Environmental Innovation

Across America, businesses both large and small are developing new ideas, inventing new technologies, and changing the way they interact with the environment. BCLC’s Environmental Innovation Network seeks to advance companies leading this trend and connect private sector, public sector, and NGO leaders towards more effective collaboration. 


Bricks and Sticks Sustainability Symposium




From April 16 - 17, BCLC will be convening the Bricks and Sticks Sustainability Symposium. The event will bring together thought leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to discuss how public/private partnerships and other tools can help communities and regions acheive economic and environmental goals. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear best practices from experts from companies like General Motors, Veolia Water, and Entergy. The Symposium will also feature breakout sessions that focus on community challenges according to geography and issues like water use, energy efficiency, and mobility where attendees can make connections and propose solutions to crucial environmental and economic challenges.

For more information on the Symposium, including a list of confirmed speakers and panel topics, please visit here




April 2nd: European Industry Flocks to United States to Take Advantage of Cheaper Gas, via The Washington Post


March 26th: Disney, Microsoft, and Shell Opt for Self-Imposed Carbon Taxes, via The Guardian


March 26th: Petrobras, Brazil's Oil Giant, Struggles to Regain Lost Swagger, via The New York Times


March 22nd: Yes, Conservatives can be Environmentalists, Here's How, via The Washington Post


March 20th: Top Cities with the Most ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings in 2012, via ENERGY STAR


March 19th: FedEx Delivers Bigger Fuel Efficiency Targets, via GreenBiz


March 18th: This 17 Year-Old Built An Algae Biofuel Lab Under Her Bed, via Fast Company


March 16th: Cars in the U.S. Are More Fuel Efficient than Ever, Heres Why, via The Washington Post


March 11th: Designing Wealth: The Missing Piece in the Sustainability Puzzle, via GOOD


February 12th: State of Green Business Report, via GreenBiz



Corporate Sustainability Ratings & Rankings


2012 - 2013 Climate Counts Annual Company Scorecard Report


 2012 Newsweek Green Rankings


2012 CDP Leadership Indexes


The Dow Jones SAM Sustainability Yearbook 2012





The Environmental Innovation Network has made significant progress towards its dual goals of promoting business leadership around environmental issues and facilitating collaboration between small & large businesses, as well as the public and NGO sectors:

  •  Hosted the Role of Business in Environmental Innovation Working Meeting on July 18th (see below), which brought together 80+ private sector, public sector, and NGO leaders to discuss the best ways to promote private sector solutions to environmental challenges.

  • Released the Role of Business in Environmental Innovation Report, which featured thought leaders from IBM, the Carbon War Room, Intel and other companies and organizations.

  • Convened a strategic planning meeting on September 24th to discuss how to advance regional resiliency around the U.S. 25+ attended the meeting.

  • Revamped the Environmental Innovation Map, implementing a detailed process for project selection and increasing to over 100 projects featured. ADD LINK

  • Expanded the Environmental Help Desk for Business, which now features more examples of environmental innovations and sector guides for small and medium sized businesses. 




On July 18th, 2012 BCLC convened a high level meeting to explore how to advance the role of business in environmental innovation. The event featured such prominent thought leaders as David Bartlett from IBM and Nancy Gillis from the General Services Adminstration to discuss how to make progress towards more sustainable supply chains, where businesses can make the largest positive environmental impacts, and ways businesses, non-profit groups, and government agencies can work more efficiently together. More photos from the event can be found here



The Role of business in environmental innovation Report


On July 18th, 2012 BCLC released The Role of Business in Environmental Innovation Report. The Report explores some of the most important trends facing businesses around environmental issues such as the American shale gas revolution and the movement towards a smarter built environment. The Report also features case studies from environmental leaders such as Prudential, MGM International, and Xilinx. 



For more information about the Report and to access the pdf version, please visit this link.



Key Issues

BCLC uses resources such as the Environmental  Innovation Map and the Environmental Help Desk for Business and services such as monthly conference calls and annual working meetings to make progress on:

  • Advancing R&D and Product and Technology Innovations for Environmental Progress
  • Stimulating Local, Regional, and National Green Market Development
  • Sharing Financial Service and Project Investment Tools for Environmental R&D
  • Identification and Advancement of Business Resource Management Practices
  • Cultivating Awareness of Green Supply Chain Opportunities
  • Capturing Lessons Learned and Best Practices in Promoting Environmental Innovation






The Environmental Innovation Network is driven by a group of businesses who are leaders in their fields and in the overall advancement of strategic sustainability.

The Environmental Help Desk for Business is a resource to help America’s small and medium-sized businesses understand green supply chain requirements, green business certifications, and innovations that can save money while reducing environmental impacts. Discover what the Help Desk can do for you.

