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Articles by Joel Makower

Joel Makower is executive editor of, the annual State of Green Business report, and other websites and publications produced by Greener World Media, of which he is co-founder. He is the author or coauthor of more than a dozen books, including Strategies for the Green Economy.

Featured Article

A new sustainability standard for companies is being released for public comment: ULE 880 — Sustainability for Manufacturing Organizations, a partnership between UL Environment, a division of Underwriters Laboratories, and my colleagues at

It is a day that I’ve been awaiting for the better part of a decade.

A 45-day comment period opened Aug. 2, and we hope you will review the draft standard and provide detailed feedback.

ULE 880 is the first in a series of company-level standards and certifications that are being produced by this ULE-GreenBiz partnership. It results from about eight years of work — initially by a small team of us in Alameda County, Calif., and starting last year, between ULE and GreenBiz.

The first draft of the standard is now complete, the product of a Herculean effort spearheaded by my friend and colleague Rory Bakke, director of sustainability at GreenBiz. Rory was lead author of the ULE 880, with assistance from me, a terrific team from UL Environment, and a small group of advisors.

ULE 880 covers five domains of sustainability:

Sustainability Governance: How an organi... Read more

All Articles

  • Inside Newsweek’s new green corporate rankings

    Cross-posted from GreenBiz. On Monday, Newsweek magazine unveiled its first annual Green Rankings, the fruits of a near-Herculean endeavor: rating and ranking the environmental performance, achievements, and reputation of the S&P 500. The list, published today in a 12-page special section in the magazine as well as online, is the culmination of an 18-month journey. […]

  • Colleges and universities are learning what it takes to go green

    The dawn of the new school year has brought with it a corps of fresh-faced ideas and initiatives aimed at making colleges and universities cleaner and greener. And, like any freshman class, they are all beaming with potential: Most will succeed, a handful will excel, and a few will end up disappointing their parents. Campuses […]

  • Getting a toehold on your company’s climate footprint

    “What’s your company’s climate footprint?” It’s a hot question these days — one being asked increasingly of companies by customers, investors, activists, regulators, and others. OK, it may not be exactly that question, but it’s probably in some form, like, “What’s your company doing to reduce its climate impacts?” Or, “How do you call yourself […]

  • Companies that green their supply chains can find savings galore

    How many light bulbs does it take to change a supply chain? In the case of Baxter Healthcare Corp., just three. When Jenni Cawein, manager of corporate environmental health and safety engineering at the Illinois-based $9.8 billion health-care giant, arrived six years ago, she saw that the company was losing ground on waste. “I asked […]