Get the best of GreenBiz delivered to you -- GreenBuzz e-news

Engage // Newsletters


By Elaine Hsieh, Program Director & Senior Analyst - VERGE

Just as we celebrate Earth Day’s 44th year this week, Friday marks the 60th anniversary of the first practical solar cell.

Back in 1954, all the solar cells in the world delivered about one watt. Now, more than 100 billion watts (a.k.a. 100 gigawatts) of generating capacity of solar photovoltaics have been installed globally.

Also this year, solar reaches the Holy Grail: grid parity, when solar panels generate electricity at costs equal to or less than that produced by fossil and nuclear fuels. As a result of this important milestone, businesses and governments are justifiably accelerating their renewables integration efforts.

Many of our stories this week show how the growth of solar and other clean energy sources are creating exciting new opportunities for both the private and public sectors. Highlights include Apple’s 100-percent renewables commitment, RMI’s plan to help Fortune 500 companies increase and scale their renewables efforts, and EDF’s new initiative to spark more efficiency and localized clean energy across nine of the most energy-intensive U.S. states.

In celebration of that first solar cell, check out this vintage 1956 film of the development of the Bell Solar Lab Battery. Despite some projector mishaps, it’s a good tutorial on how solar photovoltaic cells work.

And speaking of tutorials, don’t miss Martin LaMonica’s GreenBiz 101 primer on microgrids as a solution for energy resilience.

Celebrating Renewables

Inside Lisa Jackson’s vision for a greener Apple
By Joel Makower

Nearly a year into her tenure, the efforts of Apple's environmental leader seem to be bearing fruit. And, along the way, garnering gushing praise from some of Apple's harshest critics. ...Read More

RMI's plan to help Fortune 500 companies up their renewables game
By Jules Kortenhorst and Rebecca Cole

The Business Renewables Resource Center aims to increase clean energy procurement by large commercial and industrial companies.

...Read More

EDF sparks Clean Energy Program in 9 states
By Cheryl Roberto

In Minnesota, New Jersey, California and beyond, business leaders are achieving important victories in the fight for a smarter energy system.

...Read More

Between a shale rock and a hard place: How I grew to love Earth Day
By Patrick McVeigh

Go ahead, enjoy a day of feeling green without the guilt. Here's how to put the planet's perils into perspective.

...Read More

Ikea breezes into US renewables market with wind farm purchase

The deal is Ikea's largest renewable energy investment to date.

...Read More
Complimentary GreenBiz Webcast

New Principles Define Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing
Sponsored by the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council

The multi-stakeholder membership of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council has created a set of principles that define leadership in sustainable purchasing across all types of organizations, sectors, and regions. Join us on Wednesday, May 7 at 1:00pm ET for the public release of these Principles for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing in advance of the Council’s upcoming public meeting on May 20-21 in Washington, DC during a free webcast moderated by Joel Makower. Register Here.

Cleaner Water

Businesses need clean water, too: Why we need the EPA's help
By Zach Bernstein

Some say that the EPA is hobbling businesses with the Clean Water Act, but a look at the facts proves that dirty water is the real disaster.

...Read More

Carbon neutrality and water: Do they mix?
By William Sarni

Carbon neutrality is easy to understand and quantify, but water is slippery stuff. Here's how to make a water strategy that makes sense....Read More

Sponsored Content

Gain In-Demand Sustainability Skills From UVM 100% Online

Become your organization’s sustainability leader and maximize your ROI with an Advanced Certificate in Sustainable Innovation from the University of Vermont. For quick expertise in a specific sustainability area, four-week Specialized Mini Courses are available for only $699! Go Green With UVM!

Accelerating Progress

Green car revolution: 10 lessons to accelerate progress
By James Murray

Whether setting targets or making green products alluring, here's what business leaders can learn from the hits of the automotive industry.

...Read More

11 innovative companies giving energy storage a jolt
By Garrett Hering

Tackling problems from every angle, these diverse and forward-thinking companies are planning a future with plentiful energy....Read More

AT&T and EDF open up water efficiency toolkit
By Heather Clancy

AT&T has used the WaterMAPP to achieve building water savings of up to 40 percent. Now the scorecard and calculator are available to any business.

...Read More

10 major cities form City Energy Project
By Sustainable Business News

From Boston to Salt Lake City, cities are banding together to combat the biggest demand for energy and source of carbon emissions....Read More

How FedEx's 'purple promise' shrinks emissions and grows revenue
By Anna Clark

The company's drive for "outstanding" experiences extends to minimizing pollution and disaster relief.

...Read More
Complimentary GreenBiz Webcast

Technology Solutions for Manufacturers to Comply with LEED v4 at Scale
Sponsored by PE International

As building owners, architects and contractors request product life-cycle impact data, building product manufacturers are scrambling to comply but are struggling to find the tools and resources to respond rapidly. In this one-hour webcast, hear how LEED v4 is transforming the building marketplace, and how product manufacturers are harnessing the latest tools to make EPDs available to all who need them. Register Here [Link Corrected].

