Quality Partner Program

QPP Farming

The Quality Partner Program, also known as QPP, is a unique cocoa sustainability program developed by Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest cocoa and chocolate manufacturer, and our subsidiary Societé Africaine de Cacao (SACO) in Ivory Coast. QPP supports cooperatives in their efforts to serve the needs of their cocoa farmer members. It enables and encourages farmers to grow and produce cocoa in a sustainable, responsible way. Farmer Field Schools are used to help train the modern cocoa farmer. Farmers learn how to increase the productivity of their farms and how to improve the quality of their cocoa. They learn about… read more

Small Victories

Oil and natural gas drilling

The first week into January, Colorado became the first state to require energy companies to do groundwater sampling both before and after they drill for oil and/or natural gas. Colorado oil and natural gas regulators made the decision to approve the measure. The sampling is meant to show whether supplies of drinking water have been affected by energy development, and unless the methods to extract oil and natural gas undergo a drastic change, it can be assumed the post-drill testing will show the true impact of oil and gas extraction. Further, the new sampling regulations don’t appear to have pleased… read more

Green Companies

Green companies

When choosing a cell service provider, a company’s commitment towards eco-friendliness usually isn’t a major deciding factor for potential customers. However, it’s important to note that some companies are making serious efforts to increase their green-ability. In the U.S., Sprint is rated the most eco-friendly telecom company, and is ranked the #3 Greenest Company in America. They were also 2012’s Top Wireless Provider, and received the 2nd-highest overall score on the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. The service provider was also listed as one of the Top 20 Most Responsible U.S. Companies out of a list of 4,100 competitors. Another notable service provider… read more

Insanity or Apathy?

Oil disaster on Alaskan coast

Since the first week of January, more details have come out pertaining to the reckless behavior exhibited by Shell Oil and its oil rig, Kulluk, off of the Alaskan Coast. First the company said the decision to move the rig was based on forecasts which suggested the weather would be good, but then it was made public that the forecasts made were for too short of a time period to be useful for the longer time duration to transport the rig. Then the company decided the best way to diffuse the situation would be to blame luck, and simply say… read more

Costs Slow Solar Down

High Costs Slow Solar Down

In 2011, residential solar system installers paid a little over $1.80 per watt for solar panels in the United States, and added $4.36 per watt to the cost of the solar panel to complete an installation. Compared to other countries—specifically Germany, the world leader in solar energy—the cost in the United States to complete an installation is three times as much, leading to a lack of willingness for Americans to spend the high amount of money to install solar panels. However, a report released this month by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explains why the costs in the United States are… read more

Going Back for More

Oil drilling problems

Amidst the outrage from environmental advocacy groups after Shell Oil grounded its oil rig off of the Alaskan Coast, the company still has full intentions of returning to the waters to drill for oil in 2013. Shell is going back for more, even after proving to themselves and the country that the company simply cannot compete with the natural weather and climate of the region. The company was unable to protect its equipment during a winter storm, which is understandable, but certainly says something about the area they are in and the dangers of operating there. Further, the area in… read more

Shell Oil Keeps Digging

An oil rig

At a certain point, any decision which backfires stops being excusable. Stops being inexcusable and eventually becomes embarrassing. Shell Oil has managed to transcend even the embarrassing stage and is now existing in a pure lunacy stage where embarrassing cannot reach it. Further, embarrassment requires that one knows better from worse, right from wrong, and ultimately, it is difficult to discern if the executives of Shell Oil do know basic tenants of morality. On the last day of 2012, December 31st, the Shell oil rig “Kulluk” ran aground off the coast of Alaska off of Kodiak Island, prompting a 500-plus… read more

Green Jobs for Veterans

Green jobs for veterans

Despite the gratitude we have towards veterans and the courageous acts they perform, there is not enough being done to honor their services when they return. It is refreshing, then, to learn of organizations like Veterans Green Jobs, who connect veterans of all eras with employment opportunities in the green sector. Veterans Green Jobs was founded in 2008, in Denver, Colorado and seems to be the perfect union of veteran job placement and environmental protection.  They strive to equipped veterans with skills that can transfer to meaningful green jobs. Helping veterans gain stability with careers that serve an important role in creating a better environment… read more

Toxic Clean Up

Toxic Clean Up

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig experienced a devastating oil spill in 2010. The Gulf of Mexico residents thought the damage done was just going to be from the 4.9 million barrels of oil which were floating around in the water. The Gulf ecosystem was nearly destroyed, tourism shot down in the area, and marine sources of food were scarce, resulting in one of the worst man-made disasters in recent memory. However, BP promised to be the knight in shining armor, and to come save the residents and ecosystem of the Gulf. Through poking and prodding from the Gulf residents and… read more

Fracking Follies

Hydraulic fracturing

As it turns out, the short-term solution to combat rising costs and foreign dependence on energy, along with attempting to limit environmental damage, hydraulic fracturing, i.e. fracking, may be doing the opposite: costing the United States more, and driving up carbon dioxide emissions. It has been debated whether fracking leads to earthquakes, pollution, and disease, among other things, but the scale of the damage may be much larger. While no judgment on fracking based on merit should be made, given the small sample pool of functioning fracking sites, a trend does appear to be emerging suggesting fracking isn’t what was… read more