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Eric Corey Freed: Thoughts on the Upcoming West Coast Green Conference

September 27, 2010 by Kailani Joy

Tell all your friends where you will be this Thursday through Saturday: @ Westcoastgreen

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Michelle Kaufmann to the Power of 10:  Opportunities of Prefab.

September 27, 2010 by Kailani Joy

Don't miss her session at West Coast Green, Friday at 11:30am in Herbst Pavilion. See you there!

Also, don't forget to head over to our facebook for more periodic updates and highlights for the upcoming conference!

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Why the Green Economy is Unstoppable – and 10 Ways it’s Making Life Better

September 25, 2010 by Eric Corey Freed

Here's a sneak preview of West Coast Green's Education Director, Andy Mannle's Huffington Post article!...

Over the next ten years the green economy is going to change virtually every major aspect of our lives for the better. These changes are as sexy and irresistable as new technology. In fact, when we talk about designing scalable solutions for sustainable communities much of it IS new technology. But it’s also new business, better design, increased efficiency, stronger community, and old-fashioned common sense.

The green economy is unstoppable because sustainable solutions are also smart, effective solutions. It’s clear from our inability to pass climate legislation that we’re not going green because it’s the right thing to do. We’re going green because it’s simply the smart thing to do.

Here are 10 major areas of life that are inevitably getting better by going green:

1. Buildings  Cutting-edge firms like EHDD Architecture are now building Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings that produce as much energy as they use over a year, which lowers one of the largest costs of operating a building, and thus a business. The CA Public Utilities commission just launched a ZNE Action Plan to transform commercial buildings in California by 2030, saving billions of dollars. Buildings designed with healthy materials, natural lighting, and beautiful landscaping are more pleasant to be in, which increases health and productivity. From retrofitting existing buildings, to designing greener schools and hospitals - the built environment is getting smarter, greener, and more sustainable.


2. Technology – Beyond buildings, clean tech pioneers and major companies are making entire smart cities. Intel is developing embedded communication systems to measure traffic, water and power lines; as well as gadgets to control home electricity from your smartphone. It’s easy to see how this can save resources, lower costs, and improve safety. But we’re also using video game technology to solve real world challenges. Researchers at Stanford, Intel and the Institute for the Future are all designing multiplayer games that address real world challenges around water and energy. Technology is not going to stop advancing anytime soon. Organic components, better batteries, flexible screens, artificial photosynthesis – green tech is just a better form of smart tech.


3. Energy – We are reinventing electricity. Instead of digging coal to boil water to make steam to spin turbines to make electricity, we’re sucking it straight from the wind and sun. It’s simpler, cleaner, more efficient, and the fuel is free, unlimited, and harmless. Companies like Recurrent Energy – which just sold to Sharp for $300 million - are installing utility-scale distributed renewable energy, a blend between individual solar panels, and massive solar farms. Others, like Sungevity, are using satellite imagery to cut down the costs of installing solar and selling to homes in middle America for less than their utility. British bank HSBC says clean energy is worth $500 billion – larger than global aerospace and defense industries combined. It’s a sunny gold rush worth $2 Trillion in the next 10 years – the largest economic development opportunity every measured!


4. Transportation – Cars that run on clean electricity, and can be charged at any outlet are clearly better than cars run on toxic, combustible, expensive, dwindling resources like petroleum. With every major car company bringing Electric Vehicles to market in the next two years, now its just a question of building the charging network. In tandem with the smart grid, public charging, and Better Place’s battery-swapping stations, electric vehicles are poised to become a mainstream reality. Beyond cars, high-speed rail, and new multi-modal transit strategies are making cities more walkeable, bikeable, and livable.

5. Food - 90% of the energy that goes into our food come from petroleum in the form of fertilizers and pesticides; energy to deliver water for crops; and fuel to run tractors, trucks, and refrigerators. So local, organic food is not just healthier, it’s a food security strategy as well. Farmers markets and food festivals are the biggest thing since Iron Chef, and urban agriculture is fast becoming a nationwide trend. From microgardens to community gardens, we’re swapping factory farms for vertical farms, and building community in the process.


6. Water – While irrigation is the largest use of freshwater in the US, 48% of our water goes to power plants, and these are also our biggest sources of water pollution. So moving to clean energy, and smarter farming will save enormous amounts of water, which will save hundreds of billions of dollars spent on water and wastewater facilities. Using rainwater harvesting, graywater systems, stormwater gardens, and urban forests, innovative firms like Sherwood Design Engineers are using water to engineer ecological public spaces that improve the environment and boost the economy. Once again, green innovations are proving to be simply smarter, cheaper, cleaner, healthier and more beautiful.


7. Business – Old business models of profit at all cost are giving way to B-Corps, and Flexible Purpose Corporations which blend money and mission. The Presidio Graduate School’s Sustainable MBA program, and UC Berkeley’s professional certificates in Sustainable Design are just two examples of the dozens of schools training the next generation of creative business professionals. Social entrepreneurs and innovators around the planet are filing patents, making inventions and writing business plans every day, while organizations like the Green Chamber of Commerce are rewriting the rules of business to promote both purpose and prosperity.


8. Leadership & Communication – In our constant, interactive media environment, advertizing is giving way to corporate engagement and interaction. Recent developments in psychology are teaching us the science of inspiration, and how to shift worldviews through better communication. Constant media scrutiny is making governments and institutions more transparent. Old-school community activism has grown up into savvy global campaigns for social and environmental justice – see 350.org’s 10.10.10 campaign. Traditionally “feminine” leadership strategies like consensus building, collaboration, and long-term solutions are proving invaluable for sustainability, and increasing women’s impact in leadership.


9. Finance – The Wall St. collapse proved that even banks can create “toxic assets.” Now Socially Responsible Investors are demanding that their money create positive social impact, not just high quarterly returns. Firms like Adam Capital are finding better ways of financing the clean energy and innovative technologies we need; and ethical banking models are emerging to create a New Wall Street in Silicon Valley.


10. Urban planning – The cities of the future are linking all these systems together. Sustainability strategists like Jim Heid of Urban Green are taking the same principles that produce healthy ecosystems, including connectivity, diversity, resilience; and using them to guide urban revitalization. Josiah Cain of Design Ecology is exploring what he calls “ecological bionics,” combining natural infrastructure and high design to improve urban areas. By renovating public parks, plazas and waterfronts, designers like Hargreaves Associates are unpaving America, making urban spaces where people want to shop, eat and relax. This makes our cities healthier and more prosperous.

Each of these ten major aspects of life are getting better through green innovation. At West Coast Green we call this “The Power of 10!”, and we’re showcasing each of these strategies at our annual conference Sept 30 – Oct 2 in San Francisco. Everything you just read, and many of the companies and designers mentioned, will be at West Coast Green this year along with over 175 leading visionaries, like Van Jones and Bill McDonough, along with policymakers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.

A better future is truly emerging all around us, and together these changes are creating exponential positive impact.

 

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Latest Release: Smart Grid Innovation to Electrify West Coast Green 2010

September 22, 2010 by Kailani Joy

Smart Grid Innovation to Electrify West Coast Green 2010!

Announcements From Industry Leaders IBM and Intel; West Coast Green is the Platform for Moving Sustainable Business Solutions to Market

Tradeshow

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--West Coast Green, the world's leading interactive conference on green innovation for the built environment, will open its doors at San Francisco’s iconic Fort Mason Center on September 30th. The West Coast Green 2010 event will be the launch pad for new companies focused on sustainability and the premier platform for industry leaders rolling out strategic green initiatives. This powerful combination forms the foundation for community-scale solutions!

West Coast Green is the rare opportunity to interact with more than 175 industry leaders and see more than 300 cool tech and hot products in the green space. This landmark event is also an exclusive opportunity to hear “what’s next” from the technology and industry leaders creating business solutions that will shape our sustainable future, including:

  • Intel: As a featured sponsor of West Coast Green, Intel will have a substantial presence at the show. On Thursday, Sept. 30, Intel Vice President Doug Davis will take the stage for a keynote address covering Intel’s vision for the continuum of computing, its leading efforts in corporate responsibility, the impact of Intel technology on the energy efficiency of homes and offices, and Intel’s venture capital investments in energy. Additional Intel leaders, including Lorie Wigle, the general manager of eco-technology, Carrie Freeman the director of sustainable business innovation, and Ryan Parker, the director of marketing for embedded computing will be participating in panel sessions.
  • IBM: These experts in software-driven innovation are collaborating with leaders in a range of industries—from power companies, to automakers, to health care providers — making sustainability a 21st century business imperative. On Friday, October 1st, Al Zollar, general manager, Tivoli Software, IBM Software will be a featured Keynote, introducing new innovations in eco-efficiency for managing business operations and integrating their systems with smart urban infrastructures like smart grids, intelligent transportation systems, and advanced water systems.

“Innovation with a purpose has been a hallmark of West Coast Green since our conception. We are emboldened by the active collaboration of marquee technology companies such as IBM and Intel, forward-thinking entrepreneurs and investors, as well as community leaders who are driving the future and success of the green economy,” said Christi Graham, CEO and founder of West Coast Green.

