green and sustainable business

Posts Tagged ‘CSR

Nature’s Fortune: Start Investing in Nature

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natures-fortune-215x143We know that it’s wise to take care of Mother Nature, and not just because it’s not nice to do otherwise. From a business standpoint it’s even wiser to invest in nature.

In his new book, Nature’s Fortune, Mark R. Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, makes a strong and impassioned case that business and environmental interests must align for everyone’s long-term benefit. And that includes the planet. New win-win alignments may be closer to reality than many might realize. Read the rest of this entry »

State of green biz is mixed

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Like a mixed green salad, GreenBiz Group‘s fifth annual 2012 State of Green Business report offers a jumbled view of the current green and sustainable business landscape.

“Things aren’t going as well as we’d hoped,” said Joel Makower, principal author of the 84-page report. “For the first time since we began doing our assessment, in 2008, several of the indicators have taken a downward turn.”

Each year GreenBiz examines sustainable business by tracking 20 indicators of progress that measure such things as carbon emissions, e-waste recycling, green office space, vehicle fleet emissions, toxic emissions, energy efficiency, employee commuting, corporate reporting, and a dozen other metrics. Read the rest of this entry »

Maritime Industry Goes Sustainable

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Shipping lines, shipbuilders, banks, insurers and shippers are joining forces on a major sustainability initiative that’s “designed to help the industry make long-term plans for future success.”

They call it the Sustainable Shipping Initiative/Vision 2040. They even assert that “radical changes” are needed to make the global shipping industry more energy efficient, environmentally-friendly and sustainable for the long haul.

The initiative unites maritime-related companies from across the industry with the NGO’s Forum for the Future and WWF, including:

Written by William DiBenedetto

November 10, 2011 at 2:00 am

OECD’s toolkit for manufacturer sustainability

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It’s a very good thing when a manufacturer decides to operate in a sustainable and socially responsible manner, but knowing what to do next to implement an effective, sustainable operation is the real challenge.

That’s why the OECD’s “Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit” is a useful place to start for businesses that are serious about implementing sustainability measures. It provides some answers to the age-old question: What do we do now?

The mission of the 34-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is to “promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” The organization provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

September 28, 2011 at 2:00 am

Collaborative Consumption: Another Buzzword?

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Once upon a time collaboration was not all that radical a concept, in the business world and even in Congress.

Lately collaboration has become a buzzword, something that businesses and their PR departments are quick to pay lip service to; maybe they even aspire to collaborate with their partners; maybe they really believe they are collaborative. (Shall we take Congress and the notion of bipartisanship and collaboration out of this discussion entirely? Let’s do.)

Talking the collaborative talk is one thing; true collaboration these days is the exception.

Trewin Restorick, chief executive of the UK environmental advisory body Global Action Plan, added the idea of “collaborative consumption” to the mix in a thoughtful Trewin’s Blog post. His blog post begins:

“One of the fundamental challenges constantly facing the environmental movement is the disconnection between the scale of the problem and the solutions proposed. Are we really surprised at public apathy when on the one hand we talk about climate change as the biggest challenge facing humanity whilst on the other we recommend unplugging mobile phone chargers? Clearly more fundamental change is required if we are to get anywhere near an 80 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2050.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

August 23, 2011 at 2:00 am

Chevron, the socially responsible oil company?

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When you’re a member of the Big Oil club, bragging about your CSR accomplishments and good citizenship rings more than hollow, it is tone deaf and lame from an environmental and climate change perspective and considering the commodity involved.

Chevron forged ahead anyway with its 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, released this month. It makes these points: The company achieved the safest year in its history; it has reduced total energy consumption by 33 percent since 1992; spent $2 billion with small U.S. businesses and “increased social investment” in communities around the world to $197 million. Yippee-skippee. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

May 17, 2011 at 2:00 am

Sustaining Sustainability Standards

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Sustainability is becoming a widespread corporate mantra but choosing the right set of sustainability standards is getting complicated. There are a variety of options available for companies seeking internationally accepted responsibility codes and standards to guide their reporting and, well, to brag about in CSRs.

