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Low Carbon Yogurt?

The Village of Minster in Western Ohio just unlocked a major green power achievement through an agreement to buy power from Half Moon Venture’s newly commissioned 4.3-MW solar power system coupled with a 7 MW/3 MWh battery. Yes, battery!  (Minster is not only on the cutting edge of green power but is also the home of Dannon Yogurt) The system,

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Continues its Divestment from Oil

The Gates Foundation continues their disposal of fossil fuel equities.  Between September and December, 2015, the Foundation “sold its $187m stake in BP.”  This move follows a prior stock sale by the foundation to liquidate their entire $824 M holding in ExxonMobil. This matters because as recently as October, Bill Gates is on the record against divestment

Conflict Minerals: Where Dodd-Frank, The Enough Project and Global Witness Went Wrong

It seemed easy and straightforward enough. Fighting in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between a variety of warring factions has resulted in the death, rape and displacement of many in the region. Based on most accounts upwards of 5.4 million people died during the official war period of 1998-2003 and some 2.7

Is Occupy Wall Street Really About CSR?

Since the movement began, people have discussed goals/themes/demands of Occupy Wall Street and have found little clarity. In some ways this is the essence of the movement, but in an effort to define everything, many people assume it’s the anger of the common person directed towards banks for manipulating their money and tanking the economy.

VisionSpring: A Model TOMS Shoes Would be Wise to Adopt

The world of international development has so many buzzwords floating around, it’s hard to know what is legitimate and what isn’t. Over the past 10 years or so, the phrase “sustainable development” has entered the lexicon and appears here to stay. While there are a number of definitions for the term, ultimately it has to

Shell Finally Coming to Terms with Years of Nigerian Oil Spills

Following more than 50 years of oil extraction, corruption, human rights violations and environmental degradation, Shell has admitted responsibility for two large oil spills in 2008 and 2009 in the Niger Delta. This admission will allow those affected to seek damages through the British court system, which gives groups in the Delta, specifically Ogoniland, the

So You Want to Become a Social Entrepreneur?

According to the venerable source, Wikipedia (there’s actually a citation from the 2002 book The World of Social Entrepreneurship by J.L. Thompson), social entrepreneurship is defined as, “A social entrepreneur recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to achieve social change (a social venture). While a business

Zimbabwe Diamonds and the Kimberley Process: Round Something

For many years now, developing countries bestowed great amounts of natural resources were thought to be on a path to development based on the wealth of these resources, which are prized throughout the West.  Such resources have included oil, minerals, metals and of course diamonds.  However, almost exclusively, this potentially game-changing situation has lead to

Does Beer Equate to Development?

A wise man once said, “beer, the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems”. More recently, Center for Global Development (CGD) Senior Fellow, Charles Kenney published an article in Foreign Policy magazine called “Chug for Growth” discussing the role of beer and beer manufacturing in developing countries. Ever since the development profession (for

Indian Real Estate: Housing for the Poor or Another Debt Crisis?

Like other rapidly developing nations, India has a housing problem. The rural-urban migration has overwhelmed cities like Mumbai, where the formally rural poor come to find new opportunity. Often times this migration is one indication of a country’s development. The major issue however is, where do all these people live? Up until now, more often

Developing Platforms for Social Change: The New CSR Movement?

I wasn’t planning on following up on last week’s article, “Twitter and Corporate Social Responsibility”, nor was I really considering taking the CSR conversation in this direction.  However I saw a video the other day on Mashable which was an interview of venerable Apple evangalist and venture capitalist veteran Guy Kawasaki at South By Southwest

New Law Passed in India Requires Businesses to Engage in CSR

Over the last few weeks I’ve talked about the difficulty in determining appropriate CSR metrics, finding metrics useful for comparison of businesses and whether the annual CSR report is obsolete, however I have to admit, I did not see coming a mandate by a national government (of a enormous country for that matter) requiring businesses

The Continuing Saga of Conflict Diamonds and the Kimberley Process

Previously, I’ve written about conflict minerals in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and US efforts to curtail their sales (parts I and II), as well as the repercussions of companies doing indirect business in countries where direct business is forbidden by the US government. So, it only make sense that this article takes

Despite Sluggish Economy, Spending on Sustainability Forecast to Increase

Based on a recent report published by sustainability analyst firm Verdantix, spending on sustainability by almost 2,000 businesses with revenues of over $1 billion will increase from $28 billion in 2010 to $60 billion in 2014. Now, I know what you’re thinking. That’s barely anything in comparison to total revenue (1.4% up to 3.3%), but

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