How B Corp Certification Helps Benchmark and Improve Performance

Ryan Honeyman | Tuesday September 23rd, 2014 | 0 Comments

This is the seventh in a weekly series of excerpts from the upcoming book The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, October 13, 2014). Click here to read the rest of the series.

Example 16 - BIA Distribution copyBy Ryan Honeyman

Many B Corps report that one of the biggest benefits of the certification process is taking the B Impact Assessment, a free tool that measures the social and environmental performance of the entire company on a scale from zero to 200 points.

This enables any business to measure the impact of its operations on its workers, its community, and the environment; compare itself to its industry peers; and compete to improve its performance over time. The B Impact Assessment is particularly valuable because no matter how sustainable your business already is (or is not), you will undoubtedly find blind spots that you can address to further benefit your stakeholders.

“Before the B Impact Assessment, we struggled with aligning our internal processes and assuring our deep-thinking team members that the company was being guided for maximum impact. Now we have a road map and partners that help us establish effective governance practices and policies. Becoming a Certified B Corp put it all together for us.” —Regina Wheeler, CEO, Positive Energy Solar

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

podium[Your News Here]

Companies Sign on to Report on Climate Change

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Tuesday September 23rd, 2014 | 0 Comments

climate_change_monopoly_philip_taylor

As we’ve observed in several posts this week, one of the really beneficial outcomes of the increased focus on the United Nations summit on climate change, which launches today, has been the groundswell of companies that have been willing to publicly step up or announce their efforts to offset global warming.

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board and its consortium of signatories has actually been in place since 2007, but its most recent statement is an example of the kind of momentum that is continuing to gain speed from the private sector.

Members of the CDSB have agreed to “to report and make use of climate change information in mainstream corporate reports (such as an Annual Report) to support the U.N. climate change negotiations,” Michael Zimonyi, a Project Officer with the CDSB Secretariat, said in an email.

CDSB offers a suggested Climate Change Reporting Framework that will allow shareholders to have a better sense of how their investments impact or are impacted by climate change, but signatories are not required to use this framework. The CDSB signatories, says the announcement, “believe shareholders and plan beneficiaries have an inherent interest in the completeness and comparability of climate-related information available in annual and other mainstream corporate reports.” The reporting framework also has the support of the U.N. Environment Program.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

CGI Annual Meeting: When Confronting Climate Change is Good Economics

Sherrell Dorsey
| Tuesday September 23rd, 2014 | 0 Comments

Clinton Global Initiative Climate Change EconomicsAddressing climate change comes down to simply implementing good business sense and long-term thinking about how we invest, build and support business growth around the globe. The Confronting Climate Change is Good Economics plenary session, presented at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting this week, drew consensus among notable panelists. They spoke to the changing values of companies and cities as it relates to planning effectively to leverage solutions that bridge both capital and climate change alleviation.

Highly appropriate after coming off a high from the People’s Climate March on Sunday, which drew an estimated 400,000 people from all over the world, this panel discussion accurately assessed the need for government, business and citizens to address greenhouse gas emissions and quality of life by aligning our actions to our most pressing issues.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Volvo Introduces High-Performance Hybrid-Electric Bus

RP Siegel | Tuesday September 23rd, 2014 | 0 Comments

Volvo_7900_Electric_Hybrid1 It’s common knowledge that getting people to use public transportation instead of driving cars will reduce carbon emissions. According to Transportation Nation, transit riders last year saved 4.7 billion gallons of gasoline. That adds up to 37 million metric tons of CO2 or 10 pounds of CO2 per ride.

Intercity buses, which are gaining in popularity, can potentially save even more. Using figures provided by Megabus, a completely full bus, which holds 77 passengers, emits 14 times less pollution per passenger than a typical automobile. Using those numbers, any bus with four or more passengers in it will emit less per passenger than a car.

The numbers for city transit buses, which are less efficient and are constantly starting and stopping, are not as good. According to the Department of Energy, city buses achieve an average of 31 passenger miles per gallon, which is less than a typical car carrying 1.55 passengers, and thereby achieving 39 passenger miles per gallon. That is, in part, due to the fact that a typical city bus is less than 25 percent full.

Clearly, getting more people to ride the bus regularly instead of driving cars is one way to curb carbon emissions. Another way is to make buses more efficient. On that note, there is some very good news to report.

Volvo just announced that its new 7900 Hybrid Electric Bus will be launched at the International IAA Commercial Vehicles show next week. The bus which, utilizes a 201 HP electric motor in conjunction with a lithium-ion battery, could be a game-changer. Because the bus can be run in silent, emission-free, all-electric mode for up to 4.3 miles at a time, that means the bus can be used indoors and out. This can positively impact air quality in bus stations and shelters which has been observed to be a problem, not to mention the air quality inside the buses themselves.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Study: Enormous Gains to Be Had From Sustainable Urban Transport

| Tuesday September 23rd, 2014 | 0 Comments

HighShiftScenCvr Carbon dioxide emissions from urban transportation could be reduced by 40 percent by 2050 – eliminating an estimated 1,700 megatons of CO2 emissions per year – by expanding public transportation, cycling and walking in cities, according a report from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and the University of California, Davis. There’s much more to be gained, however.

