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Published by ABC Carbon and the Sustain Ability Showcase Asia.                                         abc carbon express                                                    

fortnightly  e-newsletter on climate change issues and opportunities: clean technologies, energy efficiency, renewable energy, water, waste, environment management & sustainability.

 Express 150    16 - 29 August 2011
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The Pick of the Bunch 

This headline could apply to many things in this significant issue.  The first: one of the finest men who has left an indelible and sustainable mark on this earth. Ray Anderson, founder and leader of Interface, who sadly passed away earlier this month. The pick of the bunch, certainly. Then we have, for the very first time in the world - the 100 Global Sustain Ability Leaders. A bunch of great people from all corners of the globe who have made their mark in their own countries or further afield in the relatively new practice of sustainability. Then we have an even greater selection of articles - take your pick from 15 in all compared with the usual 13 - to mark this issue, which is our 150th since we began in March 2008. Read all about it from Nauru, Sri Lanka, Germany, South Africa, Brazil, Taiwan and Australia. Not forgetting the US and the UK. And for a change, the Arctic and the Antarctic. Singapore is there of course, along with insightful words about deniers and skeptics; green accounting, and how to make money and do good in the world.  Added threats to the Great Barrier Reef, too, while deforestation, forest carbon and reforestation has a place at the table, too. A truly global issue for globally-minded people. The time is certainly ripe...take your pick!   -  Ken Hickson


Profile:100 Global Sustain Abiity Leaders

Not one but 100 profiles in this issue. The selected 100 Global Sustain Ability Leaders from six continents include Nobel prize winners, scientists, architects, designers, artists, authors and CEOs of international companies. Besides the well-known, there are the quiet achievers who are making a name for themselves and their NGOs, institutes, universities and businesses. One is Alison Roe (left), Fujitsu's global head of sustainability and another is Singapore's Ho Kwon Ping (right). Here's the full list. Read More



 Germany's Clean Energy Leadership

In the midst of severe economic and financial constraints worldwide, and in particular in the European Union, Germany has embarked on a courageous endeavour: Chancellor Angela Merkel's Government has decided to transform this industrialised nation of 82 million people from nuclear and fossil fuel energy to renewable power within the next 40 years.

Read More  


Fear & greed: The real energy challenge 

US Energy Secretary Stephen Chu is fighting a rear-guard action to save a new generation of clean technologies - such as thin-film solar PV and new forms of solar thermal technologies. It's curious to see how left wing and right wing politics

have fallen on either side of the clean-tech divide, particularly in the US and Australia, says Climate Spectator's Giles Parkinson. It's obviously different in the UK, where more

than 90% of firms have met the first reporting deadline imposed by the Government's Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme. Pictured are two more of our winners. Read More



South African CEOs Want Climate Change Outcomes in Durban

As the world grapples with climate change challenges, a group of about 40 South African CEOs has formed a forum to work with government at ministerial and director general level on policy issues to help government ensure the success of the global Climate Change conference from November 28 to December 9 in Durban. In 2012 the spotlight will be on Brazil. Under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability (World Congress) will be organised to support the Rio +20, so called because it will be held 20 years after the first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. Read More


 Mining & Shipping Impact Just What the Great Barrier Reef Doesn't Need

Record numbers of turtles and dugongs have been washing up dead and starving along the Queensland shoreline, prompting warnings of an ecological disaster in the Great Barrier Reef. While extreme weather and climate impacts are factors, it is facing a growing threat of environmental damage from several multi-billion dollar mining projects occurring on its doorstep. Unesco's World Heritage Committee has expressed 'extreme concern' at the construction of a massive processing facility at Curtis Island, near Gladstone, which will become one of the world's biggest hubs for natural gas exports. Read More


 Dramatic Arctic & Antarctic Changes Over Last Two Decades

Melting permafrost sets up a dangerous climate scenario, says Polar scientist Michael Gooseff.  The Pennsylvania State University hydrologist works in remote regions of the Arctic and Antarctic, where ice and frozen ground are thawing. Permafrost itself holds about twice as much carbon as we currently have in the atmosphere. Melt from this frozen precipitation, as well as from older snowpack and glacier ice, is happening faster and is more widespread than a decade ago. Read More

World Bank Cites Benefits from Deforestation & Reforestation Projects   

World Bank reports say that despite challenges and barriers, the reforestation and other forest carbon projects are not only mitigating climate change by contributing to the storage of carbon dioxide, they are also improving rural livelihoods, increasing resilience to climate change, conserving biodiversity, and restoring degraded lands. Meanwhile, First Growth Ventures, an Australian company developing significant forest carbon assets through a public private partnership with provincial governments, has been purchased by Carbon Value. It will continue with the development of the existing projects in SE Asia and will look to expand its Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) portfolio. Read More

