3p Contributor: Andrea Newell

Andrea Newell has more than ten years of experience designing, developing and writing ERP e-learning materials for large corporations in several industries. She was a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and a contract consultant for companies like IBM, BP, Marathon Oil, Pfizer, and Steelcase, among others. She is a writer and former editor at TriplePundit. She has contributed to In Good Company (Vault's CSR blog), Evolved Employer, The Glass Hammer, EcoLocalizer and CSRwire. You can reach her at andrea.g.newell@gmail.com and @anewell3p on Twitter.

Recent Articles

20 Inspiring Quotes from SXSWeco 2013

| Monday October 21st, 2013 | 0 Comments

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MerrickBy Andrea Newell and Marissa Rosen

SXSWeco 2013 had business leaders, nonprofit leaders and some people who were both. Benefit corporations, municipalities, the media, disruptors and even a celebrity or two. Everyone came together to talk about climate change, materialism, sharing, conservation, environmentalism, sustainability, change and the future.

Here are some inspiring quotes by the people we saw, we met and we listened to.

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Mackinac Island: Where Cars are Banned and Bikes Rule the Road

| Thursday October 17th, 2013 | 0 Comments
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M-185, the only U.S. highway to ban cars.

The first thing you notice is the quiet. The only interstate in the U.S. to ban cars, M-185, has no honking horns, no exhaust, no road rage. Only the clop-clop-clopping of horse hooves, the Lake Huron waves hitting the lakeshore and the faint clicking of gears changing. Every so often, someone calls, “Coming on your left!” as they pass. Everyone smiles and pedals on.

In our recent series, The Business of Biking, we have explored how bike lanes bring revenue to stores and the health benefits and increased productivity when employees bike to work. Unknown to many, there is a town in the U.S. that banned cars in the late 1890s, later doubled down by making it law, and has excluded them to this day.

Mackinac Island, located in Lake Huron, between the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan, is completely car-free (with the exception of a few emergency vehicles). But, it isn’t for any of the reasons that listed above, or any you could guess. It’s actually all about the horses.

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Women in CSR: Dr. Debbie Haski-Leventhal, Macquarie Graduate School of Management

| Thursday October 17th, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Welcome to our series of interviews with leading female CSR practitioners where we are learning about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in sustainability. Read the rest of the series here.

Debbie Haski-Leventhal 1TriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.

Dr. Debbie Haski-Leventhal: I am a Senior Lecturer and the Faculty Leader of Global Citizenship at Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) as well as the Director of a new program: Master of Social Entrepreneurship.

I have been a scholar of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and volunteering for over a decade. During this time I have contributed to the United Nations State of the World Volunteerism Report, as well as to the Australian and NSW governments’ strategies on volunteering. I work with the United Nations PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) on academic social responsibility and with the Institute of Economics and Peace on Corporate Peace as to what business can do to enhance peace.

In 2012, I initiated the MGSM CSR Partnership Network, which brings together different stakeholders to create shared knowledge and research on CSR and inspirational practices.

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Why International Paper Says It’s OK to Print Your Emails

| Thursday October 17th, 2013 | 0 Comments

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IMG_3063“How many of you have a line at the end of your email (or gotten an email) that says, ‘Before printing this email, please consider the effects on the environment’? From a resource perspective and a wise use of natural resources, that’s a wise idea, but what I would like to do is challenge that.”

That’s how International Paper’s James McDonald started his SXSWEco discussion refuting the idea that most of us have that printing or using paper in the office causes deforestation and harms the environment.

Well, you might be thinking, he works for a paper company, what else is he going to say? McDonald acknowledged that it sounds self-serving, but still – he was determined to lay out his argument. “The truth is,” he said, “there are facts out there we’d like to go ahead and talk about.” 

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Stir It Up: How Three Unlikely Entities Came Together to Create the Perfect Recipe for Change

| Wednesday October 16th, 2013 | 0 Comments

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brownie

At first glance, brownies and solar energy don’t have much in common. Yet the SXSWeco panel Stir It Up: Brownies + Social Mission + Solar Energy made the case for what can happen when organizations in different industries transcend all boundaries to work together. More and more we are seeing what would have been considered unusual partnerships in the past generate amazing results and bring needed resources to many people.