West Coast Green Sponsors include: Intel, IBM, Fast Company, Home Depot Foundation, Sun Light & Power and Jones Day.

Follow West Coast Green for updates on the conference and the built environment:

Twitter (http://twitter.com/WestCoastGreen)

Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/West-Coast-Green/124650658231?ref=search)

LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/west-coast-green/14/54/1b4)

Media interested in attending this year’s West Coast Green please visit www.westcoastgreen.com or call (800) 724-4880.

About West Coast Green

West Coast Green is an event unlike any other. It is the world's leading conference dedicated to green innovation for the built environment and the only place where the entire chain of industry professionals, entrepreneurs and government leaders gather to set the agenda for the green economy and drive its success in the coming year. West Coast Green presents the single largest opportunity to see, share, learn and participate in green innovation and design for the communities of the future.

www.westcoastgreen.com

 

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2010 iPhone App at West Coast Green!

September 07, 2010 by Kailani Joy

West Coast Green's 2010 iPhone & Android Apps are HERE!

WCG App 2010

Many thanks to our friends at ThoughtWorks, who are back in action again this year! The 2010 West Coast Green iPhone app provides the full conference schedule, session abstracts, and site maps of Fort Mason PLUS a way to give live feedback about the sessions, the ability to list which talks you plan to attend, and this app shows the current WCG Twitter feed while you tweet your own highlights!

Click here to download your WCG 2010 iPhone App Now!

- - -

Have a Droid phone? Check out the Android App here!

 

No iPhone and no Droid? Have no fear . . . we will have earth-friendly conference guides present on-site!

 

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An Open Letter to the President, the 535 Members of Congress and Thousands of Local Politicians

August 24, 2010 by Eric Corey Freed


Dear Legislators:

Tell us the truth. We can handle it.

I'm willing to overlook your past ridiculous stunts like the Birther Bill or claims of Death Panels. After all, that's just the game of politics. I would like to believe you don't really believe some of these things you say. Politics is, after all, a form of theater, and in the world of a 24 hour news cycle, we need an endless supply of theater.

But lately there have been a series of sorely missed opportunities in regard to our survival. And your actions just don't add up. So this leads me to think there must be something else at work, something you're not telling us, and so I am asking for the truth. Honestly, we Americans can take it.

For example, take a look at the UN Climate Change Conference that took place this past December in Copenhagen, Denmark. When it was first announced the U.S. was going to participate, some of us optimistically referred to it as HOPEenhagen. This was a real chance at a global, comprehensive policy toward controlling climate change. But the lack of an adopted accord by the conference quickly had many referring to it instead as NOPEnhagen.

Or the continued drive for more natural gas at the expense of our health and safety. Gas companies control the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by pushing out the tired, old (and proven untrue) threat that regulations stifle competition and will eliminate jobs - so you better not hold us to any. Eighteen members of the Colorado State Legislature sent a letter (PDF) to the EPA demanding they ignore their own two-year study and stop regulating the hazardous drilling practice of "fracking." I suggest you watch a new documentary entitled, Gasland currently on HBO. One of the more vivid scenes in the film shows tap water lighting on fire due to poorly regulated nearby drilling. How do you think your constituents will feel about reelecting you if this happened to them?

Or the way Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) publicly apologized to BP (you know the company that dumped 5 millions barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico?). This came as no surprise. Barton is the ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee and one of the chief authors of the Cheney Oil Act that gave BP the exemptions to drill Deepwater Horizon without the required impact reports. Barton himself has received $14.4 million from oil and gas companies over his career. That's why his committee is referred to as the "Honey Pot" on Capitol Hill, receiving $42 million in the 2010 Election Cycle alone.

Barton's apology was echoing the real loyalties and feelings of Congress. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) labeled it a "shakedown" and a “redistribution-of-wealth fund,” with 100+ other House members just the day before.

Unfortunately, there is always a loser in these games you are playing. We cannot wait any longer for a substantive bill combating climate change.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), our planet has just finished the warmest decade, the warmest 12 months, the warmest six months and the warmest April, May & June on record.

In response to this horrific news, the U.S. Senate decided... to do nothing. Seriously. They preserved thirty years of bipartisan inaction on what the Defense Department referred to as the "greatest threat facing our country." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) decided to not even bother to schedule a vote on legislation that would have capped carbon emissions. Both Democrats and Republicans continue to play these games while the American people are headed off a cliff. Some of you even invented a fun, new derogatory term to describe anyone who dare want to do something about climate change: “carbon taxer.”

Last month, the NOAA called climate change "unmistakable." The IPCC issued their judgement back in 2007, calling climate change "undeniable" and "unequivocal."

Even some of the politicians themselves are getting sick of the partisan games, as seen last week with a passionate Anthony Weiner (D-NY) venting his frustration over a partisan vote on a bill that would provide healthcare to 9/11 workers. "If there was ever a bill that I thought would be above partisan politics," he said, "that was it."

The explosion and subsequent oil spill aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig should be a wake up call. The thousands of miles of decimated shoreline and millions of destroyed families should shake you into action. Historically, disasters have always driven sweeping legislation.

The BP oil spill should have done for Climate Legislation what the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill did for the EPA; what the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire in Cleveland did for the Clean Water Act and what the 1979 Ixstock Gulf Oil Spill did for drilling regulations. This is a critical turning point and we are missing it.

President Obama's address from the Oval Office on June 15th was another missed opportunity. He did not once mention the words "carbon," "emissions" or "greenhouse." This was his first speech from the Oval Office and he failed to provide one tangible idea on how to solve this problem. George Will called the speech "magnificently awful." This is more confounding given the progress his administration has made in having the EPA regulating climate pollution under the Clean Air Act.

(Side note: for an incredible version of what Obama's speech should have and could have been, watch Rachel Maddow's take on it.)

You may think that by doing nothing, you are playing it safe, but your inaction is having consequences. Private sector companies are stalled in their decisions by an uncertain future for the price of carbon. As Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund, recently wrote, "U.S. utility companies today are sitting on billions of dollars in job-creating capital — but they will not invest in new energy projects until they have certainty on what their future carbon obligations will be...” Jobs, investments and private stimulus is waiting for you to do something.

This is why my fellow environmentalists are taking matters into their own hands. This is why the West Coast Green Conference, one of the largest green building conferences in the country, has changed its' theme this year to "Innovation & Convergence." Thousands of the most respected leaders in sustainability, planning, public policy and design will meet for three days in San Francisco to share ideas and determine the next course of action.

So, please, Legislators, please explain these crazy actions of yours. I am hoping you have a good reason. I am hoping it is more than mere ego and hubris and that you wouldn't dare play a game of chicken with our future in the balance. Take advantage of this Gulf Oil Spill by leveraging it into some tangible and effective policies. We can't wait any longer.

It's ironic that the first half of 2010, the same year we removed all hope of having a true climate change bill, turned out to be the hottest year on record. I propose we turn off the air conditioning in the Capitol Building until you emerge with some real legislation.

Sincerely yours,

Eric Corey Freed

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EPA: Green Power Partner Rankings Are In!

August 03, 2010 by Kailani Joy

Intel

The EPA has released its latest list of the 50 green power partners using the most renewable electricity generated from resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower. The Green Power Partnership’s top purchasers use more than 12 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Intel Corporation, 2010 Platinum Sponsor for West Coast Green, remains the partnership’s largest single purchaser of green power, using more than 1.4 billion kWh. See the last rankings here.

 

The top 10 Green Power Partners are:

- Intel Corporation

- Kohl’s Department Stores

- Whole Foods Market

- City of Houston

- Dell Inc.

- Johnson & Johnson,

- Cisco Systems, Inc.

- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

- U.S. Air Force

- City of Dallas.

Read the full article from Environmental Leader here.

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Can we use this crisis to create new systems?

July 21, 2010 by Kailani Joy

Our Education Director, Andy Mannle's, latest column on why we need a new set of institutions to protect the ecosystems we all depend on:

Why the BP Oil Spill is a Tragedy of the Commons

Gulf Oil Spill

In 2008, I published an article titled “Why the Wall St Meltdown is a Tragedy of the Commons.” Now in 2010, as oil washes ashore in five states, we are witnessing another great tragedy of the commons, and the similarities are scary.

Can we use this crisis to create systems which protect our shared resources in a way that is fair, transparent and profitable for all of us? Here’s why we must try.

Wealth and Illth

As oil continued to pour into the Gulf, the BP disaster is a stunning example of how we all lose under our current system when something inevitably goes wrong. And it is also a reminder of how much more there is to lose in the next inevitable disaster.Lives, livelihoods, coastlines, and wildlife are all at stake here. The reality is that our current system produces profits by taking things from nature, but there are two sides of the economic coin: wealth and illth. We all know what wealth is, but what is illth? This is the term economist John Ruskin gave to the negative effects of an economic system; what economists refer to as “negative externalities” – like poverty, pollution, disease and desperation. The concept of externalities is a good reminder that economic systems operate within larger social and ecological systems. The problem is that while the economic profits are private, the social and ecological illth is public.

