The Rockland Business Association will hold its second annual Green Council Seminar on Wednesday, June 3, from 8 a.m. to noon at Rockland Community College in Suffern. The program will focus on making businesses more profitable through the adoption of “green” principles.
The association will unveil a Web-based toolkit that will help businesses become more sustainable. Melissa Everett, executive director of Sustainable Hudson Valley, will speak on “Green Jobs in a Green Community: Connecting the Dots.”
A panel discussion will feature George Hoehmann from Camp Venture Inc., John Lorenzo from Instrumentation Laboratory, Arthur Barikyan from Orange & Rockland Utilities, and Ed Gray from Rockland BOCES.
Vendors will demonstrate green technology products and services, and Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef will speak. For more information, call the RBA office at 845-735-2100. Admission is $20 for members and $35 for non-members.
The Yonkers Downtown BID is presenting a free seminar, “Eco Mania: Profiting from Being Green,” Tuesday, March 24, 8-9 a.m. at the Yonkers Riverfront Library, 1 Larkin Center.
Panelists will discuss ways that businesses and residences can use clean energy. There will also be an overview of the free training programs available for businesses to improve their bottom line by using green technology.
Panelists include Paul Vitale, vice president, government and community relations, Business Council of Westchester; Sue Gerry, senior assistant for environment to Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano; Jim Dixon, vice president, Energy Services, Con Edison Solutions; Steve Sansone, executive director of the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Business Improvement District.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said that hundreds of hotels in its global network will turn off their lights and take other energy-saving steps for one hour on Saturday as part of an environmental awareness event.
Guests staying in more than 90,000 Starwood hotel rooms around the world also will be urged to turn off their room lights as part of Earth Hour, an event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund.
“Given the size and scope of Starwood’s business operations, we have the opportunity to make a significant positive difference in the health of the environment,” said Frits van Paasschen, president and chief executive officer of Starwood, said in a written statement. “Our participation in Earth Hour symbolizes our commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our business operations through the adoption of greener design, construction and operating practices.”
Starwood, based in White Plains, operates more than 940 hotels in 97 countries. Its brands include St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le MÇridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft and Element. About 350 of the company’s hotels will participate in Earth Hour.
The conservation measures at hotels around the world — planned at 8:30 p.m. in their local time zones — include turning off outside sign lighting, dimming non-essential interior lighting and using candlelight in restaurants, bars and other public areas. Hundreds of Starwood hotels also are scheduling walk-a-thons, candlelight concerts and receptions that serve green cocktails.
A Valhalla-based startup that produces highly efficient oil filters is hoping that a deal with New York state will lift its profile.
SOMS Technologies Inc. said the state’s Office of General Services has added its filters to the state’s preferred buying list. This means that purchasing agents for state agencies and local governments can get discounted prices for the filters by buying them through the OGS.
SOMS may be in the right place at the right time. Last year Gov. Paterson issued an executive order that directed state agencies to adopt “sustainability initiatives,” or steps that the agencies could take to curb the risks of toxic materials, maximize recycling, manage renewable resources, and other methods.
Miles Flamenbaum, SOMS’ chief executive, said that using the company’s oil filters would help agencies achieve some of those mandated goals. The oil filters can extend the length of time between oil changes.
There are about 17,000 vehicles in the state fleet, he said. Flamenbaum couldn’t say what impact the listing with OGS would have on his sales; SOMS just started selling the filters last fall.
The listing could give the company some credibility with other governments or operators of private fleets, such as taxis and truck companies, he said.
SOMS bid to get onto the OGS list through the New York State Industries for the Disabled, a not-for-profit group of businesses that promotes employment of people with disabilities. One of its member companies, Pine Ridge Industries, an affiliate of the Schenectady ARC, has contracts with SOMS.
PepsiCo Inc. said it that has backed up its commitment to environmental protection by making substantial progress at improving energy and water efficiency at plants and offices around the world.
The Purchase-based beverage and snack food giant released a report yesterday indicating that internal investments at its facilities globally saved nearly 1.3 billion gallons of water and nearly 500 million kilowatt hours of energy worldwide in 2007.
Those findings were part of PepsiCo’s fourth annual sustainable development report designed to provide a regular look at how the company is tackling economic, environmental and social issues.
In a written statement, Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi said that the company recognizes its “responsibilties” to help make a difference.
“The talents and skills of our global workforce, coupled with our operational capabilities, provide PepsiCo with a unique opportunity to have a positive impact on society,” Nooyi said.
PepsiCo, a company with annual revenues of $39 billion and 185,000 employees, said that other accomplishments during the past year included expanding its offerings of healthy products, limiting beverage advertising to children under 12, developing envioronmentally friendly packaging and committing more than $16 million to bring safe water to developing countries.
