Urban Farms Now Produce One Fifth of The World’s Food

Leadley is a key player in Detroit’s vibrant communal and commercial farming community, which in 2014 produced nearly 400,000 pounds of produce — enough to feed more than 600 people — in its more than 1,300 community, market, family and school gardens.

Other farms in postindustrial cities are also prolific: In 2008, Philadelphia’s 226 community and squatter gardens grew roughly 2 […]

Rubber Market Threatens Precious Forests in Southeast Asia

The increasing demand for rubber worldwide is making it the most rapidly expanding tree crop within mainland Southeast Asia. The study predict that between 4.3 and 8.5 million hectares of new plantations will be required to meet projected demand by 2024. But what’s wrong with rubber plantations? They are intensive mono-crop plantations; many environmentalists are concerned that switching land use […]

JetBlue Releases “The Blue Review”

JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today released its seventh responsibility report – The Blue Review: Environmental, Social and Business Responsibility – outlining progress the airline made in 2014. This report highlights major developments made by the airline in 2014, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 1.65 to 1.54 metric tons CO2e per 1,000 revenue ton miles from 2013 to 2014, a […]

Factory vs. Fair Trade: New Businesses Battle to Revolutionize The Fashion Industry

With 98% of clothing purchased in the United States imported from overseas, some entrepreneurs are going straight to the source to reform the industry. They are offering improved conditions and pay for the people in developing countries who produce clothing and accessories for the West, but even laying the right groundwork for the new, ethical standard can take time.

From quality […]

Five Ways Social Media Is Driving Corporate Social Responsibility

With key sustainability credentials often hidden deep within long annual reports, businesses are increasingly embracing the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to communicate directly with their customer base.

Global brands have long purported to place sustainability at the heart of their business plans, but actually getting customers on your side over big sustainability issues has become crucial for business survival […]

Women Are Naturally Suited To Social Enterpreneurship

Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown, founder of Uncommon Union wrote in Forbes, “The new field of social entrepreneurship is ideally suited to women, who have always had to meet complex demands that pit community against individualism. In short, we understand the necessity of seeing the economy and the world as an interconnected and interdependent system.”

Social enterprises are organizations that apply commercial strategies […]

What the Advertisements Aren’t Telling you About Natural Gas

Natural gas has been touted as a clean, green alternative to coal and oil, especially in recent advertisements such as the America’s Natural Gas Alliance’s “Think About It” campaign with TV ads that feature the Denver International Airport, L.A. transit and TOTE container ships as being “green” and “environmentally sustainable” because they are powered by natural gas. However, there is […]

Transforming Deserts into Farmland

The prophet Isaiah once promised that the Lord would make deserts bloom like Eden, but a bunch of Norwegians may actually get the job done first.

The ambitious Sahara Forest Project is developing cutting-edge food, water and energy technologies in the deserts of Qatar and Jordan in an attempt turn sand dunes into farms. The plan: to combine solar thermal technologies […]

The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops

Across fresh food supply chains, businesses are advancing environmental, social and economic values. Balancing production with continually improving conservation stewardship demands an aligned approach to measure and communicate on-farm sustainability in specialty crops (all fruits, nuts, and vegetables). The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (SISC) and The Sustainability Consortium® (TSC) are proud to announce a partnership that creates significant progress […]

What Do Apple, Citi and Shell Have in Common?

Everywhere you look, renewable energy is in the news this year. Corporate leaders like Apple, Google and GM are making significant new investments — blink and you may miss the latest deal. While I included falling clean energy prices as one of 2014’s biggest stories, it’s becoming clear this is a longer-term trend.

Surprisingly, players like Shell and BP are signaling […]

Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong Unveiled As Asia’s Most Sustainable Cities

Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong are among the world’s 10 most environmentally and economically sustainable cities. The cities came in 10th, 7th and 8th respectively, according to the inaugural Sustainable Cities Index released on Monday, February 9th by Dutch design and consultancy firm Arcadis.

Europe clinched the other top spots in the study, conducted by the UK-based think tank Centre […]

10 Steps for Writing a Kick-Ass Nonprofit Organizational Budget

Every year, at about this time, I start having night terrors. A lot of this is due to watching Game of Thrones and seeing all my favorite characters killed to death in gruesome ways. But it is also because VFA’s fiscal year ends in June, and we must go through the annual budgeting process, which is about as much fun […]

World Catching On to Importance of Blue Economy

Humans have always depended on the “blue” covering most of our planet. Yet only recently have we become more aware of the magnitude of our impacts — and realized what we must do to conserve and be able to continue to benefit from these waters.

It may surprise you to learn that 60% of the world’s oceans are waters that do […]

China and India Perform Badly in Deforestation Ranking

Just seven global companies and investors are doing enough to prevent deforestation, says a report by think tank Global Canopy Programme.

Rainforest Deforestation – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

While Latin American countries ranked highest on average, China, which is responsible for importing more than a fifth of the value of all forest risk commodities, and India, a […]

Apple Swings for The Fences with $848 Million Solar Deal

In October, Apple‘s Vice President of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson told a GreenBiz audience that the Silicon Valley tech giant is “swinging for the fences” on sustainability and renewable power.

On Tuesday, Apple made good on Jackson’s promise — and then some — by announcing the largest commercial purchase of solar power ever with an $848 million deal with First Solar […]

Why CSR Is Essential To Your Company’s Growth

It’s no longer enough for businesses to simply buy and sell their products and services without considering the world in which they operate. Companies must voluntarily do business in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner to be sustainable over the long term. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) will look different for each business. For outdoor apparel maker Patagonia, it means […]

Be The Change and Certify as a B Corporation

I recently participated on a panel discussion as part of a conference on creativity for MBA students. The subject veered into the territory of a corporation’s social responsibility, and a banker on the panel—a really sharp guy—said that as far as he was concerned, if you created a job, you had fulfilled a social promise.

He also admonished the audience against […]

Be Sustainable: The Power of Principles

According to the UN Global Compact’s Guide to Corporate Sustainabiliy, to be sustainable, companies must do five things, which starts with a company’s value system and a principled approach to doing business. This means operating in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Responsible businesses enact the same values and […]