The Environmental  Innovation Map represents creative and innovative business solutions to environmental challenges. The Map showcases projects that deviate from standard practices and could potentially have a revolutionsary, game-changing impact. To learn more about what businesses are doing please visit the Map.


Working Group Members

BCLC's Environmental Innovation Network is comprised of global companies across multiple sectors who are leaders in the practice of responsible environmental stewardship. 



  • Intel Corporation
  • Prudential
  • Shell Oil Company


  • Abbott
  • Accenture Foundation
  • Alcoa
  • Allstate
  • Altria
  • Bank of America
  • Daimler
  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • Entergy Corporation
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • FedEx
  • IBM Corporation
  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Mattel
  • MGM Resorts International
  • Motorola Mobility Foundation
  • NorthWestern Energy
  • Pepco Holdings, Inc.
  • PwC
  • Toyota
  • TXU Energy
  • United Technologies Corporation
  • UPS
  • URS
  • Wellpoint
  • Xerox Corporation
  • Xilinx


Chris Ryan (email, @ChrisRyan_87) coordinates the Environmental Innovation Network. In this role, he is responsible for building awareness about best practices regarding environmental issues and facilitating collaboration between the public, private, and non-government sectors. Chris is also responsible for implementation of BCLC's annual Sustainable Community Awards, underwritten by Siemens. Chris can be reached at (202) 463-5714.

Partnerships: Catalysts for Sustainability in River Falls, Wisconsin


A critical reason why cities and towns are able to be at the forefront of sustainable development is their ability to engage a broad swath of stakeholders and create effective partnerships. Communities are able to harness talent, energy and capital in innovative ways that drive progress. Through partnerships, communities are often able to achieve results that would otherwise be unattainable.

Santa Monica: A City with a Proven Sustainability History


California has long been seen as on the forefront of environmental innovation and sustainability. So it’s not surprising that two out of the nine Siemens Sustainable Community Awards finalist are from California. One of those finalists, Santa Monica, is a finalist in the mid-size community category, and has a long history of implementing innovative sustainable practices.

Riverside, CA: Taking Sustainability to the Next Level


We’ve all had the chance to work with high achievers in the workplace. They seem to have boundless energy and to be active in a little bit of everything. Well, the 2012 Siemens Sustainability Community Awards seek to recognize the high-achieving communities that are making great strides in sustainability. This year’s finalists are achievers that have taken sustainability to the next level.

Balancing Economic Growth and Environmental Stewardship – Purcellville’s Sustainability Strategy


For small communities around the country, economic development can be both a blessing and a curse. Development offers new job opportunities for local residents, increased tax revenue for town coffers, and a larger variety of goods and services. However, development can also threaten local businesses, damage the environment, and change the social cohesion of the general community.

Sustainability Initiatives that Will Help Build a New Chicago


It’s always good to hear about communities that embrace sustainability as the key to enhanced quality of life, economic opportunity, and strengthened infrastructure. And as I’ve learned recently, Chicago -- a finalist for the 2012 Siemens Sustainability Community Awards -- is one such community.

How Citizen Engagement has Boosted Middleton, Wisc. Toward Sustainable Success


Communities both large and small face the common challenge of following through on ambitious sustainability plans. When a community announces a plan, the initial excitement and support appear to make success all but inevitable. But all too often, attention wanes as time passes and lofty goals remain unmet.

365 Days of Green in Jersey City


New Jersey is the first U.S. state to have a comprehensive municipal sustainability program that links certification with strong state and private financial incentives and a technical support and training program. The program is called Sustainable Jersey and in 2011, the City of Jersey City – New Jersey’s 2nd-largest city – focused its attention on achieving certification. The city’s green initiatives became organized under one umbrella project called, “365 Days of Green.” 

Moving Beyond the Automobile: Jersey City, NJ

Jersey City, NJ, is a finalist in the 2012 Siemens Sustainable Community Awards, in the Large Community category. The other finalists are Boston and Chicago.

Jersey City was featured in this StreetFilm video on Transit Oriented Development, with Director of City Planning Robert Cotter and other Jersey City officials.

Sustainability Is Big in Boston


Boston is one of America's oldest cities, with a rich economic and social history. As the Northeast region's hub, Boston is home to 617,594 residents, many institutions of higher education, some of the world's finest hospitals, and many cultural and professional sports organizations. Every year, millions of people visit Boston to take in its historic neighborhoods, attend cultural or sporting events, and conduct business.

Multi-Sector Judging Panel with Sustainability Expertise Tapped to Make Community Awards Selections


Today the U.S. Chamber BCLC and Siemens Corporation announced the finalists for the 2012 Siemens Sustainable Community Awards. A record 135 communities from 40 states applied for this year’s awards, representing the growing interest in -- and need to reward -- local sustainability planning.


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