VERGE Primer: The Basics of Microgrids

GreenBiz 101: What do you need to know about microgrids?
By Martin LaMonica

Why all the buzz around microgrids? GreenBiz explains how distributed microgrids are transforming the energy system....Read More

White Papers

  • Creating Healthier Furniture and Building Materials by Minimizing Chemical Emissions
  • Driving Performance and Transparency in Green Building Products
  • Transparency and the Role of Environmental Product Declarations
  • 2014 The Product Mindset
  • 2014 Energy and Sustainability Predictions
  • Can You Save Millions with Sustainable Packaging Design?
  • NAEM Trends Report: Planning for a Sustainable Future
  • The Sleeping Giant: When Energy Prices Awake
  • Selecting an EMIS Top 10
  • EHS Management Information Systems (EMIS) - Getting Started
  • EMIS Design
  • Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Data Management in a Post Merger and Acquisition Environment
  • E2's EMIS Return on Investment (ROI) Approach
  • A Tactical and Practical Approach (TAPA) to Developing a Defensible and Manageable Sustainability Program
  • Why create an EMIS Strategic Plan?
  • Automating Global Regulatory Compliance
  • Build vs. Buy
  • Project Financing Cheat Sheet
  • Guide to Energy, Carbon and Sustainability Software
  • Six growing trends in corporate sustainability

  • April 23, 2014
    VERGE New York 2014
    Tue, Sep 16

    VERGE San Francisco
    Mon, Oct 27 - Thu, Oct 30
    San Francisco CA

    Symposium on Cleantech Innovations in the Commercial Building Sector
    Wed, Apr 23
    San Francisco CA

    Title 24 Commercial Building Standards Workshop
    Wed, Apr 23
    Redwood City CA

    2014: The Year of the Battery - Taking Batteries from Bottleneck to Breakthrough
    Wed, Apr 23
    Fremont CA

    "Climate Change Demands We Change. Why Aren't We?"
    Thu, Apr 24 - Fri, Apr 25
    New York

    GreenChill Webinar on April 29: Corporate Refrigerant Leak Reduction Planning
    Tue, Apr 29

    Superfund and Renewable Energy: Promising Futures for Sites with a Contaminated Past
    Tue, Apr 29

    Stanford Responsible Supply Chains Conference: Designing Supply Chains for Positive Impact
    Wed, Apr 30
    Stanford CA

    Accelerating Sustainability: Energy and Water In Your Operations and Supply Chains
    Tue, May 6
    Washington DC

    GEO Appathon 2014
    Wed, May 7 - Sun, Aug 31
    Virtual Event

    3rd Annual National Zero Waste Business Conference
    Wed, May 7 - Thu, May 8
    Atlanta GA

    Beyond Zero Waste
    Fri, May 9
    Maple Grove MN

    Climate Strategies Forum
    Mon, May 12 - Wed, May 14
    Washington EUROPE
    Wed, May 14 - Thu, May 15

    Climate Ride California 2014
    Sat, May 17 - Tue, May 20
    San Francisco to Sacramento CA

    AUNE & EPA LOCAL SOLUTIONS: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference - May 19-21, 2014
    Mon, May 19 - Wed, May 21
    Manchester NH

    Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council 2014 Annual Meeting
    Tue, May 20 - Wed, May 21
    Washington DC

    ICN Summit – Creating Smarter Solutions, Copenhagen
    Tue, May 20 - Fri, May 23

    The Market Creation Accelerator (MCA)
    Sun, Jun 1
    Ithaca NY

    The Facilities Management Summit
    Mon, Jun 2 - Tue, Jun 3
    Pasadena CA

    Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit
    Mon, Jun 2 - Tue, Jun 3
    Newport RI

    2014 Silicon Valley Energy and Sustainability Summit
    Fri, Jun 13
    Redwood City CA

    Grid Edge Live 2014
    Tue, Jun 24 - Wed, Jun 25
    San Diego CA

    Getting Value From EH&S Technologies
    Wed, Jun 25
    Boston MA

    32nd West Coast Energy Management Congress
    Wed, Jun 25 - Thu, Jun 26
    Seattle WA

    EPI's 4th Annual Energy Policy Research Conference
    Thu, Sep 4 - Fri, Sep 5
    San Francisco CA

    2014 Rising Seas Summit
    Wed, Sep 24 - Fri, Sep 26
    New York City NY

    America’s Watershed Initiative Summit
    Tue, Sep 30 - Thu, Oct 2
    Louisville KY

    37th World Energy Engineering Congress
    Wed, Oct 1 - Thu, Oct 2
    Washington DC

    12th Annual Green Roof & Wall Conference - Call for Papers extended March 10th
    Wed, Nov 12 - Sat, Nov 15
    Nashville TN

    » Post An Event
    » More Events
    Talk to GreenBiz: Have a story idea, insider tip, favorite resource to share? Send it to us
    Become a Sponsor
    Reach tens of thousands of businesses every month by placing your ad here. Contact us to receive more information.

    © 2014 GreenBiz Group -® is a registered trademark of GreenBiz Group Inc, Oakland, CA USA
    © GreenBiz Group Inc. All rights reserved.