Individually, Green Mountain Energy, Whole Planet Foundation and Greyston Bakery each have a compelling mission and story to tell, but when they came together, they became even stronger and more able to benefit others around the globe.

Green Mountain Energy Sun Club

Green Mountain Energy (GME) is headquartered in Austin, Texas and has sold renewable energy for 16 years. It is the nation’s longest-serving renewable energy retailer. In 2002, GME started the Sun Club, where customers can sign up to add extra money to their bill to be allocated toward a solar installation for a nonprofit of their choice. Nonprofits sign up for the Sun Club to have solar panels put on the roof of their building for free. The funds go to pay for the equipment, and Green Mountain Energy oversees the installation.

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Women in CSR: Paige Goff, Domtar

| Tuesday October 15th, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Welcome to our series of interviews with leading female CSR practitioners where we are learning about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in sustainability. Read the rest of the series here.

Paige Goff 2TriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.

Paige Goff: I am the Vice President, Sustainability and Business Communications at Domtar.

In this role, I am responsible for managing sustainability communications for all of Domtar’s pulp and paper products. Key to my role is understanding and applying the current trends and strategies related to environmental, regulatory and social sustainability to Domtar’s business practices and products, while managing the relationships among environmental non-governmental organizations (NGO) and customers.

I have 14 years experience in the paper industry and joined Domtar in 2004.  I have a Masters of Business Administration degree.

3p: How has the sustainability program evolved at your company?

PG: Domtar leads the pulp, paper and wood products industry in sustainability through environmental stewardship, stakeholder collaboration, community investment and engagement and innovations that help recover and conserve natural resources. Some stakeholders – consumers especially – have sometimes questioned sustainability practices within our industry, and Domtar takes pride in leading the industry from an operational and product offering standpoint.

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Business is Crucial to Effect Large-Scale Change

| Monday October 14th, 2013 | 1 Comment

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Robin Chase. copyright David Fox.

SXSWeco, like many others, is a conference about ideas, issues, solutions and lessons learned. There are many entities (NGOs and local governments, etc.) present to participate on panels about issues like ocean conservation, prosperity in the face of climate change and future-proofing cities, but there is a strong underlying idea at SXSWeco about effecting change: business plays a key, if not the most important, part. To complement the efforts of these other entities, we need the power of business, and its ability to motivate individuals.

Keynote speaker, Adam Werbach, talked about his early work as an activist, leading the Sierra Club at just 23, and his migration toward working with businesses, most notably when he decided to work with Walmart in 2006. This led to a wave of criticism and even not-so-subtle threats. But now, it seems completely logical for these disparate groups to come together, bringing their various strengths to bear on the global issues at hand, a relationship that first-year SXSWeco keynote speaker, The Nature Conservancy’s Mark Tercek, also strongly advocates.

“Walmart has taken the stigma away from sustainability,” Werbach said. “However, we shouldn’t let Walmart or any other company simply rest on its laurels.”

So, as we hold businesses accountable for their sustainability efforts, encouraging them to continually raise the bar on their goals, sustainability, as a whole, needs businesses to make strides in order for there to be real change.

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Two Years Later, Attitudes Toward Green are Looking Up

| Friday October 11th, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Adam Werbach talking about Yerdle.

The SXSWeco conference was created two years ago to bring the popularity and cache of the original SXSW to sustainability, climate change and corporate social responsibility issues.

That first year the keynote was given by the inspiring Mark Tercek of The Nature Conservancy, who advocated the bridging of worlds between NGOs and business to spread the word, move the needle and really affect change.

However, among attendees, there was an undercurrent of frustration when the conversation turned toward the attitude of people outside the “green” community and their lack of interest in the looming crisis of climate change and dwindling resources. At the time, EDF’s Andrew Hutson stated, “We’ve failed. We’ve failed to convince the general public to worry about climate change.”

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Women in CSR: Patricia Reiter, Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solution Initiatives, ASU

| Thursday October 10th, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Welcome to our series of interviews with leading female CSR practitioners where we are learning about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in sustainability. Read the rest of the series here.

**On Tuesday, October 15, TriplePundit and CSRwire are hosting an hour-long Twitter chat with the The Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a program within the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. The chat will be co-hosted by professors George Basile, Senior Sustainability Scientist and Professor of Practice at ASU’s School of Sustainability, and Bruno Sarda, Director of Global Sustainability Operations at Dell and professor and consultant for ASU. For more information and to register click here

Patricia-ReiterTriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.

