Green Companies Will Prosper

There’s an alright post over at CopyBrighter from a little ways back that looks at the growing demand for green companies and how we need to cater to that demand and look towards the future. Essentially green companies will prosper because it’ll be the only option in due time, so why not be green now and profit from it?

It’s not that green companies should run as a hedge fund to profit from crisis… but rather, they should not underestimate the potential demand for what they are developing now. We must be prepared to leverage the imminent explosion of mass desire and honorably fulfill it.

Banking for the Poor

Muhammad Yunus has a vision: to end world poverty. In order to work towards his dream, he founded a bank called Grameen Bank– bank for the poor. As stated on his website:

“Grameen Bank (GB) has reversed conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral and created a banking system based on mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity. GB provides credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, without any collateral.

At GB, credit is a cost effective weapon to fight poverty and it serves as a catalyst in the over all development of socio-economic conditions of the poor who have been kept outside the banking orbit on the ground that they are poor and hence not bankable. Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of “Grameen Bank” and its Managing Director, reasoned that if financial resources can be made available to the poor people on terms and conditions that are appropriate and reasonable, ‘these millions of small people with their millions of small pursuits can add up to create the biggest development wonder.’ ”

This bank now has almost 7 million borrowers…97 percent of whom are women. The poor always pay back and many of them now are no longer poor. There are ten indicators to assess poverty level and they are these:

A member is considered to have moved out of poverty if her family fulfills the following criteria:

1.
The family lives in a house worth at least Tk. 25,000 (twenty five thousand) or a house with a tin roof, and each member of the family is able to sleep on bed instead of on the floor.

2.
Family members drink pure water of tube-wells, boiled water or water purified by using alum, arsenic-free, purifying tablets or pitcher filters.

3.
All children in the family over six years of age are all going to school or finished primary school.

4.
Minimum weekly loan installment of the borrower is Tk. 200 or more.

5.
Family uses sanitary latrine.

6.
Family members have adequate clothing for every day use, warm clothing for winter, such as shawls, sweaters, blankets, etc, and mosquito-nets to protect themselves from mosquitoes.

7.
Family has sources of additional income, such as vegetable garden, fruit-bearing trees, etc, so that they are able to fall back on these sources of income when they need additional money.

8.
The borrower maintains an average annual balance of Tk. 5,000 in her savings accounts.

9.
Family experiences no difficulty in having three square meals a day throughout the year, i. e. no member of the family goes hungry any time of the year.

10.
Family can take care of the health. If any member of the family falls ill, family can afford to take all necessary steps to seek adequate healthcare.

Muhammad Yunus is currenly in preparations to leave for Oslo, Norway on December 8th, to receive the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for himself and the Grameen Bank “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below”

Corporations and Society

noradawn wrote us to tell us about corporate social responsibility (CSR):

“Are corporate giants waking up? The increase of public demand for more sustainable and socially responsible practices is causing the giants of the business world to reevaluate how they do things and start implementing new practices. In essence, doing what they can to save the world. This practice commonly called CSR is being seen more and more in giants such as Wal-Mart, Levi & Strauss, and Hasbro to name a few.

The trend was started by smaller, socially and environmentally aware companies such as Tom’s of maine toothpaste and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, who pioneered this concept…and wound up having incredible growth rates. In turn, this caused the larger companies to turn their heads to see what they were doing right from a business perspective. As a result, it looks like it is the new trend that is emerging, and the corporate giants…many of whom have more capital than some entire countries- are the ones with the dollars and cents to really help in making a big difference.”

For more on CSR this noradawn suggests this good article on CSR.

Thanks noradawn for sharing this!

Salt Lake City to use Waste Power

Salt Lake City is going to start a small pilot project that will use sewage to heat and cool buildings. The idea uses the simple concept of heat transfer to transfer energy from one source to another.

“The system should sufficiently heat and cool Lear’s 8,000-square-foot building about 95 percent of the time. For the remainder, Lear will pool 1,800 gallons of water in the basement, also using the water to irrigate the building’s lawn.

It’s a bit expensive – the system costs $20,000 more than traditional systems – but if it works well, Lear hopes it could be eventually used by the masses.”

Echoing Green Fellowship

logo'd!Echoing Green has a fellowship program that gives out up to $100,000 in seed money for a new organization that will make the world a better place.

This is a great idea for people have some fantastic ideas that al they need is some capital in order to start their project. There are tons of great things that you can start doing, and it never hurts to apply to these things. Echoing Green even has a place to read about what some people have done to make the world better.

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