Archives: Sustainability

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Harvard Business Review Adds Environmental Performance to Ranking CEOs

It is significant when the Harvard Business Review alters its methodology in ranking the best performing CEOs in the world to now take into account a company’s environmental performance. Increasingly CEOs are coming to appreciate it is okay to make a profit while saving the planet. Harvard Business Review’s self described mission is “to improve … Continue Reading

WELL at the Intersection of Human Health and Green Building

“This could be bigger than anything in real estate since the invention of the roof,” according to Paul Scialla, the founder and CEO of the International WELL Building Institute. This “may be the most marketable proposition in real estate short of a front lawn overlooking the Fountain of Youth,” was how a recent Bloomberg Business … Continue Reading

Opportunities Shine in Community Solar

University Park Community Solar LLC, Maryland
People across the United States are seeking alternatives to conventional energy sources. Motivations vary from concerns over global warming to increasing energy independence, and hedging against rising fuel costs to because it is chic to be green. Advances in solar technology have made photovoltaics a much sought after energy alternative. But a 2008 study by … Continue Reading

You Should Comment on the Revised Green Globes Standard

Last Friday was the beginning of the public comment period on the Green Building Initiative’s revision to its ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings that forms the basis for the current version of Green Globes for New Construction. Nearly 1000 buildings are Green Globes certified in the U.S. today. The revised Standard … Continue Reading

Climate Change Disclosures by Public Companies

In recent weeks this law firm has received more inquiries than at any time in recent years about the Securities and Exchange Commission’s disclosure requirements for public companies as they apply to climate change matters. Possibly the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for emission reductions for existing power plants triggered this heightened level of interest … Continue Reading

Government Ownership of Rain is Antithetical to Increased Potable Water

Collecting rain and using it for a desired purpose on one's own property should no longer violate the law. Utah's decriminalizing precipitation collection may be a model for the nation. Tucson may have gone too far in mandating rain collection for landscaping. But is it too farfetched to imagine government increasing potable water by not only making it legal but even offering incentives, like Albuquerque, for collecting rain?… Continue Reading

In the Name of Clean Water Millions of Acres are Proposed for Federal Control

It has been over 40 years since the Cuyahoga River caught fire and spurred the 1972 passage of the Clean Water Act. ... efforts to use the CWA to 'clarify' a definition of navigable water from the 1899 Rivers and Harbors Act does not serve the potable water issues that the nation faces today. ... The new rule is proposed to be effective 60 days after Federal Register publication.… Continue Reading

Microbeads Ban in Maryland will be more Efficacious than Others

Just 2 years ago Hayden Panettierre told us microbeads were chic in this television commercial. ... Today, the annual per-capita consumption of microbeads from cosmetics and personal care products in the United States is estimated at 0.0309 ounces per person per year, which adds up to over 300 tons of microbeads being discharged into the wastewater stream each year.… Continue Reading

Produced with Genetic Engineering

Only slightly less fun than a Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin Point Counterpoint on Saturday Night Live, is the fight over labeling food produced from a bioengineered organism is being waged in a Federal courtroom in Vermont. ... finding that "that up to 80 percent of the processed foods sold in the United States" may contain ingredients produced from genetically engineered sources. So, we may all find all of our food labeled "produced with genetic engineering".… Continue Reading

Promoting Electric Vehicles as Environmental Policy or Corporate Welfare

In addition to federal government incentives, a total of 37 states and Washington, D.C. have created incentives for plug-in electric vehicles. ... One key public policy question that had previously been little debated in Maryland, or elsewhere, is whether utility customers should pay for the investment in car charging stations. It is arguably corporate welfare at its worst ...… Continue Reading

All Water is Greywater – So Don’t Ban Greywater in Your Plumbing Code

.. about 150 million years ago a dinosaur stopped and peed 300 gallons. And there were millions of dinosaurs, all drinking water and peeing. So, easily creatures have had inside their kidneys and peed thousands of times all the potable water available on the planet. At this point it is all greywater. .. As governments across the country enter the triennial building code cycle, including adopting the 2015 International Plumbing Code, it is key that they not ban greywater use.… Continue Reading

Indoor Marijuana Growing Accounts for Over 1% of all Electric Consumption in the U.S.

Indoor Marijuana Growing Accounts for Over 1% of all Electric Consumption in the U.S. ... Boulder, Colorado has responded with a regulatory requirement that each Medical Marijuana Optional Premises Cultivation ... must "directly offset 100% of the electricity consumption through a verified subscription in a Community Solar Garden, renewable energy generated on site, or equivalent."… Continue Reading

Dunkin’ Donuts Green is a Hot Trend in Green Building

Dunkin' Donuts Green is an example of sustainability initiatives by an increasing number of U.S. companies. ... This law firm has worked with more than four score and seven organizations creating their own green building programs. And we regularly provide third party validation of green including "opinions of counsel" that specific projects are "certifiable" or otherwise in compliance with specific green building requirements.… Continue Reading

Mid Term Election Results Superb For Green Building

Election Day 2014 in which Republicans made big gains in Congress and statehouses across the country portends huge business opportunities for green building. As more conservative legislative bodies look to enact environmental and energy policies while driving up growth without enacting new mandates or imposing new taxes, enabling voluntary green building is positioned to be part of the new legislative agendas.… Continue Reading

Lawyers’ Opinions in Green Building Transactions

One might ask why they need an opinion from a lawyer that their building is green? The best response is because in many instances their lender requires it. While legal opinions are given in a variety of commercial contexts, they are increasingly being required as part of the due diligence by lenders when making loans secured by (i.e., a mortgage) a green building.… Continue Reading

Ohio Law Rolls Back Unwise Renewable Portfolio Standards

Last Friday, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 310 freezing the state's renewable energy portfolio and energy efficiency requirements at 2014 levels. It is likely best to not be an alarmist about Ohio's new law or to deny that it was passed overwhelmingly by the legislature after a hue and cry from the public, who recognized an unwise (expensive and degrowth) existing law (green or otherwise) when they saw it.… Continue Reading
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