Patricia Reiter: I am the Director of Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solution Initiatives. With the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, I am building a social enterprise within Arizona State University to deliver sustainability solutions to businesses, municipalities, NGO’s and communities by drawing upon the knowledge assets and practical expertise of the largest university in the U.S. and the first university in the country to have a fully dedicated School of Sustainability. Through a generous investment of $27.5 million of seed funding by Rob and Melani Walton, the eight Initiatives focus on leadership, innovation and action to co-develop and deliver sustainability solutions, accelerate global impact and inspire future leaders.

I have been working on sustainability related issues for over 30 years beginning in 1982 when I worked on the World’s Energy Expo as an architect. Since then, I have worked on a range of urban sustainability challenges with professional firms, civic agencies and nonprofits.

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The U.S. Bike Lane Boom

| Wednesday October 9th, 2013 | 0 Comments

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bike laneAs our series about the productivity and health benefits of people riding to work, The Business of Biking, rolls on, cities are actively investing in bike infrastructure. Urban centers like Austin and even Memphis, once voted one of the worst towns for biking by Bicycling magazine, are creating bike lanes in an effort to alleviate congestion and appeal to businesses with workers who might bike to work. People for Bikes’ Martha Roskowski quoted Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, saying, “You cannot be a startup, high-tech economy and not be pro-bike.”

In the SXSW Eco panel, Bike Curious? Dutch Style Cycling in the US, the City of Austin and People for Bikes (sponsor of our The Business of Biking series) talked about their bike lane plans and efforts, inspired by Dutch bike infrastructure and culture.

Richard ter Avest, senior advisor and team leader of a team of traffic designers at Goudappel Coffeng, talked about Dutch bike culture and why bicycling is important. Why the bike? “The obvious reasons are that bicycling is clean, healthy, cheap, safe and fun.” Other reasons include:

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Women in CSR: Brittany Lothe, SAP

| Tuesday October 8th, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Welcome to our series of interviews with leading female CSR practitioners where we are learning about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in sustainability. Read the rest of the series here.

Brittany Lothe headshotTriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.

Brittany Lothe: I am Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP. I am responsible for leading social investment globally which includes grant, technology, and volunteering initiatives. I also have operational oversight for CSR-related governance, fiscal reporting, executive engagement, and various elements of communications.

I started at SAP more than 10 years ago in Government Relations. Prior to joining SAP, I held various legislative and campaign roles in the State of Wisconsin and in Washington, DC.

3p: How has the sustainability program evolved at your company?

BL: From entrepreneurial beginnings more than forty years ago, SAP has grown into the largest global provider of business software. Ours is a story of customer-inspired innovation. We develop easy-to-use solutions that address complex business problems. We provide the foundation for our customers to innovate and bring to market products and services globally. With business success, our social investment strategy has also expanded. The approach may have evolved over four decades – from philanthropy, to strategic giving, to a focus on value creation via social investment – but one thing remains the same. Our efforts are more than “just the right thing to do.” They are strategic to the success of SAP, as well as our customers and partners.

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Women in CSR: Heather Henriksen, Harvard University

| Thursday October 3rd, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Welcome to our series of interviews with leading female CSR practitioners where we are learning about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in sustainability. Read the rest of the series here.

Heather Henriksen2TriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.

Heather Henriksen: I am the Director of Harvard University’s Office for Sustainability where for the last five years, I have led a team of 15 professionals that works in partnership with the faculty, students and staff at our 12 schools and central administrative departments to craft Harvard’s sustainability strategy. Our approach has been to create a large change management initiative focused on making our campus more efficient, reducing costs and fostering a healthier community. (You can learn more about our work here, or on Twitter and Instagram @GreenHarvard. We’re also on Facebook.)

Other than my work at Harvard, I have been a member of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) since 2002, and my previous work experience includes private and nonprofit sector posts at Time Warner as a Director of Business Development & Communications and an Associate Director at Stanford Law School.

3p: How has the sustainability program evolved at your organization?