The question is – what can we do about it? There is an ongoing struggle between political power and corporate power that has gone on for years. It is a cycle in which money leads to political influence; highly-paid lobbyists fight for lax oversight; risky profits are prioritized over safety; and the result is a crash, disaster, or failure. Then the inevitable public outcry spurs outraged politicians to drag recalcitrant CEO’s to Capitol Hill; apologies are accepted, new rules are written, and the cycle quietly starts all over again.

But what if we could design institutions that would protect natural resources from both the fickle winds of politics and the relentless profit motive of corporations? Institutions that would combine the transparent legal structures and revenue-generating potential of business, with the mission of politics to protect the public interest? And beyond that, institutions that could also represent the needs of other species, ecosystems, and future generations? Thankfully, these institutions already exist.

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A story worth listening to!

July 09, 2010 by Kailani Joy

From Annie Leonard and the makers of a very noteworthy short film "The Story of Stuff" comes a new story - one that we all need to hear - "The Story of Bottled Water"

  "We're trashing the planet, we're trashing each other, and we're not even having FUN!"

This story is important and imperative that we not only listen to but repeat to our friends, neighbors, and all we come in contact with.

Watch and learn the truth – where the water comes from, what it contains, and where the bottles go. Enjoy the story and then pass it on!

 

A Few Facts:

-    In 2008, bottled water was the second largest selling drink in the U.S. market
-    24 percent of the bottled water found on American shelves is actually purified tap water
-    In 2008, Americans consumed approximately 8.6 million gallons of bottled water.
-    The recommended daily water requirement for sanitation, bathing, cooking and consumption is approximately 50 litres per person per day
-    Even though Americans make up the majority of the bottled water market, in 2008, 53 billion gallons were consumed globally
-    Over 1.5 billion people do not have access to clean, safe water.
-    Over 1 billion people use less than 6 litres of water per day

Read more: Bottled Water Statistics | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5125376_bottled-water-statistics.html#ixzz0tD0H26cN and http://matadorchange.com/40-shocking-facts-about-water

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Intel read our minds . . .

June 28, 2010 by Kailani Joy

. . . and has joined us as a Platinum Sponsor at West Coast Green 2010!

Join us Sept 30th - Oct 2nd, to be a part of not only the leading speakers, education, and exhibitors that West Coast Green offers - but the incredible addition that Intel brings to the event! Witness innovation at its ultimate best with Intel's latest technological advances. One example can be seen in their recent showcase of " 'mind reading' brain-scan technology"

"Software that uses brain scans to determine what items people are thinking about was among the technological innovations showcased by Intel Corp., which drew back the curtain on a number of projects that are still under development. The software analyzes functional MRI scans to determine what parts of a person's brain is being activated as he or she thinks. In tests, it guessed with 90 percent accuracy which of two words a person was thinking about, said Intel Labs researcher Dean Pomerleau. Eventually, the technology could help the severely physically disabled to communicate. And Pomerleau sees it as an early step toward one day being able to control technology with our minds.

'The vision is being able to interface to information, to your devices and to other people without having an intermediary device,' he said"

Read the full article here.

This looks like one more step towards a future we can all get excited about!

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What can you do to change the course of the world in 4 years?

May 26, 2010 by Kailani Joy

We have . . . FOUR YEARS. GO!   

Four Year. Go.   This is a movement . . . FOUR YEARS. GO. This is a new goal for each and every organization on the planet, West Coast Green included, because what we do in the next four years can determine the quality of life for the next thousand, and because there is still time to act, but no time to waste -- this is a global campaign to shift humanity onto a sustainable, just and fulfilling path by 2014. This movement was started in part by a wonderful and inspiring organization called the Pachamama Alliance, please take 3 minutes to watch this video, think of ways you can make small changes in your daily life for the health of the planet and spread the word! We CAN do this - let's make it happen!

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This is a man-made catastrophe - and it’s about to get worse ...

May 12, 2010 by Kailani Joy

Our Education Director, Andy Mannle, shares his take on Valero and other oil companies spending millions to defeat global warming legislation in CA - and what it means for the nation.

Rush Limbaugh on Gulf Oil SpillBird in Oil Spill

Original article here.

Even as the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster is washing ashore in Louisiana, another oil-based catastrophe is shaping up in California. Opponents of CA’s landmark global warming legislation AB32 – led by Texas oil giant Valero and other out-of-state oil interests – recently spent nearly $2 million dollars in a successful bid to put an initiative on the November ballot that would suspend AB32 from taking effect.

The so-called “California Jobs Initiative” would effectively kill the bill by requiring employment in the state to drop below 5.5% for 4 consecutive quarters before being implemented – historically low unemployment levels that are utterly unrealistic in the current economy. Supporters of the bill argue that climate change legislation will cost the state too much in a time of recession. The irony, of course, is that while investing in a cleaner economy is not at all what caused this recession, it is our best hope for getting out of it.

To pit the economy against the environment is a false choice that misses two underlying realities. First, the economy is wholly dependent on the environment: without clean air, fresh water and healthy soil, there would be no economy. And the cost of repairing and replacing these basic services is far higher than the cost of preserving them in the first place, as we are just beginning to witness with the impending collapse of a multi-billion dollar fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

Second, clean and green technologies are not a burden on the economy – they are the key to economic growth and job creation. And while it will take an investment to reap these rewards, that cost will be much smaller than the costs of sticking to our current system. The choice this November is not between creating jobs or losing jobs – but about shifting to better jobs. As the recent tragic deaths of coal miners, power plant workers, and offshore oil riggers reminds us, no paycheck is worth a human life.

Legislation requiring cleaner cars, better lighting, and building-efficiency standards will spur industry and create jobs that don’t involve high risk and horrible fatalities. Transitioning to local, renewable sources of power will create a much more stable energy market – something businesses everywhere depend on. Increasing the efficiency of homes and businesses is the most cost-effective way to offset rising energy costs. As a Californian, I have seen what it means to be dependent on foreign sources of power during both the Oil Embargo and Enron scandals. Making our own clean power instead of buying dirty power from the Persian Gulf or the Gulf of Mexico will also help business by keeping more of the dollars we spend on energy right here in California. And this, of course, is a major reason that Valero, and other out-of-state energy companies are funding opposition to the bill.

But there is more at stake here than just the energy market in California alone. The reason that national energy companies and anti-tax groups have rallied against AB32 is because California is a bellwether for the nation on environmental regulation. As we’ve heard repeatedly since the Deep Horizon spill in the Gulf, it was the Santa Barbara oil spill forty years ago that started the national environmental movement. More recently, it was California’s successful suit against the EPA over stricter fuel emissions standards, that preceded the Obama administration increasing national fuel-efficiency standards.

California is also a bellwether for technology. Remember that solar panels and modern wind turbines were developed right here in California. When Reagan took the panels off the White House and ushered in the age of the SUV, those industries – and the jobs and revenue they created – went to Europe and Asia. The only way to get those jobs back now is to do it again. Retaking our lead as the world’s best innovators is a much safer path to economic growth, energy security, and environmental health than “Drill, Baby Drill.”

Right now, California’s universities, laboratories and green tech entrepreneurs are creating the energy and communication technologies of tomorrow. Electric car makers Coda, and BYD (“Build Your Dream”) both announced recently they are opening factories in Los Angeles to capitalize on California’s commitment to clean tech innovation. We must enforce these commitments in order to create more good jobs, not abandon our principles in the face of high unemployment.

Because regardless of what happens in California, the world is quickly going about the business of transitioning toward more sustainable ways of producing and consuming energy. We all know fossil fuels are becoming scarcer, more costly, and more environmentally damaging to produce.

And this is the real reason the oil giants are fighting AB32: because clean, green growth is the future, not only for California, but for the nation, and the world. So it makes sense that the people fighting this change the hardest are the ones making record profits by keeping us hooked on dirty, dangerous fossil fuels.
And there’s an irony in this as well, because there is lots of money to be made in the new energy economy – and they know it. Remember that BP was attempting to rebrand as “Beyond Petroleum” before Deepwater Horizon left us all “Bathing in Petroleum.” Even Republican supporters of offshore drilling and nuclear power have adopted an “all of the above” approach to energy, because it is clear that efficiency and renewables are here to stay.

Unfortunately, unless we provide strong legislation to the contrary, fossil-fuel companies will keep mining, drilling, burning and polluting before they make any meaningful investment in cleaner forms of power. Inevitably, this also means that further deadly and costly accidents are only a matter of time.

So the choice facing California – and the nation – is whether to pass laws which make the fossil-fuel industry use its wealth and technology to help build a cleaner, safer future for all of us, or to let them use their money and influence to confuse the issues, buy elections and keep stalling. The choice is ours.

Andy Mannle is a writer and consultant dedicated to exploring sustainable policy, innovations, and solutions. He is the Education Director for West Coast Green, and an adviser to New Leaf America, UrbanGreen, Adam Capital and others.

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Carmakers Show a Futuristic Green Vision in Beijing!

