These days, I am doing most of my writing for Guardian Sustainable Business US, where I am editor at large. Here’s an archive of my work for The Guardian.
Below are selected stories from publications including FORTUNE, YaleEnvironment360, Slate and Ensia
Can Green Bonds Bankroll A Clean Energy Revolution? (November 2014)
To slow global warming, trillions of dollars will have to be spent in the coming years on low-carbon projects. Banks, governments and corporates are turning to green bonds, but they raise as many question as they provide answers. A report for Yale Environment 360.
Zero Waste World (August 2014)
When the economy goes in circles, everybody wins. A report on the circular economy for Ensia.
Warren Buffet’s Coal Problem (May 2013)
To run his coal trains, the billionaire investor needs to seize land from a bunch of Montana cowboys. That’s not going over very well. A report for Sierra Magazine.
Will Electric Bicycles Get Americans to Start Pedaling? (April 22, 2013)
Electric bicycles are popular in Europe and in China, which has more e-bikes than cars on its roads. Now, manufacturers are marketing e-bikes in the U.S., promoting them as “green” alternatives to driving. A report for Yale Environment 360.
Why a Highly-Promising Electric Car Startup is Failing (March 5, 2o13)
Better Place was touted as one of the world’s most innovative electric vehicle startups. But after selling fewer than 750 cars in Israel and investing more than $500 million, the company’s experience shows that EVs are still not ready for primetime. An analysis at YaleEnvironment360.
Interview: Matthew Arnold on steering sustainability at JP Morgan Chase (February 18, 2013)
Matt Arnold, JP Morgan Chase’s head of environmental affairs, talks about asking clients uncomfortable questions and identifying environmental and social risk in fracking and other practices. An interview for the Guardian Sustainable Business.
The Best Ideas Money Can Buy (Summer 2012)
The prize pool for environmental innovation challenges increased twelve-fold in the past 10 years–and shows no sign of easing up. Do crowd-sourcing solutions pay off for the world as well as for the winners? A feature story in Conservation Magazine,.
Can Environmentalists Learn to Love a Texas Coal Plant? (May 31, 2o12)
A plant in west Texas is being billed as the cleanest coal plant in the world. Can the $3 billion power plant deliver low-carbon electricity, or is it just another way of perpetuating fossil fuels? An analysis at YaleEnvironment360.
Betting on Technology to Help Turn Consumers Green (April 5, 2012)
US consumers tell researchers they want to buy environmentally friendly products, but few do so. Now a host of companies and nonprofits are trying to use new technology — from smartphones to social networking — to make it easier for buyers to make the green choice. An analysis at YaleEnvironment360.
Rethinking Carbon Dioxide: From a pollutant to an asset (February 23, 2012)
Three startup companies led by prominent scientists are working on new technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The scientific community is skeptical, but these entrepreneurs believe the process of CO2 removal can eventually be profitable and help cool an overheating plant. An analysis at YaleEnvironment360.
The Business of Cooling the Planet (October 7, 2011)
Climate scientists and their billionaire backers, like Bill Gates, are trying to turn down the global thermostat – and make money doing it. A FORTUNE story about direct air capture of carbon dioxide.
Waste Management’s New Direction (December 6, 2010)
Waste Management is–finally–living up to its name. Instead to trucking garbage to the dump, it’s looking for ways to extract value from waste. A FORTUNE story of big-company innovation.
Smucker’s Success: Keep it in the family (August 4, 2010)
More than a century after it was founded, The J.M. Smucker Co. has had five chief executives, all of them named Smucker. This may sounds like a classic case of nepotism but the family’s stewardship has been good for the company’s workers, customers and shareholders. A FORTUNE 500 profile
The World’s New Economic Landscape (July 8, 2010)
An introduction to FORTUNE‘s Global 500 list of the world’s biggest companies.
Union Pacific: Building America (June 23, 2010)
We may work in a knowledge economy, but Madonna had it right: We live in a material world. That’s why the Union Pacific railroad has played a vital role in the U.S. economy since 1862. A FORTUNE 500 profile.
Dick’s Sporting Goods: Retail’s rising star (April 20, 2010)
Although Americans are getting older, fatter, and more sedentary, sporting goods remains a big business. Dick’s Sporting Goods, a family-run chain with modest beginnings, is leading the way. A FORTUNE 500 profile
Best Buy Wants Your Electronic Junk (December 1, 2009)
The retailer’s recycling program seems expensive to run, until you look at the benefits: a green reputation and a way to get customers into stores. One of a series of stories on FORTUNE 500 companies for the magazine.
AES’s Powerful Comeback (October 19, 2009)
The electric-generating giant grew so fast it nearly sank. But with a former naval officer at the helm, it’s starting to look like a global contender. One of a series of stories on FORTUNE 500 companies for the magazine.
