Clean Break
Tyler Hamilton served as the editor-in-chief of Corporate Knights from Fall 2011-Summer 2015. Prior to joining the magazine, Hamilton spent 10 years as a business columnist at the Toronto Star. Hamilton is also the author of the book Mad Like Tesla.

A changing of the guard at Corporate Knights

Same fight, new editor, and four reasons to hope.

Four is and has always been my favourite number. Some people think having a favourite number is silly, but the number “4” has meaning when it pops into my head. Sharp. Well balanced. A homonym to the word “for,” which to me represents positivity and agreement and progress.

Three’s company but four is a party. When I started developing my personal signature in high school math class, I even incorporated the number four into the scribble that is my last name. So perhaps it’s fitting that after four years of leading the small but resourceful editorial team at Corporate Knights – which by the way puts out four issues a year – it’s time for me to move along.

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Can big oil transition to a low-carbon economy?

There are no easy or painless answers, but there will be casualties as the fossil fuel industry approaches its Kodak moment.

Please, PUT a global price on carbon.

That’s pretty much what six of Europe’s biggest oil and gas companies said in a joint letter sent in May to Christiana Figueres, the United Nations’ top climate bureaucrat.

“We stand ready to play our part,” Shell, BP, Total, Statoil, Eni and BG Group wrote, pointing to a number of actions they are already taking to limit emissions, from greater investment in lower-carbon natural gas and operational efficiency to supplying more renewable energy and exploring the use of carbon capture and storage.

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Hotels, Airbnb battle for green cred

Whether for leisure or business, more travelers are seeking accommodations that mesh with sustainable values.

Shipping container, recycled concrete pipe, or treetop – take your pick. Yes, this is an article about sustainable hospitality, and yes, the three strange options above are all types of hotels. A Days Inn hotel in Sioux Lookout, Northern Ontario, boasts of being the largest hotel in North America constructed with old shipping containers – 120 of them to be exact.

In Sweden’s Lule River Valley, a venture called Treehotel offers rooms that are suspended up to six metres from the ground within a tall pine forest, while Tubohotel in Tepoztlán, Mexico, uses massive recycled concrete pipes as the housing for its 20 rooms, stacked in pyramids of three.

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Is Ontario destined to become a relic of the auto industry?

Judging by the province’s record on EV innovation and manufacturing, the future of its auto sector looks bleak.

Ben Faiola drives his Michigan-made Chevy Volt into his garage, turns it off and just walks away. Usually, he’d have to do what nearly all electric vehicle owners must do to start their next trip on a fully charged battery: plug the car into a wall charger.

Not Faiola. He’s one of a handful of people in Canada who has installed a wireless EV charging system called Plugless, developed by Richmond, Virginia-based Evatran Group. The system just sits on the floor of Faiola’s garage. All he has to do is drive over it with the help of a wall-based unit that uses light signals to guide him in like an airplane on a runway.

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ATCO envisions big hydro push in Alberta

It’s a great idea, which could be even better by including wind, solar and geothermal.

Economics professor Andrew Leach has a lot on his plate.

In late June, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley appointed Leach as chair of a new climate change panel that will advise her government on energy and climate policies ahead of December’s big UN climate gathering in Paris.

Notley plans to be the first Alberta premier to attend the annual gathering, and she’s making sure she comes armed with a meaningful and effective action plan. Leach, who is director of natural resources, energy and environment programs at the University of Alberta’s School of Business, will spend the next weeks and months gathering and weighing ideas with an eye to rebalancing the province’s environmental and economic objectives.

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