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A Loan Program Can Help Close the Green-Building Gap

In a new study, Prof. Cameron LaPoint and his co-authors weigh the positives and negatives of a lending program that puts climate resiliency upgrades within reach of financially constrained homeowners.

Punta Gorda, Florida, on September 28, 2022, during Hurricane Ian
  • Where will our energy come from?

    Vast reserves of natural gas in Appalachian shale could shift the entire energy market. Indeed, if gas prices fall, the challenge of increasing the use of renewable sources of energy will rise. The head of a private equity firm with major investments in oil and gas exploration discusses the structure of the energy industry and what it means for sustainability efforts.

  • How do corporate leaders think about sustainability?

    Solving problems on the scale of climate change will require that businesses change what they sell and how they operate. The founder of a consulting firm specializing in sustainable business talks about how environmental issues are seen by executives and the business opportunities in sustainability.

  • Is x sustainable?

    Will medical costs in the United States swamp our ability to pay? Can information technology continue to get faster, lighter, and more effective? Will global trade go on increasing and generating wealth? Asking if a system is sustainable forces one to project far into the future — and then to look back at the present from that vantage.

  • Where's the profit in nature?

    One study in 1997 estimated the value of all the functions performed by ecosystems at $33 trillion per year — substantially more than the entire world economy. But in most instances, functions such as purification of water and air, nutrient cycling in soil, or the resilience created by biodiversity don't have a clear economic value. A number of firms around the world see opportunity in monetizing those functions.

  • Is uniqueness sustainable?

    In an era when it's possible to surf in Phoenix and ski in Dubai, places are becoming interchangeable. Even areas with stunning natural resources can find themselves under pressure from this flattening effect. For communities, sustainability might mean strengthening their distinctive characteristics.

  • Where are the win-wins?

    A step as simple as reducing the time that trucks idle can save money and cut emissions. An environmental advocacy group and a private equity firm have teamed up to uncover the sorts of efficiencies that further both of their missions.

  • Does conservation make business sense?

    The global nature of environmental issues demands collaboration across borders and across sectors. Mark Tercek became the President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy in 2008 after 24 years at Goldman Sachs. He discusses how finding business solutions to environmental problems is essential.

  • Can the business of food impact climate change?

    It is hard to image that a healthy, home-cooked meal is contributing to climate change, but the food consumed annually by a family of four in the U.S. requires 970 gallons of gasoline to fertilize, produce, and transport. That's only slightly less than the 1070 gallons the average family uses in their cars. Helene York '88 talks about one food service company's goal of reducing its carbon footprint while still maintaining a successful bottom line.

  • Has globalization failed in Nigeria?

    Oil pumped from the Niger Delta is loaded on supertankers and shipped into the global market, accounting for 3% of world production and generating substantial revenues for the Nigerian government. What has this connection to the world economy done for Nigeria?

  • Can better financing make solar hot?

    Soltage is one company looking to finance the widespread adoption of clean, cheap solar power.