At a time when public services are being cut, expanding public transportation, cycling and walking in cities could save over $100 trillion in cumulative public and private spending. In addition, an estimated 1.4 million early deaths per year could be avoided by 2050 “if governments require the strongest vehicle pollution controls and ultra-low sulfur fuels,” according to a related analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

After March, 347 Institutional Investors Call for ‘Meaningful’ Carbon Pricing

| Monday September 22nd, 2014 | 0 Comments

IIGCCrptcvrA coalition of nearly 350 global institutional investors are calling on world leaders to institute “stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing.” They elaborate by calling for carbon pricing “that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of climate change challenge, as well as develop plans to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels.”

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) includes some of the world’s largest and most prominent institutional investors, including Australian CFSGAM, BlackRock, Calpers, Cathay Financial Holdings, Deutsche, PensionDanmark and South African GEPF. Collectively, the 347 institutional investors manage over $24 trillion in assets.

IIGCC’s call for meaningful carbon pricing and the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies comes as world leaders meet for the U.N. Climate Summit this week to hammer out details of a global climate treaty and successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Making sure their presence is felt and their voices heard, over 300,000 people [ed. note: the crowd count has been raised to 400k] took part in the People’s Climate March in Manhattan on Sunday. Organized by a group of environmental, social justice and public interest organizations, the march kicked off Climate Week NYC. A week-long series of events and demonstrations, Climate Week NYC organizers are likewise calling on government leaders to institute strong climate change action plans that are seen as a means of realizing other key U.N. goals, including alleviating poverty and growing socioeconomic inequality.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

University of California Commits $1 Billion to Climate Research

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Monday September 22nd, 2014 | 1 Comment

University_California_climate_change_CharlieNguyenYesterday’s People’s Climate March was predicted to be a game-changer for climate policies across the globe. While nearly 400,000 attended to make their wishes known, unfortunately there can sometimes be a big divide between public demands and institutional action. One public entity in California is already making plans to dramatically increase its support for improved climate initiatives.

The University of California has announced that it will commit $1 billion to climate change research initiatives. And with a $91 billion portfolio behind it and some of the top researchers in climate technology on its payroll, the state university system is in a unique position to lend weight to this endeavor.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

The High and the Low: Climate Change Resiliency in NYC

| Monday September 22nd, 2014 | 1 Comment

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a short series on creating resilient cities, sponsored by Siemens. Please join us for a live Google Hangout with Siemens and Arup on October 1, where we’ll talk about this issue live! RSVP here.

NYC climate resiliencyAs a coastal city with an inland water supply, New York City faces a unique set of challenges for climate change resiliency in a future marked by frequent, destructive coastal storms and rising sea levels.

In terms of clean water supply, New York has one advantage thanks to resiliency planning that dates back to the early 19th century. At that time, urban sprawl, commerce and industry quickly overwhelmed Manhattan’s patchwork of privately-owned wells after the Revolutionary War.

Rather than continuing to dig wells within the city, planners developed a system of reservoirs far inland at higher elevations, some as far as 125 miles away, relying almost exclusively on gravity-powered aqueducts and water tunnels. The incorporation of Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island into New York City was impelled partly by Manhattan’s lock on reliable, expandable inland water resources, as groundwater in those boroughs proved inadequate to sustain population growth. Only one group of public wells continued to serve part of Queens until 2007, when they, too, were finally put out of service.

The city’s wastewater resiliency, however, is a different story.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Money Talks: The Big Switch to Sustainable Palm Oil

| Monday September 22nd, 2014 | 0 Comments

sustainable palm oil Green CenturyWhen your pooled assets add up to more than $600 billion, people tend to pay attention when you write them a letter about sustainable palm oil. That seems to be the case in Friday’s announcement by five major palm oil producers, which pledged to self-impose an immediate moratorium on clearing high carbon stock forests.

The announcement came a week after four of the companies received a letter from a group of investors spearheaded by Green Century Capital Management, with collective assets topping the aforementioned $600 billion. In addition to calling for the moratorium, the Green Century letter urged the producers to adopt more sustainable palm oil practices, in accordance with a growing number of industry stakeholders.

Unfortunately, that’s where things could get sticky.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Study: Cats, Cell Towers are More Deadly to Birds Than Wind Turbines

Alexis Petru
| Monday September 22nd, 2014 | 3 Comments

wind turbinesWind energy has famously pitted environmentalists against each other – renewable energy and climate action advocates vs. wildlife conservationists concerned about wind turbines injuring or killing birds. But a new study, funded by the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI), reveals that bird fatalities resulting from collisions with wind turbines are extremely low; in fact, cell towers and cats kill a far greater number of birds than wind turbines do, the peer-reviewed report found.

Wind turbines are responsible for an estimated 214,000 to 368,000 bird deaths each year, according to A Comprehensive Analysis of Small-passerine Fatalities from Collision with Wind Turbines at Wind Energy Facilities. This is a small fraction of bird fatalities compared with the 6.8 million annual deaths caused by collisions with cell and radio towers and the 1.4 to 3.7 billion fatalities from cats, say the report’s authors, environmental consulting firm West, Douglas Johnson from the U.S. Geological Survey and Joelle Gehring of the Federal Communications Commission.