May 04, 2010 by Kailani Joy

This year’s Beijing Auto Show featured nearly 100 cars powered by electricity or some other alternative to petroleum. The list of hybrids and electric cars on display were a grand vision of what China’s roadways could look like in the next few years—but the timing is uncertain. Almost all of the advanced fuel-efficient vehicles on display are still in the concept and testing stages.

 

Beijing Auto Show 2010

A few highlights (original article here):

Chevy MPV5

General Motors unveiled the Chevy Volt MPV5, a stockier version of the Chevy Volt that uses essentially the same plug-in series hybrid powertrain—although the bigger size means a reduction of all-electric range to about 32 miles. Doug Parks, chief engineer for electric vehicles, said the MPV5 “demonstrates the flexibility” of the Volt’s propulsion system—but Alan Taub, GM’s head of global research and development, recently told AutoCar that the system would be too big for cars smaller than the Volt. GM also showed the Cadillac Converj, which has been officially canceled, and the Cadillac XTS Platinum plug-in two-mode hybrid concept in Beijing.

Mitsubishi Motors, which rolled out the all-electric i-MiEV in Japan last year, plans to introduce its small electric car to China by 2012. The company wanted to bring the i-MiEV to China this year, but Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko said, “We don’t have enough capacity to produce the batteries.”

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

BMW will launch its Megacity electric vehicle in 2013, said Norbert Reithofer, BMW Chairman of the Board. The company has been gathering insights into the day-to-day use of electric vehicles since mid-2009, and will expand the evaluation to China this year, when 50 Mini E cars are delivered to Chinese customers this year, and a number of BMW Concept ActiveE vehicles next year.

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Cisco, HP, and Intel Score Highest on Sustainability Reporting . . . Apple, Google?

April 29, 2010 by Kailani Joy

In a recent report by EcoStrategy Group on the top 200 Bay Area companies sustainability reporting efforts Cisco, Intel, and HP all scored in the Top Tier. Apple on the other hand came in relatively high in rank but what doed that rank truly represent for them? Environmental Leader reports that Apple focuses on "providing environmental reports on its newest products, though it has fought off shareholder calls for the company to establish a “sustainability” report on the company’s environmental policies and the impact of climate change on its business"

Only 25 percent of the 200 companies issued sustainability communications of some kind, although reporting rose to 60 percent for the largest companies with revenue of $1 billion or higher. EcoStrategy states that "a recent McKinsey & Co. global survey found that 20% of executives don't have a clear definition of sustainability". Imagine if they did . . . or more importantly, if they understood what steps to take to attain sustainability within their company and they executed on it?

EcoStrategy Group rated the companies on 14 attributes of which four — materiality (most significant sustainability issues for the company and its stakeholders), stakeholder inclusiveness, target setting and tracking and completeness– were given the greatest weight. Other attributes include balance, accuracy, reliability, comparability, clarity, timeliness, context, a statement of management commitment, and coverage of supply chain and end use impacts.

EcoStrategy - Sustainability Reporting 2010

One finding shows that a lack of standards around sustainability reporting gives companies tremendous flexibility in how they report their sustainability efforts. Some like Adobe will focus on buildings while others like Apple will focus on the environmental footprint of their products."

The report also provides valuable recommendations to help these companies do a better job of reporting and attaining sustainabie efforts. Recommendations include gaining management commitment, understanding stakeholders, benchmarking your company’s reporting and creating strong internal processes for a reporting roadmap.

Let's hope that with the help of groups like EcoStrategy and West Coast Green's new consulting services, these large companies can finally start attaining, reporting, and truly living up to higher caliber of standards of "sustainability" . . . also known as "the successful balancing of economic prosperity, environmental health, and social equity" or a healthy triple bottom line.

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Why Congress should take a CLEAR Approach to Climate Change

April 28, 2010 by Kailani Joy

West Coast Green's Education Director, Andy Mannle, takes an interesting look at a way to fight climate change and all get paid in the process . . . 

Original article here.

It turns out that instead of paying the many costs of a carbon economy, we can actually get paid to avoid them.

Think of CO2 emissions as an oil spill leaking into the atmosphere. Like most spills, it’s easier and cheaper to avoid making the mess in the first place, than it is to clean it up afterward. The Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act was recently introduced with bi-partisan sponsorship in the Senate. CLEAR takes this “avoid-the-mess” approach by limiting the amount of carbon entering the economy, instead of the downstream emissions that result.

The CLEAR Act has two distinct advantages over the current Cap-and-Trade Legislation currently being considered by the Senate. Firstly, it takes a Cap-and-Dividend approach, which means paying people directly from the proceeds of carbon pricing. Secondly, it puts greater emphasis on ensuring a smooth transition to a prosperous, clean energy economy. By balancing the needs of individuals and industry, we can wean ourselves off oil in a way that is fair to everybody, economically competitive, and environmentally responsible at the same time.

According to the World Resource Institute’s analysis, here’s how the CLEAR Act would work:

Just like Cap-and-Trade, the CLEAR Act sets an annual cap on carbon consistent with our global warming reduction goals. In this case, reducing carbon from our 2005 levels roughly 20% by 2020, 40% by 2030, and 80% by 2050.

Unlike Cap-and-Trade, CLEAR establishes an auction for “carbon shares” instead of pollution credits. To sell carbon-based fuels or carbon-intensive products, importers and suppliers would need to bid for carbon shares at a government auction. Instead of giving away permits to pollute, CLEAR auctions 100% of each year’s quota of carbon shares. By putting both a pricing floor and ceiling on the market, and ramping up the price of carbon each year, CLEAR generates a substantial, and consistent revenue stream that is divided into two funds:

- 75% to the Carbon Refund Trust Fund

- 25% to the Clean Energy Reinvestment Trust Fund

The Carbon Refund Trust Fund provides an “Energy Security Dividend” tax-free to every legal resident of the United States on a monthly basis. This means that the vast majority of the money raised from a price on carbon will go directly back to individual citizens to spend however they see fit. Essentially, you’d get a check every month to help offset the cost of cleaner fuels, renewable energy, and more sustainable goods and services. Because each person would get exactly the same amount as everyone else, this is the very definition of economic democracy.

The Clean Energy Reinvestment Trust Fund (CERT) creates a pool of money that the president and Congress can use to fund programs, incentives, loans and grants that invest in a cleaner economy. The money can be used for transition assistance to workers, communities or businesses that need help in a changing economy. It can reduce the impacts to energy-intensive industries and help them remain competitive. The fund can also be used to directly support efficiency and clean energy in a variety of ways including:

–Investing directly in clean energy R&D

–Funding energy efficiency projects in low-income and public buildings

–Establish an Efficiency Consumer Loan Program so people could borrow against their dividends to invest in home efficiency or clean energy.

–Funding forestry and other land-use projects that avoid, reduce, or offset emissions, domestically or internationally.

The benefits of a Trust Fund are that unlike an open market which can be gamed in all sorts of ways, the fund is legally obligated to spend its money in clearly prescribed ways. By paying everybody an equal “Energy Security Dividend” on the one hand, and building flexibility into the programs that can be supported with the CERT funds on the other, these Trusts would wean us off carbon in a fair, transparent way while adapting to the inevitable changes in the market, climate science, or politics.

Recent analysis done by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) finds that the CLEAR Act delivers positive net benefits to the majority of households in every state. They calculate that in 2020, the dividend would equal $297 per person. Because the impacts of carbon pricing will not be felt equally, some states will get more benefit than others. The report calculates that even in Indiana, the most impacted state, a median household would still receive a net benefit of $10 a year. In other states, like Oregon and California, the net benefit for median income individuals could be as much as $100 per person.

Because low-income individuals spend a larger portion of their income on fuel for heating, cooling and transportation, they would receive a larger net benefit as well. The PERI analysis concludes that individuals in the bottom 10 percentile of income nationwide would receive a $186 net benefit while individuals in the top 10 percentile would take a $211 hit.

This means we could effectively tackle climate change by paying the vast majority of Americans $20 a month, while charging only the very wealthiest Americans $20 a month.

Twenty dollars a month is not a game-changer for anyone. Fighting climate change this way is not a job-killer. It provides a benefit, not a tax on working families. It is not something that we “can’t afford in a recession” as opponents of climate change legislation have been arguing recently. And by pricing carbon as it enters the economy, we avoid shifting jobs and manufacturing overseas to economies with lower carbon prices.

This simple, honest approach effectively blends the engines of the free-market with the guiding hand of government and has broad support from environmental groups, energy experts, and free-market advocates. It supports the energy and efficiency of entrepreneurs, and also helps carbon-intensive industries wean themselves off fossil fuels while remaining economically competitive.

The bottom line is that we all pay the costs of an economy based on carbon. These costs take the form of high energy prices; the destruction caused by extracting and refining fossil fuels; the cancer and asthma of burning them in our cities; and the potentially devastating impacts on global agriculture of carbon-induced climate change.

It turns out that instead of paying all those carbon costs, we can get paid by avoiding the carbon in the first place. It doesn’t get more “CLEAR” than that.

Andy Mannle is a writer and consultant dedicated to exploring sustainable policy, innovations, and solutions. His clients include New Leaf America, West Coast Green, and the ETHOS fund among others.

