Joel Makower

Introducing … the Green Confidence Index

Today marks the launch of a new monthly index, the Green Confidence Index, aimed at tracking Americans' attitudes about and confidence in their leaders and institutions, nationally and locally, on the subject of environmental responsibility, as well as in their own understanding of issues and their willingness to make green purchasing choices. It is the first comprehensive monthly tracking of consumers' green attitudes and purchasing.

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How to Talk About [Whatever It's Called]

Do people care about the climate?

It's an open question these days, and opinion polls offer little help. Some show that climate ranks fairly low among public concerns, while others indicate a high level of concern among the populace. And in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit, now a mere six weeks away, those opinions count for something, particularly in the United States, where lawmakers are looking to be swayed one way or another.

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Northern Exposure, Scandinavian Style

How does one explain U.S. environmental and climate policies and related corporate practices to audiences in the progressive countries of Norway and Denmark?


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The Reports of Summer: Five Easy Pieces

The normally dry days of August have been fertile when it comes to research and reports on green business topics. Recent weeks have seen a flurry of publications from corporate, nongovernmental, and other organizations. Whatever happened to slow summer days?

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The Renaissance of Lifecycle Thinking

It wasn't that long ago that LCA seemed pretty much DOA.

LCA, for lifecycle analysis (or, sometimes, "lifecycle assessment"), is a decades-old methodology to holistically evaluate the environmental impacts associated with the cradle-to-grave life cycle of a product or process.

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Why Doesn't Green = Better?

So many green products, so little progress. At least, that's how it seems most days. As we report in — and have for the past decade — the progress is undeniable: Companies are embracing green practices as never before, and doing so at a deeper, more holistic level. It's no longer just about "greening up." It's about doing better.

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Walmart's Sustainability Index: The Hype and the Reality

by: Joel Makower

Walmart has just unveiled its new Sustainability Index, a project that's been in the works for more than a year, but which is — finally, after much anticipation and more than a little handwringing by industry, activists, and others — part of the public discourse.

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GreenXchange: Sustainable Innovation Meets the Creative Commons

We live in an era in which green innovation reigns — and, at times, rains, even pours, from companies, universities, and research labs. A wide range of disciplines, from biotech and nanotech to cleantech and infotech, are enabling the design and manufacture of things that are lighter, simpler, cheaper, smarter, less wasteful, less toxic, and less resource-intense.

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Why Best Buy Is Rooting for the Smart Grid

The retail giant that helped bring car stereos, camcorders, and CD players to the masses wants to be homeowners' best friend in the emerging world of smarter, greener technology.

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The 'Gigaton Throwdown' and the Big Hairy Audacious Question

Some of my favorite questions begin with the same four words: "What would it take..." What follows those four words can be just about anything, as in: What would it take to ... make solar energy as cheap and efficient as fossil fuel-based electricity?... routinely build zero-waste factories?... recycle 90 percent of the waste in my city within five years?... make organic foods cost-competitive with conventional ones? ... make airplanes operate on electric power? ... create zero-energy low-income housing? And so on.

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