HH: It has gone from a startup, grassroots organization and effort to one that is institutionalized into the way folks work and live on campus. President Faust has said that universities have a special role and special responsibility to confront global challenges like climate change and sustainability. Our entire community has really responded to that vision by taking action both inside and outside the classroom. As much as possible, we try to tap into the creative ideas our students, faculty and staff are generating and then work to replicate them university-wide for greater impact.

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Women in CSR: Deborah Holmes, EY

| Tuesday October 1st, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Welcome to our series of interviews with leading female CSR practitioners where we are learning about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in sustainability. Read the rest of the series here.

Photograph by Jonathan GaymanTriple Pundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.

Deborah Holmes: I’m the Americas Director of Corporate Responsibility for EY. About a decade ago, I launched this function and helped leadership to define EY’s corporate responsibility strategy, which rests on two pillars: (1) enabling our people to use and enhance their skills (“skill-based volunteerism”) and (2) focusing on three areas of content, which we call “the 3Es” – entrepreneurship, education and environment.

3p: How has the sustainability program evolved at your company?

DH: At the start – and it holds true today – we had people that were very involved in corporate responsibility. So in a sense, the ground was fertile for CR. The difficult part was getting people to understand that to take advantage of EY’s scale and really make a difference, we couldn’t support everyone’s favorite cause. We needed a CR strategy that aligned with our business strategy. So we’ve concentrated on investing in the 3Es because they’re in harmony with who we are as a firm, and where we’re going.

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Women in CSR: Nicole Trimble, Outerwall

| Thursday September 26th, 2013 | 2 Comments

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Welcome to our series of interviews with leading female CSR practitioners where we are learning about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in sustainability. Read the rest of the series here.

N.TrimbleTriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.

Nicole Trimble: I am the senior director of corporate responsibility at Outerwall Inc., the kiosk company that brings you products like Redbox and Coinstar. I started as the first person in this role about three years ago and lead our corporate responsibility strategy and programs. Before this position, I worked in a variety of philanthropic and service organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

While at the Gates Foundation, I became convinced that real change and impact in the social and environmental sectors had to include business. Only the private sector has the speed, scale and urgency to address some of the world’s greatest problems and it is in business’ best interest to do so.

3p: How has the sustainability program evolved at your company?

NT: Outerwall Inc. was founded as Coinstar, Inc. more than 20 years ago by Jens Molbak, an entrepreneur with a vision to build a shared value business. Although the company has changed quite a bit, the founding principles have remained part of the culture. The office of corporate responsibility was initiated by our c-suite members who came from companies where CSR was a priority and wanted the same at Outerwall. I was brought on board to develop a cohesive vision and strategy for the company. In three short years we’ve accomplished quite a lot. We set environmental and social goals, produced two CSR reports and recently acquired a shared value company, ecoATM, the first company to create an electronics recycling kiosk to purchase used mobile phones, tablets and MP3 players for cash.

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Women in CSR: Shannon Schuyler, PwC

| Tuesday September 24th, 2013 | 1 Comment

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Welcome to our series of interviews with leading female CSR practitioners where we are learning about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in sustainability. Read the rest of the series here.

Shannon Schuyler_PhotoTriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business. 

Shannon Schuyler: I am a principal and the U.S. Corporate Responsibility (CR) leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). In this role, I oversee the actions and programs that unite the firm’s internal strategy around social and environmental responsibility, aligning each initiative to PwC’s overall business strategy in order to increase employee engagement, differentiate the brand in the marketplace and drive operational efficiencies.

I have ownership of PwC’s U.S. CR goals, including a $160 million commitment to youth education with a focus on financial literacy called, PwC’s Earn Your Future; a $10 million annual commitment to pro bono services for nonprofit organizations; a 30 percent firm-wide carbon reduction goal by FY’16; and 100 percent staff and partner engagement in the firm’s culture of giving. I also spend time dedicated to the firm’s external client-facing practice, Sustainable Business Solutions, facilitating discussions with clients on their approach to CR. I have been with the firm for 16 years.

3p: How has the sustainability program evolved at your company? 

SS: CR has always been part of PwC’s culture, but in the past it was more intuitive than it was strategic. Our people have always had an instinct to “do good,” but as recently as six years ago, we hadn’t yet come together to make consolidated and strategic investments to provide our people with the opportunity to unite and give back, be it to a cause, the environment or through the gift of time. We were missing a real opportunity.

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