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No Left Turn: the Green Message in the Center Lane

October 30, 2009 by Ian Bryan

At the West Coast Green conference earlier this month, Ray Anderson told the story of Interface Carpet: how a small manufacturer in Atlanta Georgia became a market leader while reducing the enormous waste of energy and materials inherent in commercial carpeting by completely rethinking the process. I’d heard the story many times before — beginning with the 1999 book “Natural Capitalism” by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins — but this was the first time I’d seen Anderson speak. I appreciated his graceful demeanor, somewhere between a wise and gentle Sunday School teacher and an inspiring captain of industry.

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Green Building Elements Cover West Coast Green

October 13, 2009 by Ian Bryan

banner

It’s good to have West Coast Green back in SF. Not that San Jose didn’t play a fine host to last year's bigger conference but the show lacked something last year, call it a vibe, or energy but something didn’t gel. So, this year’s scaled down but energetic and education West Coast Green found itself a new home at the Fort Mason. Maybe the ocean air and bay views added a green spark to the conference.

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Excerpts from Ray Anderson’s Keynote

October 13, 2009 by Ian Bryan

(Hat tip to ECOFACTORY for this clip) Ray Anderson delivers the opening keynote for West Coast Green 2009. He speaks regarding the circumstances that created the first industrial revolution, and why a second one is necessary to prevent the eventual destruction of our economy -- and more importantly, our planet.

 

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Congratulations Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners!

October 09, 2009 by Ian Bryan

banner

Congratulations to the EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge winners! Last week at West Coast Green the United States winners presented their entries at the Fort Mason Center. The winners included both students and professionals who gave impressive presentations. International winners were also on display including selections from Singapore and the UK.

[Un] Modular Design for Deconstruction

David Fleming, University of Cincinnati, Richfield, MN
Category: Building—Student

 

 

Arboretum and Research Visitor's Center

Kira Gould, William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, VA
Category: Building—Professional Built

 

 

Modular Temporary Construction Wall/Barricade

Douglas Spear and Aaron Barnes, ENVY Modular Wall Systems LLC, Las Vegas, NV
Category: Product—Professional Built

 

 

Click here to read more about the EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge

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Check out West Coast Green- they did!

October 07, 2009 by Ian Bryan

This year West Coast Green received media coverage from lots of great places. Check it out!

ABC Reports from the Tradeshow Floor at West Coast Green

West Coast Green Shows Off Innovation
CBS

Eric Corey Freed Discussed the TRUE Cost of Green Building
Fox Business News

West Coast Green back in San Francisco Fort Mason Oct 1 - 3
San Francisco Gate

From the floor of West Coast Green
Examiner

West Coast Green Day 1 Round Up
Inhabitat

Ultra Adaptable Green Horizon Prefab Debuts at West Coast Green!
Inhabitat

West Coast Green 2009: Free Design Clinic Makes Quality Design Accessible
Treehugger

Green Horizon On-demand Housing Premiere at West Coast Green 2009
Jetson Green

A New Lease on Light
Green Tech Media

A Yurt from Old Umbrellas and a Chair from Carboard Tubes
Green Tech Media

Almost Live from West Coast Green
Remodeling Magazine, Hanley Wood

Integrative Gardens at West Coast Green
MichelleKaufmann.com

West Coast Green's Coolest Things
San Francisco Business Times

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Watch Video: ABC reports from the tradeshow at West Coast Green

October 03, 2009 by Ian Bryan

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Jetson Green: On-demand Housing Premiere at West Coast Green

October 02, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Green Horizon

Today at West Coast Green 2009, Green Horizon showcased their new SFH40 on-demand housing, and it's an impressive unit.  Designed to be a self-sustaining home for a family of four, it can be shipped anywhere in the world in a standard shipping container and set up in less than two hours by unskilled people.  Each unit has two bedrooms with built in furniture, a bathroom, and a kitchen area.  But it's also designed to be a self-sustaining shelter in the aftermath of a disaster when infrastructure may be damaged, so it includes solar panels and batteries, a bio-diesel generator as backup, and water purification equipment.  Units can be interconnected to share power and water.

Click here to read the full article. 

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Inhabitat’s West Coast Green Day 1 Round Up

October 02, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Festival Pavilion

Each year, West Coast Green brings together the largest conference on green innovation for the built environment with leading sustainable businesses and an eclectic group of green technology and exciting design exhibitors. This year's batch of booths focused mainly on natural building materials and alternative energy, with a few futuristic electric vehicles thrown in. Many of the products are already available, but some, including Armageddon Energy's solar panels and the Stak Block, are still in the testing stages. Check out all of our fantastic finds after the jump.

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Treehugger: West Coast Green’s Free Design Clinic Makes Quality Design Accessible

October 02, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Among the many familiar faces at West Coast Green this year, one booth stood out that I hadn't seen in the past. In part, it was because it was outside by itself, rather than inside amidst the crush of green building materials, solar panel purveyors, and sustainable living solutions. And in part, it was because of this really cool hanging plant display created from repurposed water bottles. It's the Free Design Clinic, a collective of creative professionals that work to make design not the source for luxurious dream products, but the source for solutions to every day problems.

The group states, "We believe good design is resilient and should be made accessible where real problems demand real, deliverable solutions."

To read the full article click here!

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Keynote speaker Eric Corey Freed on Fox National Business News today

October 01, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Eric Corey Freed was whisked away this morning for a satellite interview with Fox Business News. Check it out!

 

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Green Life Education in 5 languages…

September 30, 2009 by Ian Bryan

 

NTDTVlogoGreen Life Education is a feature TV program providing knowledge of rapidly growing environmental issues and concerns. It provides an introduction to green technologies, green products, finance, and the relationship and impact of green products on people¡¯s daily life. The purpose is to educate peoplewhile introducing the said green product, government policies, the most updated news about green technology, and tips on how to go green. Many of us have little knowledge about this subject and the mission of this show is to give people more knowledge about the subject, whether it is for daily living or business.

Each episode will be translated into English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese. Each episode will also be published on NTDTV weekly guide or published on our media partner Epoch Times(12 languages in printing and the most widely distributed Chinese daily newspaper www.epochtimes.com).

Here are few links in English and Mandarin:

Solar energy:

English: http://www.eglobalcommunity.com/zh/view/41206

Chinese: http://www.eglobalcommunity.com/zh/view/40588/

Santa clara Valley Water District http://www.eglobalcommunity.com/zh/view/44268 (English) http://www.eglobalcommunity.com/zh/view/43225 (Chinese)

New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) is the world¡¯s first independent, nonprofit Chinese-language TV broadcaster established by Chinese living outside of China. Headquartered in New York City, NTDTV broadcasts its 24/7 programming to cover Asia, Europe, North America and Australia via satellite.

1. More cable info in U.S. or other countries, please check: www.ntdtv.com/cable

2. NTDTV 24 programs through satellite on 4 continents: http://english.ntdtv.com/?c=235

3. NTDTV 24 programs on Mobile Phone, http://m.ntdtv.com

4. NTDTV 24 programs viewed free online both Live and on-demand www.NTDTV.com

SF Bay Area Broadcasting:

1. KMTP Channel 32 on Comcast cable, satellite, and antenna on weekdays at 10pm~12am, Saturday at 9am~10am & 9:30pm~10:00pm.

2. KMTP Digital Channel 32.5: 24/7 programming, covering more than 2 million households in 9 counties of bay area, including 470,000 Chinese Americans (per 2000 U.S. census). (now it is said there are more than 1 million Chinese in the bay area.) 

 

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Did you know we are throwing the hottest party in town?

September 29, 2009 by Ian Bryan

eluminati CA Academy of Sci

After three days of inspirational sessions & world debuts of green innovations, West Coast Green's speakers, panelists, sponsors and conference participants will gather Oct. 3 for an evening of dancing, libations and music under the swooping living roof of the largest LEED Platinum-rated public building in the world, The California Academy of Sciences.

Tickets to the After Party also include "Perceiving Home: An Ecological View of the Cosmos", an extra-stellar immersive presentation by media artist David McConville, hosted in the Academy's state-of-the-art Morrison Planetarium. Sponsored by The Sensible City, "Perceiving Home" uses an interactive 3D atlas of the observable universe to explore how an emerging ecological paradigm is transforming perceptions of the planet.

Aaron Pope will DJ the event while guests enjoy the completely organic bar, explore the extensive aquarium exhibits, or experience the Academy's Living Roof.

Event doors open Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 6:30pm. Dress is business casual. After Party tickets are included in a full West Coast Green conference pass, but can also be purchased individually for $35. Tickets must be purchased in advance and will not sold at the door. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.westcoastgreen.com/the-experience/after-party.php

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Another career impacted by West Coast Green

September 25, 2009 by Ian Bryan

We received the following note frolm Terry Phelan, an Architect with Living Shelter Design. After attending West Coast Green, she got a hankering to do something new and now she's anchoring a web based radio program that speaks to her field. She recently interviewed Sara Susanka, so for those of you who can't get enough, listen to the mp3 at http://livingshelter.com/radio.html.

