Every now and then, a company takes a bold step, walking away from a profitable line of business because it doesn’t support their mission, or because it simply is the right thing to do. Retail pharmacy chain CVS took such a step last year when it decided to stop selling tobacco products. RP Siegel talks with Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS, to better understand the thinking behind this decision.
Author: RP Siegel
In a shocking development, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, headed by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Texas), submitted a new budget for NASA that would cut the earth science budget by $300 million. Ironically, this is happening at a time when NASA just reported that atmospheric carbon dioxide has exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time in human history.
Just about anyone who has worked in the area of sustainability has had to deal with the question of justifying long-term investments on a financial basis. Some measures, like fixing leaks and making efficiency improvements, pay off quickly and are therefore easy to approve. It’s when the investments take a little longer to pay off in dollars and cents that the conversation between sustainability director and CFO becomes a little more challenging.
Autodesk is well-positioned to help creative types tackle sustainable design with tools that provide the electronic equivalent of a sustainability guru looking over their shoulders and guiding them as they produce their solutions.
In the bicycle world there’s a ‘great blue ocean’ of market opportunity. That’s the 80 percent of people who could be riding bicycles but don’t. Enter the ELF: a three-wheeled, covered bicycle that you can pedal or drive with a solar-powered motor.
In the past 15 years, the number of women-owned businesses grew by 54 percent. There are now 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Together they employ more people than McDonald’s, IBM and Wal-Mart combined, and their revenue of $1.3 trillion exceeds the market capitalization of Apple, Microsoft, GE, Google and Sony. What is behind this trend? How have women managed to achieve this in business, which has traditionally been a man’s world? Is this something that women are inherently better at, or is it simply part of a larger trend?
If you live on a fixed income, fluctuations in energy prices can have a dizzying impact. As climate justice advocate Gerald Durley put it during a recent conference call hosted by the Natural Resources Defense Council: “When unprecedented weather disasters devastate the poorest neighborhoods in places like New Orleans, New Jersey and New York, [climate change] is a civil rights issue.”
This week is National Public Health Week. One of the events commemorating the occasion was a roundtable discussion on Tuesday at Howard University’s College of Medicine, where President Barack Obama joined U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to discuss the link between climate change and public health.
There is an economic recovery happening, though it isn’t happening everywhere. Some localities and some skills are seeing much higher levels of job growth than others. Jobs in STEM-related fields grew by 17 percent last year compared to almost 10 percent for non-STEM careers, according to the U.S Department of Commerce. Those are good jobs too, paying 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts. But those jobs are primarily going to men.
SourceWatch lists a total of over 100 companies and nonprofits that have now withdrawn from the American Legislative Exchange Council, commonly known as ALEC. As more companies break ties with the organization, pressure builds on holdouts like Exxon-Mobil and Peabody Energy to reconsider their positions.
Remember the federal land being leased to coal mining companies for next to nothing? Interior Secretary Sally Jewell finally spoke out against the practice.
As the American oil industry hit its boom through the advent of new drilling techniques such as tar sands extraction and hydraulic fracking, oil prices have plummeted — bringing gasoline prices down with them. Oil companies don’t like prices this low. But the easiest way to get prices back up is to cut production — and that means laying off workers.
The Sucumbíos province of northeast Ecuador is home to nearly a thousand toxic waste pits. And it is here that a group called the Amazon Defense Coalition has recruited specialized fungi with an appetite for toxic waste.
President Obama is so keen on passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that he’s asking Congress for fast-track approval. Supporters of the free-trade bill say it will help boost economy, and I don’t doubt that the president believes that to be true. Whether he’s right about that is the subject of vigorous debate among economists.