Sustainability Reads: September 29- October 5

How scientists linked the California drought to climate change
We are quick to say that extreme or strange weather is now due to climate change, but how do we know for sure? After months of computer modeling and statistical analysis,  “Scientists from Stanford have found that the meteorological conditions that have caused the California drought are far more likely to occur in today’s warming world than in one without human-caused emissions of greenhouse gasses.’ Research on global weather events ‘overwhelmingly indicated that all heat waves were largely attributable to human-caused climate change.” However, the data on extreme rainfall is still lacking and showed in some cases of extreme rainfall were unlikely to be caused by climate change. The science is in, now climate change mitigation and adaptation policies need to follow. By Ilissa Ocko on EDF Voices blog. California study from team led by Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh.

From the stockholder to the stakeholder: How sustainability can drive financial outperformance
In the corporate social responsibility field it is generally accepted that managing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks equates to better business practices and affects the bottom line. Academic research over the years supports this notion as well and is pretty straight forward when it comes to areas that are easily quantifiable such as waste, water, and energy use. However, the overall link which relies on factoring in the intangibles and aggregating is difficult. This study reviews the academic literature to date to show where we are really at in proving the business case for sustainability. The stats:

  • 90% of the cost of capital studies show that sound ESG standards lower the cost of capital
  • 88% of the studies show that solid ESG practices result in better operational performance
  • 80% of the studies show that stock price performance is positively influenced by good sustainability practices

Oxford University and Arabesque Partners research by Research by Clark, Feiner, and Viehs.

11 Tips For Reducing Food Waste
Here is some motivation for reducing food waste if we have ever seen it: Today, approximately 40 percent of food (about 20 pounds per person per month) in the US gets wasted. At the same time, 17.6 million American households are food insecure. If we reduced our food waste by 15 percent, we could feed 25 million Americans. Here is how:

  • Shop wisely and buy only what you need
  • Embrace ugly produce
  • Don’t let produce go bad
  • Know your refrigerator’s microclimates
  • Take “sell buy” dates with a grain of salt
  • Eat your chard stems and beet greens
  • Clean your plate and your fridge
  • Make an art of leftovers
  • You can preserve that
  • Share the bounty
  • When all else fails, compost

By CUESA on KQED blog

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