A note from Terry:

I had downsized my firm, and I knew I had to find a better way to effect exponential change than designing custom homes. At West Coast Green, I kept picking up on three messages - that we carry more knowledge than we realize, that we are responsible for teaching others, and that we need to listen and be open to waht shows up. So I decided to let go of trying to figure it out - and what showed up two weeks later? An internet radio talk show on green building! Now, every week, I get to talk to the most interesting people who are doing amazing things in the field of green building and design. It's allowed me to find my voice, and I get to learn new things while spreading that knowledge out into the world.

Terry K. Phelan - Architect

Living Shelter Design Architects, PLLC

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Mayor Newsom invites you to West Coast Green!

September 23, 2009 by Ian Bryan

With less than 2 weeks before the big event, Gavin Newsom sat down with West Coast Green Founder and President Christi Graham last week to chat. His excitement was apparent about the fast-approaching event and its importance to San Francisco and beyond. Watch to learn why he values West Coast Green so deeply and why he thinks you should be there. Thank you, Mayor Newsom, for your commitment to building a new green economy!

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WCG loves Treehugger

September 23, 2009 by Ian Bryan

treehugger logo

It's time to gear up for this year's West Coast Green, the building and design tradeshow that highlights some of the greenest inventions and ideas in the industry. We had a blast last year, and are looking forward to finding out what this year has in store. It is happening on October 1-3 at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center. The line-up of speakers is impressive, and we already get a sneak peek of the showhouse. Click through to watch the preview.

Check out the entire post here

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Sherwood Design Engineers @ West Coast Green / Fort Mason Design Slam

September 22, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Design Slam

Green building professionals from across the nation will converge at Fort Mason Center on October 2nd during the West Coast Green Conference to brainstorm design strategies and practical ideas for the continued evolution of Fort Mason Center as a leading environmentally sustainable destination. As part of a planned rehabilitation of Pier 2, Fort Mason Center plans to adopt LEED Silver standards and install a large-scale solar array, which will provide for 80% of energy consumption. The Slam will provide a medium for development of a solar conversion plan by the leading solar engineers in the Bay Area.

Click here to read the entire post from Sherwood Design Engineers

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Brondell Reduces Water Usage Up To 50%

September 21, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Brondell, a leading developer of eco-friendly bathroom accessories, will be launching their recently deubted Perfect Flush at the Hotel Griffon on October 1. From 4 - 6 PM, attendees will learn how they can easily save up to 50% water usage at the touch of a button. Discovered at the Innovation Pipeline at West Coast Green 2008, the Perfect Flush offers an affordable solution to reducing the carbon footprint without having to buy a whole new toilet.

The Hotel Griffon is doing their part to save even more water. Each room at the Hotel Griffon has been retrofitted with a Perfect Flush. Now, the Hotel Griffon anticipates saving 37% of water usage for flushing, which adds up to water savings of 217,175 gallons annually.

The Perfect Flush is easily installed in under 30 minutes and can save a family of four up to $100 a year in water usage.

For more information on Brondell's Perfect Flush, please visit http://www.brondell.com/products/PerfectFlush.php.

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Green Horizon On-Demand, Self-Sustaining, Housing Solutions

September 16, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Floor Plan

"Last year, West Coast Green had an awesome shipping container home exhibit, and it appears that this year will bring something similar.  Yet a little different.  As confirmed by Michelle Kaufmann (who will be speaking on Friday of WCG), start up Green Horizon will exhibit their green emergency / container housing unit at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California. The design of the Green Horizon unit is pretty incredible -- it knocks the socks off of FEMA trailers -- so you’re going to want to see this in person."

Click here to read the full article from Jetson Green and watch a video

 

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Volunteering isn’t what it used to be -

September 15, 2009 by Ian Bryan

If you are following us on twitter and in facebook, you may have come across EcoJoe. He sure keeps popping up on our screens:

EcoJoe

We had a little back and forth with the deceased Saint, who let us know that he was planning on attending AND VOLUNTEERING at West Coast Green. Keeping in mind that dead Saints usually don't have much to offer a volunteering community, we ended up on his website... www.ecojoekits.com.

According to the site:

The centuries old practice of burying a statue of St. Joseph on real estate for sale is reputed to enlist the Saint’s assistance in finding a buyer. Before Joseph became the patron Saint of real estate, he was Jesus’s foster father on earth who taught Jesus the trade of carpentry. He always saw to it that Jesus was protected and well housed.

The tradition is about trust, belief and sincerity, not greedy intentions to make more money in a real estate transaction. Today, thousands of home sellers and real estate agents continue the tradition of calling upon St. Joseph to help sell their property with successful results.

EcoJoe™ is a greener alternative to the current St. Joseph products on the market. It is made with 100% eco-friendly materials. Unlike the plastic St. Joseph products on the market, EcoJoe™ will not poison the earth if left buried.

You can purchase your own EcoJoe here, OR, meet the Saint in person at West Coast Green in just a few weeks.

ecojoebuy

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Next Agenda will summarize their first event at West Coast Green

September 15, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Next Agenda has big plans to save the world.

And the best part is they plan to summarize their first event at West Coast Green this year. Be sure to check out their exciting challenge. The Clean Energy Challenge is the first one Next Agenda will tackle with the hopes of solving a big piece of the overarching challenge of this century - climate change. The Clean Energy Challenge utilizes people with innovative ideas and problem solving mind sets just like those attending West Coast Green. Watch this video to learn more about the challenge.

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Congratulations to our Tweetaway Winner!

September 14, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Congratulations Michael Lefrancois! Michael won a full pass to West Coast Green from our Tweetaway on September 10. Michael, a LEED certified professional engineer, has attended West Coast Green before when he renovated his own home with his wife. This time around Michael hopes to expand his knowledge of green business. Micheal works with Gary Davis Group, a design and engineer firm based out of Tahoe, CA. Michael is proud to have provided civil engineering for the 45,000 square foot Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences which when completed in 2005 was one of only 26 facilities in the world to have achieved LEED Platinum certification.

Keep an eye out for more tweet aways as we get closer to West Coast Green.

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Rethinking Population Density and Sustainability

September 11, 2009 by Ian Bryan

From Michelle Kaufmann's Blog:

Last night we had our first Re:Vision Salon, where a group of Re:Visionaries get together to discuss topics of relevance and importance in designing a better world.  David Baker, the king of beautifully designed affordable housing, was the one to frame the conversation on Density. He started with a short video he made titled “Better Living through Density”.

Read the entire post here.

Better Living Through Density from Db+P, Architects on Vimeo.

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Bill Roth’s earth2017.com blog

September 11, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Bill Roth

Bill Roth will be launching his nearly completed website http://www.earth2017.com on West Coast Green's start date October 1, 2009. Be sure to check out his blog now and during the conference as he blogs about sustainability, his 2017 economic analysis, and West Coast Green. Also, follow him leading up to the conference on twitter.com/earth2017 as he tweets from his bike trip to West Coast Green!

Excerpt from Bill's Blog Entry "Sustainable Strategies"

"Much of my career has been focused upon designing and implementing strategies.

Here six strategy elements that are being used by successful green businesses and entrepreneurs to grow revenues even in this recession:

1. Clear articulation of pricing advantage

2. Solve a customer’s specific “burning platform”

3. Knows where “first base” is located and how to get there

4. Manage your cash

5. Be inclusive of all the stakeholders...."

Click here for his complete Earth 2017 blog

Click here to check Bill Roth out on entrepreneur.com

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Show Gardens to Transform Fort Mason Center

September 10, 2009 by Ian Bryan

  

West Coast Green will enliven the Fort Mason Center through the addition of more than 20,000 square feet of living plants, trees, green walls and gardens transforming the historical military base into an interactive delight to the senses. “Our team will be using native and edible landscape features to demonstrate ways that urban settings can be improved and beautified,” said Josiah Cain, West Coast Green’s Show Gardens Project Lead, and Chief Design Officer at Design Ecology.

Click here to read more

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Follow us on Twitter - Tweetaway Tomorrow!

September 09, 2009 by Ian Bryan

WCG audience with twitter logo

On Thursday, September 10th at 2:30PM PST, we will "tweet" away a full conference pass for West Coast Green 2009 (worth $995)!

Here's how to win:

  1. Follow @WestCoastGreen on twitter (www.twitter.com/westcoastgreen) for clues
  2. When we ask a TRIVIA question, be the first to reply with the correct answer and you're in!

Official Rules:

After the question is posted to twitter.com participants must reply using @westcoastgreen and #WCG09 in their answer/response. The first person to correctly answer the trivia question with both @westcoastgreen and #WCG09 in their tweet is the winner! Winners will be announced within the hour of the contest via twitter and contacted by West Coast Green staff for registration information.

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Greenopolis presents GreenOps Tracking System

September 08, 2009 by Ian Bryan

GreenOps Tracking System Logo

Greenopolis, noted for its appeal to “Generation Green”, will be at it again at this year’s West Coast Green. As its name may imply, Greenopolis is somewhat like an on-line city where thought leaders of the next generation can connect and cultivate the trends to come.

