Environmental Costs Outweigh Corporate Profits

The 2015 State of Green Business report was just released, detailing the environmental performance of large companies around the world. The report, produced by GreenBiz and TruCost, illustrates the true costs of pollution, ecosystem depletion, and health impacts of unsustainable natural capital consumption by corporations and the alarming rate at which they are growing. According to the report, environmental costs, like greenhouse gas emissions and water abstraction (removing freshwater from the natural water cycle, and thus preventing its future use), would render most businesses unprofitable if they were responsible for paying for the impacts. The report found that environmental costs tallied up to $1 trillion (or 6.2% of GDP) for companies in the US, and $3 trillion worldwide. The authors state, “Over the past five years, the proportion of company profit at risk consistently exceeds 100 percent of their profit… This means that, on average, companies would be unprofitable if they had to pay the actual costs associated with the commodities they consume and pollution they generate.” It’s not all bad news, however. The report finds that the level of sustainable investment has been growing considerably in recent years. According the 2014 Trends Report published last November by US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, cited in GreenBiz’s report, sustainable assets totaling $6.57 trillion represented almost 18% of the $36.8 trillion in total assets under management, a 76% increase over 2012. Social investors, joined by non-profits and growing consumer […]

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Obama: Taking on Fracking?

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The Obama Administration has taken its first federal action to regulate fracking.  Unfortunately, the new rule won’t do much to address the growing problems that fracking causes. The Bureau of Land Management issued the rules on Friday, March 20th.  The new rules only apply to fracking on federal lands, and would institute the following: New well-construction requirements to ensure the […]

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Update – US Banks Still Investing Heavily in Coal

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Banktrack.org released an updated review of various financial institutions’ holdings in dirty coal energy. Green America promoted a scorecard earlier this year outlining the banks that were the strongest supporters of coal extraction and electricity production. The lowest marks went to Wells Fargo (D+), Bank of America (D-), Citi (F) and Chase (F). Of course, each of these banks has […]

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White House Leadership Summit on Women, Climate, and Energy

May 23, 2013: Women, Climate, and Energy!

Today Green America participated in the White House Leadership Summit on Women, Climate, and Energy. More than 100 women leaders from across the country gathered in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to share information and strategies for promoting clean energy, cutting carbon emissions, mitigating climate change impacts on the most vulnerable populations, and developing messages and actions that will resonate […]

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Call Your Representative Today! Still NO! on the Keystone XL Pipeline

It’s time to whip out those talking points against the Keystone XL Pipeline yet again — the House is expected to vote, likely this week, on legislation it’s tried to pass before to expedite construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. As with the past House legislation, the Republicans’ goal is to undercut President Obama’s decision-making authority on the pipeline and to try to force the pipeline project to move ahead.  Because the proposed pipeline is an international (US-Canadian) project, it requires approval by the Administration. The measure is anticipated to be fully supported by Republicans and it might garner some Democratic support as well. Fortunately, this push for more fossil fuel is unlikely to advance in the Senate. We need to maintain pressure against the KXL – from concerned individuals, businesses, investors, religious leaders, students, and everyone who recognizes the need to focus our nation on renewable energy development. The pipeline has dire implications for climate change, human health, the environment, and the U.S. economy. Extracting dirty, Canadian tar sands oil, transporting it through the U.S., and exporting much if it via the Texas Gulf Coast is an irresponsible strategy….unless you represent Big Oil. It does not serve the interests of the U.S. public that will have to endure oil spills, health problems, and rising fuel costs in Midwestern states that could lead to increased unemployment. It does not serve the interests of the Cree, Dene and Métis […]

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