Greening Manufacturing Sector & Public Housing Energy Test-Bed 

Singapore's Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivan Balakrishnan has launched a new training programme to green the Republic's manufacturing sector. The new initiative would help spread critical knowledge to a large number of professionals within the sector and is jointly developed by the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMa) and the Workforce Development Agency (WDA). Businesses will be elegible for a 400% tax deduction on training costs under the government's Productivity and Innovation Credit scheme. Meanwhile, Panasonic and the government of Singapore are working to create Asia's first public-housing test bed for technology designed to provide total energy solutions and, ultimately, link to a smart grid. Read More

Pacific Swamps Nauri & Sri Lanka Faces Up to Climate Impacts

A message from Marcus Stephen, Nauru's President: "Nauru's coast, the only habitable area, is steadily eroding, and communities in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have been forced to flee their homes to escape record tides. The low-lying nations of Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands may vanish entirely within our grandchildren's lifetimes." And in the Indian Ocean - the nation of Sri Lanka also threatened by climate impacts - a major community project has been launched to help change the attitudes towards climate change and its effects.Read More


Making Waves: Introducing Business Sustainability & Green Accounting

Now we have Waves, or Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services, which recognises the under-valuation of ecosystem services as one of the main causes of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, introduced by Conservation International (CI). Chief scientist at CI Dr Andrew Rosenberg (left) feels companies can make a start by applying green accounting principles to their own business strategies. Ultimately, companies should realise that green accounting helps management to improve the decision-making process, save costs and assess potential liabilities. "Leading" award winning journalist Jessica Cheam (right) has the full story. Read More


Calling all scientists:  skeptics, deniers and believers!

Historian Arnold Toynbee - one of the greatest of all experts on the rise and fall of civilisations - when asked what critical mistake seemed most often to lead to a collapse said "failure to support and believe in the society's creative minority." In our own technological, enlightenment nation and civilisation, that creative minority, in large part, is one of science, says David Brin. "We do not have to worship their feet, or obey blindly. But we'll be fools, treading the downhill slope followed by Babylon and Rome, if we despise them." Thanks to Richard Cassels of Climate Leadership in Brisbane for bringing this long but valuable article by scientist and author Brin to our attention. Plus the cartoon. Read More



 Is this Sustainability in Practice? Make Money and Do Good

Harvard Business School's Michael Porter and Mark R. Kramer of the Kennedy School of Government, make a strong case for "Creating Shared Value: How to Reinvent Capitalism - and Unleash a Wave of Innovation and Growth." They are championing the shared-value thesis in conferences, meetings with corporate leaders, and even a conversation with White House advisers. Companies like GE have already adopted this approach with their ecomagination programme across the board. Read More


 World's Tallest Green Building is Taipei 101

Like a giant bamboo jutting out of the earth, the 508m-high Taipei 101 was once the world's tallest

building. Now it has a new feather in its cap: the tallest green building, being awarded the top, or "platinum", standard in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed), a United States-developed certification system. Among other things, Taipei 101 scored high marks on water and energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and waste reduction. Read More

There was no one remotely like him, nor will there ever be. 


The following eulogy was delivered by Paul Hawken at the memorial service honoring Ray Anderson, the founder of Interface,  held 11 August 2011 in Atlanta, and reprinted from Green Biz. 


We, who were so fortunate to know Ray Anderson, were in awe. He was many people: a father, executive, colleague, brother, speaker, writer, leader, pioneer. He could walk into an audience and leave listeners transfixed by a tenderness and introspection they never expected or met. 

Was he really a businessman? Yes. Was he a conservative southern gentleman with that very refined Georgia drawl. Yes. Was he successful? For sure.

He was also courageous. He stood up again and again in front of big audiences and told them that pretty much everything they knew, learned, and were doing was destroying the earth. He meant every word he spoke and those words landed deeply in the hearts and minds of the hundreds of thousands of people he addressed. There was no one remotely like him, nor will there ever be. Read More


When we featured Ray Anderson in a Profile in the last issue - which was emailed from Singapore on Sunday 7 August - we obviously had no idea what was to befall the "greenest CEO of all time". He died in Atlanta, USA, on 8 August, succumbing to liver cancer's fatal blow. We dedicate this issue to the memory of Ray and in recognition of his company's achievements. Significantly, this issue also presents the first 100 Global Sustain Abilities Leaders list. He would have had a primary place on that list had he survived a few more weeks. But in his place are many who have followed his example, or at least attempted to tread in his footsteps. May his Ray of sunshine continue to light the way and lighten the load.



Ken Hickson
Founder Chairman/CEO, Sustain Ability Showcase Consultancy Asia Pte Ltd
Managing Director, Racepoint/Professional Public Relations Singapore
ChairmanPublicity Committee, Singapore Environment Council
Author, "The ABC of Carbon"
Editor, abc carbon express
Governor, WWF Australia
Director, ABC Carbon