One of the things that this group understands is the importance of setting goals and creating clear, measurable tracking capacity for big ideas.

The GreenOps Tracking System is a product-specific and consumer-driven recycling program that combines the infrastructure of Waste Management, the GreenOps Tracking Symbol and Tracking Stations, online information at Greenopolis.com, and Think Green Rewards.

The GreenOps Tracking System compliments curb side recycling and differentiates itself in three ways; it is product and material specific, it is traceable, and offers recycling on the go.

How does it work? Click here to read more about it. Or, watch a recent kickoff video at Whole Foods below.

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Presidio School leads the way for education in sustainability

September 07, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Students at the Presidio Graduate School take in a presentation

You may have noticed that recent economic trends have inspired many to go back to school or continue their education. You may have also noticed the sun rises in the east. If these things make sense to you, you might want to get acquainted with the Presidio Graduate School.

While the Presidio name is commonly invoked, few realize that this is a graduate school of an entirely new breed. Presidio is the fastest growing program in the nation focused around the principles of sustainability. Offering Master degrees and Executive programs, Presidio is helping to expand and redefine the realms of sustainability. Solving problems through better aligned social, economic and natural systems is what separates Presidio from other graduate programs. Green jobs are important, but preparation for this new industry is also of top concern. To learn more, visit their booth (236) at West Coast Green.

Visit http://www.presidioedu.org/ for more info.

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Low Impact Living makes it easy to live green

September 04, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Got a big project you’re wary of tackling on your own? Don’t know the difference between absorption and adsorption? Before you find yourself knee deep in greywater, visit Low Impact Living’s website for professionals in your area. Their website helps you calculate the impact of you and your home and offers information on applicable green projects to reduce your impact on the earth. Whether you are more of a DIY homeowner or simply looking for a solar instillation company in your area, Low Impact Living is you one stop information hub. Find them at booth 425 at West Coast Green in October for more information.

Visit them online at: http://www.lowimpactliving.com/

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Ray Anderson’s talk about Business and Sustainability

September 03, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Check out this video of Ray Anderson discussing what it means to be sustainable and run a business.

"...for 21 years I never gave a thought to what we were taking from the Earth or doing to the Earth in the making of our products and then in the Summer of 1994 we began to hear questions from our customers we had never heard before: What is your company doing for the environment? And we didn't have answers. The real answer was not very much. And it really disturbed many of our people, not me so much as them. A group in our research department decided to convene a taskforce, bring people from our businesses around the world to come together to evaluate our company's world wide environmental decisions..."

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What you need to know, right there!

September 03, 2009 by Ian Bryan

BuildingGreen.com's map of Case Studies Across the Country

With green building technology and materials expanding daily, it can be quite a task to wade through the information available. BuildingGreen.com is making it easier to stay up to date on compliance with LEED credits, building codes, etc, not to mention that it’s really a help that they provide case studies on what green building is going on where (see the image above)! They have also included a discussion board and blog for anyone who feels so inclined, may chime in their opinion under the Op-Ed category. BuildingGreen.com will be in the exhibit hall at West Coast Green 09!

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Press Release: West Coast Green Show Gardens to Transform Fort Mason Center

September 02, 2009 by Ian Bryan

San Francisco, CA - West Coast Green, the largest conference on green innovation of the built environment, will enliven Fort Mason Center through the addition of more than 20,000 square feet of living plants, trees, green walls and gardens transforming the historical military base into an interactive delight to the senses.

“Our team will be using native and edible landscape features to demonstrate ways that urban settings can be improved and beautified,” said Josiah Cain, West Coast Green’s Show Gardens Project Lead, and Chief Design Officer at Design Ecology. Mr. Cain is a Harvard trained landscape architect and has led project teams for civic clients such as the New York Dept. of Environmental Protection, University of California, and the California Academy of Sciences.

In building the Show Gardens at West Coast Green, Cain is leading an extraordinary partnership of contributors, including the San Francisco Unified School District, whose students will create a community garden demonstration; architect Darrel DeBoer and bamboo artist/builder, Kevin Rowell, founder of The Natural Builders, who will create a hanging garden support structure of bamboo timbers; and Free Design Clinic, whose members will transform 8 parking spaces into gardens.

“I approach this as an opportunity to showcase community based, scientifically sound urban landscapes capable of mediating storm water runoff into the San Francisco Bay,” Cain continued. “As the City seeks to mitigate water pollution caused by uncontrolled runoff, we hope the West Coast Green displays at the Fort Mason Center will provide examples of practical, elegant design solutions.”

West Coast Green will occupy two piers at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco from October 1st through the 3rd. The Expo features over 300 exhibitors, the Innovation Pipeline, Demo Stage, and Green Jobs Pavilion. The Conference covers educational topics in green innovation – including green building, smart systems, clean tech, and social innovations – and will host 125 speakers. Details on the Show Gardens, Program, Speakers and more available at http://www.westcoastgreen.com

#

ABOUT WEST COAST GREEN
West Coast Green is an annual conference launched out of a need for a common conversation for decision makers influencing the greening of the built environment. Today, four years since its inception, West Coast Green continues to provide dynamic, big-picture, systems-thinking education, strategy, connections and professional development to these leaders. http://www.westcoastgreen.com

ABOUT FORT MASON CENTER
Fort Mason Center, a waterfront destination for thought provoking programs, events and organizations which support and reflect the evolving cultural fabric of San Francisco, has served, for over three decades, as a national model of military base conversion, multi-tenant collaboration and National Park Service partnership. Significantly, the success of the Center has been achieved in a way that supports three pillars of sustainability: the preservation, interpretation and enrichment of local culture; ecological responsibility with regards to use of resources; and fiscal responsibility ensuring continuity. The collaboration with West Coast Green will strengthen Fort Mason Center’s role as a model of sustainability and help to generate additional synergy with Fort Mason’s other partners including Long Now Foundation, the National Park Service, Resource Renewal Institute, San Francisco Conservation Corps, Zip Car, Eat Well, SoCap Markets, LMS architects, Presidio School of Management etc. http://www.fortmason.org

Media Contact:
Ian Bryan
828.242.1868
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Make sure you stop by Build It Green

September 02, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Build It Green

Build It Green, returning for their 4th year with West Coast Green, is at the center of a current AIA awards program. The program calls for "housing renovation/remodel/rehabilitation projects that demonstrate exemplary performance relative to criteria based on The GreenPoint Rated Existing Home Checklist as well as the 2007 Build It Green's Home Remodeling Green Building Guidelines. You will find Build it Green at booth 308. To learn more about the awards program, see: http://www.aia.org/practicing/groups/kc/AIAB080437

To learn more about Build It Green, visit: http://builditgreen.org/about

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West Coast Green iPhone App!

September 01, 2009 by chloe

2009: An iphone app instead of a paper conference guide!

We decided to make some very cool friends at ThoughtWorks, and skip the printed Conference Guide this year, (cool! Good news!) we are thrilled to be saving resources and using less paper and now have a West Coast Green iPhone app that ingeniously provides the full conference schedule, abstracts, site maps of Fort Mason, an easy way to tweet about sessions, and rate the talks. Oh no! No iPhone? Well, there is still time to get one, but never fear, we have a web-based app as well as a pdf you can print from home. Or find a friend with an iPhone and come together!

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Citizen’s Climate Lobby

August 28, 2009 by Ian Bryan

 

“After I had given just a few talks about the climate, I realized that the actions I was suggesting to my listeners to take, while essential, were not a match for the problem. I realized that anything they intended to do, would be swamped by what the government did or did not do. I realized that ordinary people like me would have to organize, educate ourselves, give up our hopelessness and powerlessness, and gain the skills to be effective with our government.”

These are the words of Marshall Saunders, the founder of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby - one of the many unique exhibitors at West Coast Green 2009. You can call Citizen’s Climate Lobby a grassroots community organization, but a more accurate description would be an organization for creating political will. Finding practical solutions for our climate issues means you have to view government as a gatekeeper for significant change. Citizen’s Climate Lobby wants you realize your role in the world you would like to see unfold. Together, you make moves working with your local government and congressmen to facilitate sustainable change.

Check them out at http://citizensclimatelobby.org/

Learn how to start your own group at http://citizensclimatelobby.org/node/52

To learn more about Citizen’s Climate Lobby visit them at booth 515, or review their website http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org.

 

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Green Shelter Modules

August 27, 2009 by chloe

Check out the greenest buildings you will ever see!  These emergency housing modules will unfold before your eyes at West Coast Green before they are shipped all over the world to bring immediate, accessible shelter to those in need.

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Press Release: West Coast Green returns to San Francisco

August 26, 2009 by Ian Bryan

08.12.2009 -  SAN FRANCISCO - West Coast Green, America’s largest conference on green innovation for the built environment, will return to its San Francisco roots for 2009, this time welcoming over 14,000 expected attendees into the seaside hangars of Fort Mason Center. The October 1-3 conference will spotlight 125 speakers, 80 education and networking sessions and 300 exhibits.