The full report is posted on the Internet at at www.pepsico.com.
White Plains-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has earned a prestigious certification for its environmental efforts at its flagship Element Lexington, Mass., hotel.
This is the first Starwood hotel to earn Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. It is also the first hotel in Massachusetts to achieve the rating.
Element Lexington was recognized for its water and energy conservation efforts and indoor environmental quality measures. The hotel, which opened in July, expects to recoup its investment in green building in less than five years.
LEED is an internationally recognized, third-party certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Starwood’s Element brand of hotels are newly built to showcase green construction, design and operations. Starwood has 30 Element hotels in the works. The first two opened in 2008.
Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages, a unit of Purchase-based PepsiCo Inc., said that it has launched two Web sites that emphasize its environmental and recycling programs.
At one of the sites, www.PepsiEcoChallenge.com, the company lists its environmental commitments, which include reducing water consumption by 20 percent, electricity usage by 20 percent and fuels consumption by 25 percent by 2015.
The other site, Pepsirecycling.com, encourages visitors to recycle through a sweepstakes and other promotions.
â€œGreen Businessesâ€ from around the Lower Hudson Valley will be on display Thursday at the annual luncheon of the Westchester Putnam Workforce Investment Board at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains. The two-hour event starts at noon, and more than 100 people from economic development, business and government are expected. The luncheon will focus on how Westchester and Putnam can train the regionâ€™s work force to meet the needs of environmental-related companies.
Members of the Rainforest Action Network said they would protest outside the annual shareholders meeting of Bunge Limited today at Sofitel New York on West 44th Street in Manhattan. Activists accused the White Plains-based global agribusiness of ignoring human rights and the environment in Brazil and the Amazon rainforest.
Just as much drink with less plastic.
Thatâ€™s what customers who buy 500-milliliter bottles of Lipton Iced Tea, Tropican juice, Aquafina FlavorSplash and Aquafina Alive will get.
PepsiCo, the Purchase-based company that markets the drinks, said it has reduced the amount of plastic in the bottles by 20 percent, enough to prevent 20 million pounds of waste from hitting the environment. The lighter bottles will be on store shelves this month, the company said.
The company said it is also reducing the size of the labels by 10 percent and the size of the shrink wrap thatâ€™s used to wrap multi-packs by 5 percent.
PepsiCo, the Purchase-based purveyor of Diet Pepsi, Lipton Iced Tea and Tropicana juices, is working to ensure that people around the world have safe water to drink by granting $6 million through its PepsiCo Foundation to the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
In many parts of the world, the water supply is under stress. The result is the spread of disease and not enough water for drinking or irrigating crops. The world water crisis is one of the most pressing challenges of our age. As a global food and beverage company, our success depends on being responsible stewards of this limited resource,” said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer and PepsiCo Foundation chairman, said in a written statement.
The grant will be targeted toward finding ways for more efficient water use and developing a sustainable water supply in India, Brazil, China and several countries in Africa. Upmanu Lall, a Columbia professor who is leading the project, noted that new methods, technologies and business models are needed, which he hopes to develop with the aid of the grant.
The PepsiCo Foundation has pledged to bring 1 million people safe drinking water by 2010 parts of the world hurt by drought.
IBM Corp. is joining other companies in offering free access to their environmental patents to outsiders.
The Armonk-based company said that making the patents available will encourage researchers, entrepreneurs and companies to develop products that will protect the environment.
Sony Corp., Nokia Oyj and Pitney Bowes Inc. are also making their environmental patents available to outsiders as part of the program coordinated with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Last year, IBM led corporations as the leading recipient of patents for the 15th consecutive year.
The Pepsi Bottling Group, the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest manufacturer, seller and distributor of Pepsi-Cola beverages, has received a 2007 Green Power Leadership award from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. The Somers-based bottler purchased Renewable Energy Certificates that represent 100 percent of the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s electricity needs. Pepsi Bottling Group is fourth on the EPAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Top 25 Green Power list. The company is also taking other steps to focus on its environmental impact, including managing its truck routes to decrease emissions and reducing the weight of its Aquafina water bottles. The bottles weigh 14 percent to 22 percent less than they did three years ago. That move is saving 35 millions pounds of plastic a year. PBG is one of 17 companies honored by the EPA for their commitment to green power. Purchase-basedd PepsiCo, which owns a 40 percent stake in Pepsi Bottling Group, was also recognized as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Green Power Partner of the Year.Ã¢â‚¬? PepsiCo ranks first on the EPAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Green Power list.