Nothing blue about JetBlue (September 3, 2009)
In a chronically troubled industry, JetBlue focuses on a culture of low costs, great service, and a certain fun factor. One of a series of stories on FORTUNE 500 companies for the magazine.
Wal-Mart To Become Green Umpire (July 11, 2009)
The retailer is about to unveil a “sustainability index” on every product it sells. A column for Slate’s The Big Money.
Marriott gets a wake-up call (June 25, 2009)
Shaken by the plunge in travel, the hotel giant presses ahead with a makeover: freshening its look, trying new brands, and preparing a successor to the patriarch. One of a series of stories on FORTUNE 500 stories for the magazine.
A big new world to engineer (May 28, 2009)
Recession aside, a growing population will trigger lots more construction. How CH2M Hill, a big-dreaming firm from Colorado. is winning a major piece of the action. One of series of stories on FORTUNE 500 companies for the magazine.
Climate Change Schizophrenia (April 21, 2009)
Why do corporations support regulating greenhouse gas but fund a lobby that opposes it? A column for Slate’s The Big Money
Warren Buffett Takes Charge (April 13, 2009)
Warren Buffett hasn’t just seen the car of the future, he’s sitting in the driver’s seat. Why he’s banking on an obscure Chinese electric car company and a CEO who—no joke—drinks his own battery fluid. A FORTUNE cover story.
Paulson to the Rescue (September 19, 2008)
He came to Washington reluctantly. His job was almost a backwater. Today his task is momentous, wrestling down the greatest financial crisis of our time. A FORTUNE cover story
Green Gold? (September 3, 2008)
Wal-Mart and Tiffany are trying to clean up the gold-mining industry. Not everyone is cheering them on. A FORTUNE feature story
Wal-Mart: The New FDA? (July 16, 2008)
A chemical used in plastic baby bottles is being driven off retailers’ shelves not by regulators, but by advocacy groups, politicians and giant retailers. A column for CNNMoney.
Carbon Finance Comes of Age (April 17, 2008)
The cap-and-trade market for emissions—coming soon to America—is creating huge new opportunities for business. A FORTUNE feature story.
Don’t Chop Down That Tree! (April 8, 2008)
How Marriott will try to protect the Amazon and prevent deforestation by paying locals not to cut down trees. A column for CNNMoney.
Hard News (July 26, 2007)
Newspapers are dying. At the Washington Post Co., CEO Donald Graham is banking on the Internet to save serious journalism. If he can’t figure this out, nobody can. A FORTUNE feature story.
Attack of the Mutant Rice (July 9, 2007)
America’s rice farmers did not want to grow a genetically engineered crop. Their customers in Europe didn’t want to buy it. So how did it end up in our food? A business mystery story…in FORTUNE.
A Texas Coal Rush (February 19, 2007)
Energy company TXU plans to build 11 new plants powered by coal. They will generate electricity—and lots of greenhouse gases. They are already generating political heat. A FORTUNE feature story.
Queer Inc. (December 12, 2006)
How Corporate America Feel in Love with Gays and Lesbians. It’s a movement. A major feature story for FORTUNE.
Wal-Mart Saves the Planet (July 7, 2006)
Lee Scott is no tree-hugger. But Wal-Mart’s CEO says he wants to turn the world’s largest retailer into the greenest. The company is so big, so powerful, it could force an army of suppliers to clean up their acts too. Is he serious? A FORTUNE cover story.
Will Success Spoil Rick Warren? (October 31, 2005)
America’s new superstar pastor wants to rebrand evangelical Christianity. He’s got the management genius to do it. Here’s where he’s leading his troops. A FORTUNE profile.
Globalization: The Race to the Top (June 27, 2005)
When it comes to human rights, the environment and product safety, standards of conduct set half a world away are shaping big companies’ behavior. A FORTUNE feature story
The Mosquito in the Tent (May 31, 2004)
A pesky environmental group called the Rainforest Action Network is getting under the skin of corporate America. A FORTUNE feature story
Tree Huggers, Soy Lovers, and Profits (June 9, 2003)
Some of America’s biggest corporations believe that the best way to make money is by saving the world. And guess what? They just might be right. A FORTUNE feature story.
Investors of the World, Unite! (June 24, 2002)
It’s up to institutional owners to fix corporate America, says the dean of shareholder activists. A FORTUNE profile of Robert A.G. Monks.
God and Business (July 9, 2001) (PDF)
Bringing spirituality into the workplace violates the old idea that faith and fortune don’t mix. But a groundswell of believers is breaching the last taboo in corporate America. A FORTUNE cover story.