Featured speakers include Ray Anderson of Interface, Inc., Panama Bartholomy of the California Energy Commission, Eric Corey Freed of Organic Architect, Michelle Kaufman, Hunter Lovins, and Gil Friend of Natural Logic.

“The general mood of West Coast Green is a call for paradigm shifts,” said Katie Kurtz of worldchanging.com in an editorial about West Coast Green. “The current environmental movement is now framed as a consumerist’s movement.”

Event highlights include:

Leadership Summits
Participants work with industry leaders to create change. Facilitators will ensure that everyone in the room is acquainted before working together to identify issues and create solutions that will later be published! Eight summits include: Clean Tech, Water, Greening Existing Buildings, Stimulus Package and Green Job Development, Social Innovation, Tribal Development, and Education.

The Green Jobs Pavilion
Participants meet face to face with more than 50 employers, connect to job resources and hone in on the best matches between your incredible skills and the opportunities in green.

2009 Tracks
The educational sessions and summits will focus on the these topics in 2009:

  • Smart systems
  • Existing Buildings & Building Science
  • Water & Energy
  • Clean Tech Innovations
  • Business Opportunities & New Energy Economy
  • Social Innovations

Facilitated Daily Networking Cafes
An effective, efficient and easy place to find business opportunities, colleagues and collaborators. The event is designed to send you home with pockets full of business cards.

The Action Hub
Creation flourishes here. Participants are empowered to bring ideas to life, develop business ideas, take an existing network to a new level, or form new collaborative groups to launch an idea, product or company. Consultants, investors, academics, facilitators and experienced coaches all dedicate time to supporting their colleagues in the Action Hub each year.

Innovation Pipeline
This space showcases technological products and services coming to market or in development. Visit this incredible “Exploratorium” like exhibit and experience more than fifty revolutionary and resource-efficient products. These fresh, progressive innovations are solution based and give a glimpse of a future with a limited footprint.

Event Summary
West Coast Green 2009
Date: October 1-3, 2009
Location: Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA
Information: http://www.westcoastgreen.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/westcoastgreen
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WestCoastGreen?ref=profile

Registration options include advanced pricing, student, spouse and partner discounts as well as group rates. Scholarship and volunteer opportunities are also available. To register, or for more information, visit http://www.westcoastgreen.com/register/ or call (800) 724-4880.

West Coast Green is sponsored by PG&E, The Home Depot Foundation, Sun Light and Power, NCFI, and others.

#

West Coast Green is an annual conference launched out of a need for a common conversation for decision makers influencing the greening of the built environment. Today, four years since its inception, West Coast Green continues to provide dynamic, big-picture, systems-thinking education, strategy, connections and professional development to these leaders. http://www.westcoastgreen.com

Media Contact:
Ian Bryan
828-242-1868
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

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Trivia: Which West Coast Green exhibitor recently won a Guinness World Record?

August 26, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Bonded Logic

That’s right, denim insulation!

Bonded Logic and their UltraTouch recycled denim insulation will be put into 60 homes near New Orleans.

So much denim was collected for this project-more than 33,000 articles of clothing-that a Guinness world record was set! Bonded Logic have been in business for over three decades and they are continuing to find new niches and partnerships in the industry.

Read the full story here: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2009/08/10/daily67.html

Read the inhabitat.com post here: http://www.inhabitat.com/2006/11/26/recycled-blue-jean-insulation-by-bonded-logic/

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Press Release: Fort Mason Center to host West Coast Green “Design Slam”

August 21, 2009 by Ian Bryan

SAN FRANCISCO - Green building professionals from across the nation will converge at Fort Mason Center on October 2nd during the West Coast Green Conference to brainstorm design strategies and practical ideas for the continued evolution of Fort Mason Center as a leading environmentally sustainable destination.

As part of a planned rehabilitation of Pier 2, Fort Mason Center plans to adopt LEED Silver standards and install a large-scale solar array, which will provide for 80% of energy consumption. The Slam will provide a medium for development of a solar conversion plan by the leading solar engineers in the Bay Area.

This ‘meeting of the minds’ is an opportunity for Fort Mason Center to benefit from the design leaders assembled at West Coast Green and to harvest the intellectual capital of its visionary participants. The Slam is set to involve West Coast Green participants and advisors, including Eric Corey Freed, Gil Friend, David Johnston, Sim Van der Ryn, Bill Reed and The Education Director from PG&E.

Registration options for West Coast Green include student, spouse and partner discounts as well as group rates. Scholarship and volunteer opportunities are also available. To register for the full 3-day conference, or for more information, visit http://www.westcoastgreen.com/register or call (800) 724-4880.

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West Coast Green is an annual conference launched out of a need for a common conversation for decision makers influencing the greening of the built environment. Today, four years since its inception, West Coast Green continues to provide dynamic, big-picture, systems-thinking education, strategy, connections and professional development to these leaders. http://www.westcoastgreen.com

Fort Mason Center, a waterfront destination for thought provoking programs, events and organizations which support and reflect the evolving cultural fabric of San Francisco, has served, for over three decades, as a national model of military base conversion, multi-tenant collaboration and National Park Service partnership. Significantly, the success of the Center has been achieved in a way that supports three pillars of sustainability: the preservation, interpretation and enrichment of local culture; ecological responsibility with regards to use of resources; and fiscal responsibility ensuring continuity.

The collaboration with West Coast Green will strengthen Fort Mason Center’s role as a model of sustainability and help to generate additional synergy with other partners including Long Now Foundation, the National Park Service, San Francisco Conservation Corps, Zip Car, Eat Well, LMS Architects, and Presidio School of Management. http://www.fortmason.org

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Ian Bryan
828.242.1868
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“Design Slam” during West Coast Green to explore sustainable options for Fort Mason Center

August 21, 2009 by Ian Bryan

As part of a planned rehabilitation of Pier 2, Fort Mason Center plans to adopt LEED Silver standards and install a large-scale solar array, which will provide for 80% of the Center's total energy consumption. To celebrate their commitment and to contribute to Fort Mason Center's sustainable future, West Coast Green is convening a Design Slam which will offer a medium for the development of a solar conversion plan by the leading solar engineers in the Bay Area.

This "meeting of the minds" is an opportunity for Fort Mason Center to benefit from the design leaders assembled at West Coast Green and to harvest the intellectual capital of its visionary participants. The Slam is set to involve West Coast Green participants and advisors, including Eric Corey Freed, Gil Friend, David Johnston, Sim Van der Ryn, Bill Reed and The Education Director from PG&E.

[Read the press release here]

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Shout out to Melissa Hincha-Ownby at MNN.com

August 18, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Melissa, who keeps mnn's blog on whats hot in green business, was kind enough to put together a post on West Coast Green (read it here). She also included a brief video shot by CNET which covers "how to make water out of thin air" and other West Coast Green specials. Check out Melissa's blog at http://www.mnn.com/featured-blogs/greenbusiness. Watch the CNET video:

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SF Chronicle: West Coast Green is back!

August 07, 2009 by Ian Bryan

West Coast Green is back in town

West Coast Green, an annual gathering of architects, contractors, entrepreneurs and designers -- as well as plain old homeowners interested in building green -- has announced the dates for its 2009 conference in San Francisco.

The event, which describes itself as "the largest conference on green innovation for the built environment", and is in its fourth year, will take place October 1-3 at the Fort Mason Center.

Speakers this year include San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Michelle Kaufmann, principal ofMK Designs, Panama Bartholomy from the California Energy Commission and Eric Corey Freed, principal ofOrganicArchitect.

Read more:http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/ontheblock/detail?entry_id=43415#ixzz0NXV1GGNw

 

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Home Depot Foundation, Habitat for Humanity Give Green Building a $30M Boost

August 07, 2009 by Ian Bryan

Home Depot FoundationThe Home Depot Foundation, a West Coast Green Partner, recently announced they are expanding their partnership with Habitat for Humanity, dedicated to promoting sustainable building.  The Sustainable Building program is a 5-year, $30 million dollar venture aiming to create 5,000 homes that meet the Energy Star guidelines or the higher green building standards.  The program will begin at the end of August and so will the increased grants.  Energy Star approved homes that currently receive $2,000 per house will receive $3,000 and up to $5,000 for homes reaching the higher green standards. 

The two powerhouses are on a mission to prove the practicality, importance and affordability of green building.  The Home Depot has a tremendous amount of brand recognition and partnering with a respected organization like Habitat for Humanity to promote sustainability is an idea bound to turn heads and drive interest in a sustainable built environment.  The partnership started in April 2008 has had great success and the expansion only means better times are ahead. 

Click here to read more.

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What Ed Mazria has to say about Section 201 within the ACES Bill

July 29, 2009 by Annie Gibbons

"Why Ed Mazria likes the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) bill" by Amy Senn, July 24, 2009

http://www2.sensiblecity.com/2009/07/why-we-like-the-american-clean-energy-and-security-aces-bill/

"Section 201 covers building energy codes – that’s right, building energy codes – that will transform the entire built environment in the United States by 2050. That’s because Section 201 affects all new building and major renovations. By 2050, more than three-quarters of the built environment in the U.S. will be either new or renovated."

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