Since 2000 the United Nations Global Compact has been a leading initiative for businesses “that are aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

March 29, 2011 at 2:00 am

SC Johnson beats GHG reduction target

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s_c_johnsonSC Johnson, the maker of a variety of household products including Windex, Glade, Drano and Scrubbing Bubbles, says in its latest sustainability report that it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 27 percent at its worldwide factories over the last eight years.

The GHG reduction in the Racine, WI, company’s U.S. operations since 2005 is 17 percent. Those reductions “have been met three years ahead of the company’s internal 2011 target,” it says in its 2009 Public Report, titled Responsibility=Resilience.

Those reductions are the equivalent of taking about 11,100 U.S. cars off the road for one year, the report says. The 2009 Public Report is SC Johnson’s 18th year of reporting on sustainability objectives.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

November 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Costco’s first CSR

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corporatesustainabilityCostco Warehouse Corporation has completed its first corporate sustainability report; it’s a worthy first effort but even the company execs admit there’s more work ahead for the world’s eighth largest retailer.

Shopping at Costco’s massive retail warehouses has always been a low-tech, do-it-yourself experience.

Paper or plastic is a question unasked at the checkout line; the best one can do is opt for a recycled cardboard box that might once have contained kumquats, underwear, olive oil or detergent.

So in that respect the Issaquah, Wash., retailer has taken a somewhat sustainable approach since its 1983 inception that also saves on overhead.

In its first Corporate Sustainability Report, which covers the 2007-2008 period, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dick DiCerchio admits that Costco’s environmental reporting “is still evolving. We recognize the need to report more environmental metrics information in future reports.”

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Written by William DiBenedetto

October 13, 2009 at 9:31 am

Jack Daniel’s parent: Mixed results CSR report

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jackdanielsbottleBrown-Forman – the parent of Jack Daniel’s and many other alcohol beverage brands – says in its second corporate responsibility report that after implementing a greenhouse gas reduction strategy last year it reduced total energy use by 2.3 percent from its 2007 use.

Very good, but over the same 2007-208 period the company reported that its GHG emissions actually jumped 9.3 percent to 189,233 metric tons. Water consumption meanwhile increased by 4.5 percent. The total GHG spike includes increases in both direct and indirect emissions mixed with a slight decline in “optional” emissions.

It’s not until page 25 of the 28-page report, On Being Responsible, Our Thinking about Drinking, that environmental issues and results are addressed in some detail and mainly in the fine print below several charts.

The company gets its energy from coal, waste wood, natural gas, fuel and electricity. Last year’s reduction in energy use came about from reduced production at some facilities and energy-efficiency moves such as lighting, heating and cooling optimization and the installation of a waste-to-energy process that will fuel a boiler at its tequila plant in Mexico with bio-gas generated as an energy byproduct at a new wastewater treatment facility there.

Brown-Forman says its largest energy use comes in the production of spirits, and the fuel used to distribute its products. The 9 percent bump in GHG emissions last year was attributed to increased capacity and the “introduction of new processes at one facility,” the report says.

In addition to its most recognizable and popular brand, Jack Daniel’s, B-F also produces and markets Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Canadian Mist, Fetzer, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Tequila Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, Tuaca, Woodford Reserve, and Bonterra.

“Our environmental performance policy emphasizes compliance to regulation and stewardship,” the report says, and “going beyond compliance.”

However, Brown-Forman has not as yet established a GHG reduction target.

“Our reporting is maturing, but we believe we still have some way to go,” says Chairman and CEO Paul C. Varga.

Realization is a good step for this 140-year-old-company old company. B-F is taking corporate responsibility seriously on a host of levels, but it’s early in the game for them and there’s still a lot of ground to cover.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

September 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm


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