The report, which focuses on passerines (small birds such as songbirds), is the most comprehensive study of the impacts of wind turbines on small bird populations, said Taber Allison, AWWI director of research and evaluation, in a statement.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Symantec Twitter Chat Recap: “Bridging the Workforce and Diversity Gaps”

Marissa Rosen
| Monday September 22nd, 2014 | 0 Comments

What could companies do better when it comes to diversity in the workplace, and how can we address the skills gap happening across certain industries like tech?

On Thursday, September 18th, TriplePundit addressed these issues as we hosted “Bridging the Workforce and Diversity Gaps” on Twitter at #diversity.8750275571_5fda61700d_z

We engaged corporate responsibility thought leaders in conversation around affirmative action, gender gaps, transnational human rights issues, and much more.

Symantec panelists included: 

  • Cecily Joseph, VP of Corporate Responsibility & Chief Diversity Officer at Symantec Corporation.
  • Marian Merritt, Director of Cyber Education and Online Safety Programs for Symantec Corporation.

Guests participants included: 

  • Meghan Ennes, Community Coordinator at the Shared Value Initiative.
  • Susan McPherson, passionate cause marketer, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert.

twitter-symantecDuring the course of this hour-long chat, we reached over a million Twitter accounts and generated millions of Twitter impressions across the social media site! Just a few of your distinguished participants included Seth Leitman, David Connor, John Friedman, Milinda Martin, and Henk Campher.

Below is the Storify summary of the conversation on #diversity as it took place. For more information on Symantec’s CSR program, feel free to reach out to Cecily Joseph or Marian Merritt via Twitter.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Bacardi Partners with World Wildlife Fund on Sugarcane Farm

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Monday September 22nd, 2014 | 0 Comments

fiji sugarcane harvestingWorld famous rum maker Bacardi and the World Wildlife Fund are aiming to advance sugarcane standards in Fiji with a model sugarcane farm program.

The purpose of the initiative is to protect Fiji’s Great Sea Reef and tropical farmland. The Great Sea Reef is one of the largest reef systems in the world, supplying up to 80 percent of the domestic fish market.

The changes in farming that are part of the initiative include terracing and carefully distancing rows of sugarcane, which help control nutrient and seed runoff into the waterways that lead to the reef. WWF developed the model farms in Fiji.

The initiative helps protects both Fiji’s environment and its economy. Back in 2007, Bacardi started getting involved in sugarcane initiatives. “We saw sugarcane was in one of the important sectors for environmental, economic and social factors…sugarcane is important for rum development,” Dave Howson, global sustainability director for Bacardi, told me.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

8 Ways Community Engagement Strategies Can Drive Business Returns

3p Contributor | Monday September 22nd, 2014 | 2 Comments

By Phil Preston

LOOK sign

Community engagement strategies are becoming more sophisticated and increasingly being used to drive financial returns. Knowing where to start can be tricky, so I’ve outlined eight entry points that you can use to kickstart your strategy process:

1. Purpose: Re-examine your mission and express it in terms of societal benefit

An Australian insurer expresses its purpose as “to help people manage risk and recover from the hardship of unexpected loss,” which is a powerful way of thinking and more meaningful than “to be the outstanding competitor in our chosen markets…” Clarity of purpose provides a platform for new opportunities and builds resilience into the business model.

2. Positioning: Integrate your unique assets and strengths into your strategies

A local property developer includes social assets, such as schools, in its new residential releases. It has developed insight and understands how customers value these features. Learning how to identify and develop your assets, such as intellectual property, is the key.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

People’s Climate March: Being a Part of Something Big

3p Contributor | Sunday September 21st, 2014 | 2 Comments

Editor’s Note: A version of this post was originally published on the EcoPlum blog.

10565046_1454513064799672_5914704337046021387_nBy Gia Machlin

I was born in the ’60s and often think about how crazy that decade was. President John F. Kennedy was killed when my mom was pregnant with me; our good family friend Andrew Goodman was killed in Mississippi right around my birth; Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were both killed when I was 4. It must have seemed like the world was falling apart.

Yet the world changed in significant ways that decade, and many people gained rights and freedoms that allowed them to achieve what they only dreamed of at that time. Today, my family, colleagues and coworkers will be part of something HUGE – something so big that it is reminiscent of the groundswell that was the Civil Rights movement: the People’s Climate March here in New York City.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

SOCAP 14 Interview: Marissa Feinberg, Impact HUB NYC

| Saturday September 20th, 2014 | 0 Comments

This video is part of our ongoing coverage of SOCAP14.  To see the rest please visit our SOCAP 14 page here.

Marissa Feinberg is co-founder of Impact HUB New York, a co-working space founded on a social enterprise mission.  She also talks about how the HUB is structured and how HUB New York will interact with others in the network.

Marissa and her team will also be hosting us on October 2 for Stories & Beer with a focus on the intersection of water and the fashion industry.  RSVP here if you want to come by!

Permalink discuss Discuss This »