SHEenergy: 2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Matching Donation: Help Kids Read Green!

When you donate to NatGen’s Green BookBuy program, you’ll be putting books in the hands of underserved youth.  Not just any books, either, but  Green Earth Award-winning books that teach kids about environmental issues.  And through Nov. 30th, your donation will be eligible for a matching donation from The Cadmus Group – if donations reach $2,500, Cadmus will donate an additional $1,250 to purchase another 150 books.  $1,250 has been raised so far, so every donation counts!  Here’s how to participate:

1. Go to

2.  Scroll down to “Donate to Corporate Green BookBuy”

3.  Click the “Donate” button.  It’s that easy!

For more on NatGen and the BookGuy program:

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Point/Counterpoint: LEED certification, green building or greenwash?

It started with USA Today’s “Green Inc.” series examining the people and organizations that profit from increasingly high-profile sustainability efforts.  One article, “In U.S. building industry, is it too easy to be green?” lambasted the U.S. Green Building Council for, among other things, a LEED certification bestowed on a Las Vegas casino-hotel.  Green building proponents promptly jumped into the fray to defend LEED, such as the International Future Living Institute’s retort, “‘Grossly Incorrect’ Is LEED USA Today Critique: A Response“.

Readers, what do you think?

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“Energy Efficiency: The Path to Constructing Change in India”

The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh responds to this summer’s massive blackouts by announcing sweeping energy efficiency requirements starting in 2013.  NRDC reports on what it means for India and the global climate.

Susan Casey-Lefkowitz’s Blog

Energy Efficiency: The Path to Constructing Change in India

“With the costs of climate change increasing daily, we need the savings to be gained from energy efficiency more than ever. In India, the state of Andhra Pradesh just announced landmark energy efficiency standards that will adopt the national Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) statewide by early 2013, ensuring that buildings meet minimum energy efficiency standards when constructed or renovated. Hopefully more states will follow Andhra Pradesh and other leading states’ example. This is critical in a time of rapid urbanization and skyrocketing energy demand and holds true for communities around the world. Energy efficiency is the fastest, cleanest, and cheapest way to significantly meet energy needs and increase energy security. NRDC in partnership with the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) has just released a report “Constructing Change: Accelerating Energy Efficiency in India’s Building Market” that identifies barriers to energy efficiency in India and puts forward actions to overcome those barriers for state and local governments, real estate developers and financial institutions.

“This past summer, India experienced the world’s largest blackouts, revealing the severity of India’s energy crisis and leaving 700 million people without power.  India has also faced increasingly extreme heat events in recent years that — even in a country used to dealing with heat — have had a deadly impact, particularly on its more vulnerable populations. The combination of rising concerns about energy security and the economic, health and environmental impacts of climate change are being felt around the world. Just this week, the east coast of the United States was battered by a “superstorm” that heralds what we can expect from climate change. The violent weather patterns in the United States, including floods, droughts and wildfires have made climate change more difficult to deny and have caused public acceptance of the reality of climate change to increase significantly according to recent polls.”

Read the full post:

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Why Energy Efficiency and Buildings Don’t Mix

My latest article on obstacles to energy efficiency in the real estate industry has just been published by Consumer Energy Report!  My friend and CER Banking Energy columnist Eli Hinckley says, “Allison had recently completed a substantial (and excellent) review of the challenges with deploying energy efficiency at scale. Having read that, I asked her to do a compressed version of that review for this column and she graciously agreed. All of this information comes from her real-world experience now rounded out by research and analysis in her current role.  As always your comments and questions are encouraged.”

Why Energy Efficiency and Buildings Don’t Mix

How does the real estate industry make energy efficiency decisions? And what part of the process is holding back adoption? Five main ‘friction points’ can slow or stop the momentum for energy efficiency adoption by the real estate industry.

Read the full article here:

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“Energy Efficiency Appears to Become Politicized”

It’s a shame to hear that a good idea that had support on both sides of the aisle is falling victim to partisan politics.

Energy Efficiency Appears to Become Politicized

by Ari Natter

The Republican Party platform for 2012 contains no mention of energy efficiency, leading some observers to conclude that the issue of energy conservation–long considered bipartisan—is becoming increasingly politicized.

The omission is “a little bit surprising” given support from previous Republican platforms and from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney himself during his time as governor of Massachusetts, said Andrew Goldberg, chief lobbyist for the American Institute of Architects, a group that supports energy-efficient buildings.

“Our view is that this was a missed opportunity,” Goldberg told BNA. “An all-of-the-above [energy] strategy is really something that should include efficiency.”

Read the full article:

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Sustainability = Worker Productivity

For sustainability professionals, connecting green policies with increased productivity has been the Holy Grail – because companies’ personnel costs often dwarf expenses like rent and energy bills.  For the first time, this study makes the link.

Want to Improve Productivity? Go Green

By David Mielach, BusinessNewsDaily Staff Writer:

Companies now have another reason to go green. New research has found that companies that adopt eco-friendly green practices have employees that are more productive than those that do not.

On average, employees at companies that observe eco-friendly practices were 16 percent more productive than average employees.

“Adopting green practices isn’t just good for the environment,” said Magali Delmas, co-author of the study. “It’s good for your employees and it’s good for your bottom line. Employees in such green firms are more motivated, receive more training and benefit from better interpersonal relationships. The employees at green companies are therefore more productive than employees in more conventional firms.”

Read the full article:

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Is Energy Efficiency a Cure for Cash-Strapped Schools?

According to an article from ClimateWire, energy efficiency offers cash-strapped schools an opportunity to save on their $8 billion annual energy bill.

Penny-pinched schools — huge market seeks energy efficiency

Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter

ClimateWire: Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Anthony Wright knows well how summer heat in Memphis, Tenn., can zap life out of even the hardiest souls, including the roughly 107,000 students and faculty who begin filling the city’s roughly 7,200 classrooms each year in early August.

As Memphis City Schools’ coordinator for energy management and conservation, Wright also knows what the heat does to his district’s bottom line, sucking tens of millions of dollars annually to keep buildings cool for up to 250 days a year.

“We’re pretty generous with our comfort when the students are there,” said Wright, who in his first week of the fall semester had to contend with outdoor temperatures of 92 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit.

But as late afternoon rolls toward evening and school buildings empty out, Wright turns from cooling manager into energy miser, turning up thermostats, shutting down unessential lights and sealing off areas that require precise temperature controls from rooms that can stand an overnight warmup…

“For every degree [of thermostat adjustment], it’s like a 2 percent savings,” Wright said. “And when you’re counting every percentage point, and even tenths of percentage points, the savings add up pretty fast.”

Read the full article:

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Helping Women Helps the World

So many things to like about this story: great news for Egypt’s economy, human health, the environment, and women’s entrepreneurship!

Dried produce seller utilizes solar technology to create a healthy snacking alternative

Megan Detrie
Tue, 21/08/2012 – 11:11
Menar Meebed’s company, Minnie’s Dried Fruits and Vegetables, arose out of little more than an attempt to find healthy snacks for her grandchildren.

“My grandchildren used to eat a lot of junk, and I’m not a junk food person, so I wanted to offer them something nutritious, and dried fruits in Egypt is limited to the typical variety of Ramadan food, so I started to dry apples and bananas at home,” Meebed said.

What began as snack time in Meebed’s kitchen has grown to become a thriving business utilizing solar drying technology and local produce, and empowering women in rural areas of Egypt.

Read the full article:

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