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TriplePundit is a tripod of resources surrounding the Environment, Society and Business. You can't have a successful economy without a healthy environment and a healthy society, and vice versa. That concept is called the triple bottom line, which is where the triple part of the name comes from. It's a new and broader way of looking at business and the world.
The model of the site is to be a digest. Triple Pundit is not offering heaps of editorial commentary, just talking about things they've found valuable and interesting.
Why aren't hybrid car owners showing more loyalty to hybrids?
April 29, 2016 07:51 AM - Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit
Hybrid cars have come a long way since the first frumpy Toyota Prius debuted in Japan almost 20 years ago. The same can be said for electric cars since GM rolled out its EV1 in the late 1990s, only to backtrack, repossess and destroy all of them, infuriating its fans in the process. There are now dozens of hybrid models, and they enjoyed a surge in saleswhen gasoline prices spiked in 2007 and again in 2012. But more recently, their sales overall have been on the decline. Meanwhile electric vehicles are becoming more sophisticated, are improving their range and have seen sales on the uptick while the automakers have become more competitive in their advertising.
As expected, hybrid cars’ sluggish sales numbers have much to do with the fact that oil prices have been in a two-year slump while conventional gasoline engines keep getting cleaner and more fuel efficient. When hybrids started becoming more popular a decade ago, it was often assumed that when it came time for a new upgrade, owners would stay loyal and trade in one hybrid car for another.
VW agrees to buy back or "fix" 500,000 cars in North America
April 22, 2016 12:23 PM - Jan Lee, Triple Pundit
Volkswagen agreed to fix or buy back some 500,000 vehicles caught up in the crisis. What wasn’t agreed upon is how much the company should pay in fines and compensation to consumers affected by the crisis.
Educating Consumers About Buying Sustainably
April 18, 2016 07:02 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman , Triple Pundit
Sustainability is a word tossed around much these days. But do consumers really care about buying sustainably? The answer is yes. More and more consumers are interested in sustainability, as surveys show. A 2011 consumer survey by Nielsen found that 66 percent of socially-conscious consumers cited environmental sustainability as the most important issue from a list of 18 issues.
So, how do you increase awareness of buying sustainably among consumers? The key is getting information to them. A study by Michigan State University researchers, published in 2014 in the Business and Economics Journal, looked at consumer awareness of fair trade information. The researchers found that informed consumers “are better positioned to make sound decisions and take the appropriate actions to address sustainability issues.” Providing access to “complete and accurate sources of information allows consumers to draw the connection between their consumption behaviors and social, and environmental sustainability,” the researchers concluded.
Should we be feeding food waste to livestock?
March 30, 2016 06:39 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman , Triple Pundit
Food waste is a huge global problem. About a third of the food produced globally for human consumption, approximately 1.3 billion tons each year, is wasted or lost, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Food losses in industrialized countries add up to roughly $680 billion, with $310 billion in losses in developing countries. Produce (fruits and vegetables plus roots and tubers) have the highest rates of waste.
Taiwan has a simple solution to reduce food waste: Feed it to livestock. The Guardian reports that Taiwan is “one of a handful of countries that have institutionalized the practice” of feeding food scraps to livestock. About two-third’s of the country’s food waste is fed to its 5.5 million pigs. Pigs are Taiwan’s biggest source of meat.
“We realized there was a lot of kitchen waste and that if we put it in incinerators it would hamper incineration because it’s wet,” Chiang Tsu-nong, deputy inspector general with the government’s Bureau of Environmental Inspection, told the Guardian. “And Taiwan’s land is limited, so if you build a landfill or an incinerator people will protest.”
'Ugly' fruits and vegetables will get a chance to be sold
March 11, 2016 07:09 AM - Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit
Depending on the source, anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of produce in America ends up wasted. One reason why so many fruit and vegetables are thrown out is because they do not conform to what retailers and consumers believe fresh food should look like. Tomatoes too wide for a hamburger bun, carrots that look like something out of an anatomy textbook, and cucumbers that dare to be curved almost never make the shelves at grocery chains from Walmart to Whole Foods. But Whole Foods, the supermarket that has arguably made organic and socially-conscious foods mainstream, announced that it will start selling “ugly” fruits and vegetables.
VW Emissions cheating scandal update
February 25, 2016 07:36 AM - Leon Kaye , Triple Pundit
Volkswagen is still struggling to move past the emissions-software scandal that has plagued its reputation for the better part of a year. Ever since the news officially broke that an array of its diesel passenger cars were outfitted with deceptive software, VW’s reputation has been pretty much at bottom ratings.
It’s not like the company hasn’t tried to regain public trust: To disgruntled consumers who bought one of the affected cars, it’s offered a combo of Visa cards and credit at dealerships. To dealers stuck with stock frozen by the publicity, the company offered to buy back used vehicles at full price. And in response to hundreds of class-action suits coming up on the horizon, the company recently suggested that it may be willing to buy back those vehicles that can’t be fixed. Fixing, VW lawyer Robert Giuffra explained in court in January, requires coming up with new software, and that may still be a long way off — too long for some earlier vehicles caught in the debacle.
New Report Ties "Hottest Year on Record" to Human Toll of Disasters
February 17, 2016 07:05 AM - Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit
Natural disasters made 2015 a miserable year for many people around the world. According to the United Nations’ Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the statistics were brutal. At least 98.6 million people were affected by natural disasters ranging from droughts to floods, and the economic damage could have been as high as $66.5 billion. Using the data available from the Belgian non-profit Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), the UN reports that almost 23,000 people died from the 346 natural disasters reported across the world.
Obama Administration's "Clean Power Plan" dealt a setback by the Supreme Court
February 10, 2016 07:03 PM - Jan Lee, Triple Pundit
The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan suffered a setback on Tuesday when the Supreme Court granted a stay to the program. In a 5-4 decision, the court sided in favor of petitioning states, utilities and coal companies that claimed that the federal government was overreaching its powers when it attempted to establish a national plan to move away from fossil-fuel based power. Requests for the Supreme Court to impose the stay were submitted in January after an appeals court ruled that the plan could proceed while legal challenges were being heard.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is an about-face to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and it comes at a critical time for the Obama administration’s clean energy program, especially in light of the upcoming elections in November. While the administration can appeal the Supreme Court’s order, arguments would not be considered until June and, pending acceptance by the higher court, likely wouldn’t be scheduled until October or later this year. That leaves the fate of the Clean Power Plan in the hands of the upcoming presidency.
How Modular Construction is Keeping Waste Out of U.S. Landfills
February 2, 2016 07:23 AM - Mark Meyers, Triple Pundit
When we think about the overflow of our nation’s landfills, we probably picture limiting our food waste; recycling plastics, glass and paper; and keeping out potentially harmful hazardous waste. What we probably don’t consider is one of the largest sources of waste generation, construction and demolition (C&D) waste. It is estimated that anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of the national solid waste stream is building-related waste, with only 20 percent of C&D waste being recycled.
Hyperloop moving to full-scale testing
January 24, 2016 09:05 AM - Mary Mazzoni , Triple Pundit
Clean-tech visionary Elon Musk first unveiled his idea for a high-speed ground transport system called Hyperloop back in 2013. The concept — in which passengers are transported in magnet-propelled capsules at more than 750 miles per hour — was quickly dismissed by many as a pipe-dream.
But, while most of us weren’t paying attention, a handful of private companies have been quietly working to make Musk’s vision a reality. Now two of these firms (both unaffiliated with the Tesla and SpaceX CEO) say they are ready to begin testing the technology.