 2010 14:19

Hyundai Sets 50 MPG Goal for Vehicles

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New National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations require automakers to achieve a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rating of 35.5 miles per gallon (MPG) by 2016. Hyundai will not only meet this new requirement, the company plans to achieve a CAFE rating of at least 50 MPG by 2025 for its passenger cars and light duty trucks. To meet this goal, Hyundai will leverage its Blue Drive strategy to align research and development with developing more fuel-efficient technologies at its engineering centers in California, Michigan, Korea, India and Germany. Initiatives will include improvements in powertrains (components that generate power), lightweight materials, electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids and design. Hyundai Motor America’s President and CEO John Krafcik stated that the company is “committed to setting the pace in [the] industry on fuel economy.” Although a 50-MPG CAFE rating is an ambitious goal, Krafcik says that “by making this commitment and aligning our R&D initiatives now, we know we can get there.”
Thursday, 12 August 2010 17:34

Clear Consulting Advocates Triple Bottom Line

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Whether your company needs to build a web application from scratch, improve its website’s user interface, or design a brand identity, Clear Consulting can do all this and more. Its portfolio includes development of e-Learning platforms, trading platforms, e-Commerce user interfaces as well as web and blog design.

In describing its mission, Clear Consulting states, “We believe we can positively affect change by helping like-minded companies be successful.” Additionally, Clear Consulting is an advocate of the triple bottom line business model. To them, people, planet, profit are not opposing goals but goals that can coexist harmoniously. The company donates time and money to support various social causes like People Serving People, a local initiative that provides opportunities to homeless people in Minneapolis. Clear Consulting understands that business goals can–and should–be aligned with environmental responsibility and is a partner of Carbonfund.org to reduce and offset its business carbon footprint.
Thursday, 12 August 2010 17:14

Fresh, Organic Ingredients Elevate a Common Meal

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There’s a difference between fresh and frozen, organic and conventional, and foods prepared with less fat than quick-frying. That’s Elevation Burger’s philosophy. Elevating the burger and even the fries it comes with, the company has restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic states, Florida and Texas, and will soon open in New York, Nevada and California. Though it can be challenging to source and prepare quality ingredients, Elevation Burger uses 100% USDA-certified organic, grass-fed, free-range beef. The restaurants also cook with olive oil to reduce saturated fat and avoid trans fats. Reducing the carbon footprint of the foods we eat is important because what we buy and consume can comprise a third or more of our total carbon footprint. Reducing the use of hormones in animals, chemical fertilizers and processed foods helps reduce that footprint. Elevation Burger has been praised for reducing its impact on the environment. The company is also working with Carbonfund.org to reduce its impact further by offsetting its headquarters’ energy use in support of third-party validated renewable energy projects. If you’re vegetarian or just love fries, check out Elevation Burger’s fresh fries cooked in 100% olive oil. Visit www.elevationburger.com to view their menu and learn more about the company’s philosophy. You can also learn more about reducing your carbon footprint here.
As a nonprofit ourselves, we know the array of factors that go into starting and then managing a nonprofit organization. Strategic planning, management, capacity building and fundraising must be well thought out in order for a nonprofit to accomplish its mission. Carbonfund.org partner EMD Consulting Group, LLC lends its experience and provides guidance and support in these areas and identifies challenges and opportunities. EMD Consulting Group has helped a number of nonprofits develop their fundraising, marketing plans, economic feasibility studies, program development and much more. The Group has worked with nonprofits with very diverse missions from the Judevine Center for Autism to the University of Michigan Museum of Art. EMD Consulting Group is not only in the business of helping socially responsible organizations, but it demonstrates its own corporate social responsibility by partnering with Carbonfund.org to reduce its climate impact. To learn about how your company can partner with us, visit www.carbonfund.org/business.