Sports Apparel Companies Join the Effort to be more Eco-Friendly

It is no question that climate change and global warming has been a serious threat in the last couple of years. As the threat grows, more surf, skate, and other board companies attempt to become eco-friendly. With the warmer temperatures come melting ice caps, plummeting wave heights, and the potential destruction of coastal cities, which can obliterate the sports of surfing, snowboarding, and even skateboarding altogether. Orange County boasts some of the most prominent sports apparel companies in these sports, and a lot have joined the effort to preserve the planet. A lot have implemented more eco-friendly processes and materials into their businesses, and some have even taken initiative in reporting. Many critics, however, claim that these steps toward becoming more sustainable are mere publicity tricks. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the things they buy–and that steps have been taken to produce them in more sustainable ways. At the same time, in order for businesses to move several steps forward in becoming more eco-friendly, even more steps are needed to be taken backwards financially. As appealing as having a completely zero-waste facility or using only recyclable materials may sound, it also costs a lot; and only few buyers are willing to shell out extra for such products. Thus, many companies have taken shortcuts–creating EP&Ls, Higgs Index, and other tools that report how much is being taken away, but not necessarily addressing or solving any problems. They have all entered an experimental stage, trying to see how to accurately balance pleasing their customers, helping the environment, while still making money. Perhaps, with a little more integrity, some leadership, and...

Energy Efficiency Investments : The Safest Type of Investment

Finance guru Zvi Bodie had recently claimed that the best and safest investments are on I-bonds, inflation-adjusted bonds from the US government. This means that the rate of interest is guaranteed to be at least the rate of inflation. They are backed with the credit and full faith of the US government for 30 years, and can be cashed out anytime with the security that it is adjusted and the purchasing power has been maintained. In response to this article, however, one Hilton Dier, owner of Renewable Energy Designs, argues that it is not the safest investment out there. Instead, he claims that energy efficiency investments have the best return, and are the safest type of investment. First, he stresses that this type of investment only works for people who own property–homes or businesses–but does not work for people who rent. One of the key points that he underlines is that investments do not necessarily mean earning money, but can also mean saving money. If you save $100 on an electric bill, for example, it is the same as earning $100 on an investment, but perhaps even better, since saved money is not taxable. He also adds that just as I-bonds are inflation-adjusted, so are personal energy investments. In fact, it might be well over than just inflation-adjusted since it seems that the cost of energy–all the different kinds–is going up faster than inflation. So, the money saved in the first year, is guaranteed to adjust in the next year, as the costs go up and efficiency lowers the money spent. Finally, perhaps the biggest advantage of energy efficiency...

San Onofre Nuclear Plant Closes After Months of Inactivity

Southern California Edison announced on June 7 that it will be permanently closing the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. The nuclear power plant has been up and running for over four decades, but has not been generating any energy since January 2012. The plant’s first unit started operating in 1968 and has since added two more units. Shortly before the plant shut down in early 2012, the plant underwent some renovations, in which Mitsubishi Heavy Industries replaced the generators’ equipment. Soon after, damage was found in one of the pipes and discovered to be leaking small amounts of radioactive steam. Although the leak was minimal, it was found to be very harmful to residents of the area and the plant was requested to be immediately shut down by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Since then, the plant has not been generating energy for Southern California residents. Between the time that the nuclear plant was shut down until Edison International’s official announcement of its permanent closure, the plant spent more than $500 million to compensate for the loss of energy generated by the nuclear plant. According to this same Los Angeles Times article, the plant had stayed closed due to a long, inconclusive battle between Southern California Edison, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who refused to allow the plant to reopen. Heavy opposition from residents and the general public had added additional stress to the issue. This process, from replacing the motors to maintaining the plant even after it was shut down, had cost Southern California Edison over $2 billion. This, along with the unlikelihood that the plant would be approved...

Roger’s Gardens Partners with ClearEdge Power to Support Environmentally Sustainable Business Practices

HILLSBORO, Ore., Jun 07, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — ClearEdge Power, a manufacturer of scalable, continuous onsite power systems, today announced that Roger’s Gardens, a destination home and garden store in California’s Orange County, has deployed a ClearEdge fuel cell system to contribute to its energy efficiency and sustainability goals. By leveraging a 15-kW ClearEdge system, Roger’s Gardens will be able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 percent each year. In addition, the ClearEdge system will help Roger’s Gardens reduce its annual energy bills through the efficient, onsite generation of electricity and heat.   To read full article:...

Business4Better Launches to Transform Community Involvement & Engagement

UBM plc & Partners Announce May 2013 Conference and Expo to Address Shifting Needs of Corporate Responsibility Professionals and Nonprofit Organizations. ANAHEIM, Calif., May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Today UBM plc and partners announce the inaugural Business4Better (B4B) Conference and Exhibition, bringing businesses and nonprofits together to create more vibrant communities and better business results.   Full article...