New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is nearing the end of his tenure, and it remains to be seen whether his successor will have the same commitment to turning the Big Apple into an environmental leader, writes Steven Cohen. Bloomberg proved himself a master at mustering support for green policies, whether from citywide institutions or from activists, Cohen argues.
There's no reason for buildings today to not be energy-efficient, says Mario Seneviratne, a Dubai-based engineer responsible for the first green building in the United Arab Emirates. Natural daylight, efficient electrical systems and other components should be universal, he argues. "By now we should stop talking about green buildings. All our buildings should be green," Seneviratne says, adding that "cost-effective measures" and "return on investment" justify the effort.
Subway, Reese's and Mattel are among the top marketers to create special products or tie-ins to the "Green Lantern" movie. Plays on the title color are par for the course, with Lipton offering a special flavor of green tea and Subway featuring an avocado sandwich.
Nearly half of surveyed consumers say companies' green efforts play a part in purchasing decisions, yet only 21% say they have picked one product over another because of environmental claims, according to a study. The disconnect means consumers are confused about what "green" really means when it comes to product marketing.
To promote sustainable building and alternative energy, a suggestion surfaced at a U.S. Green Building Council conference last month that called for the new World Trade Center buildings to become models of green buildings. This suggestion seemed to be a natural step for the USGBC and New York since Gov. George Pataki was presented with an award at the conference for promoting green buildings in downtown New York City.