3p Contributor: Mary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is a senior editor at TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist with a passion for storytelling and sustainability. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News, Earth911, the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands and the Daily Meal.

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian with an interest in climate resilience, clean tech and food justice. You can contact her at mary@triplepundit.com or @mary_mazzoni on Twitter.

Recent Articles

3p Weekend: 7 Companies Investing in Sustainable Packaging

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday August 1st, 2014 | 0 Comments
Can you guess what this Dell packaging is made from?

Can you guess what this Dell packaging is made from?

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

As waste continues to pile up in our landfills, a growing number of companies are taking a second look at product packaging and devising creative ways to cut back. From mushrooms and potatoes to the quest for a recyclable toothpaste tube, this week we’re tipping our hats to seven companies that are leading the charge in sustainable packaging design.

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What Does Corporate Responsibility Mean When It Comes To the NSA?

Mary Mazzoni
| Thursday July 31st, 2014 | 1 Comment

10562036794_747f93b1dd_zDetails about the National Security Agency’s “Prism” surveillance program have entered the news in dribs and drabs since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked revealing documents about the program to the Guardian and the Washington Post in June of last year. The unsettling insights revealed by Snowden generated quite a stir in the press, and large tech and telecom companies faced a wave of consumer backlash in the wake of the ongoing story.

Last September, while Snowden was living under guard at a secret location in Russia, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer seemed caught off-guard when a reporter raised questions about NSA surveillance at the 2013 TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.

When asked what would happen if Yahoo ignored the order or shared it with the press, Mayer uncomfortably replied: “Releasing classified information is treason. It generally lands you incarcerated.”

Companies are often left with few options once the U.S. government starts putting the screws to them. So, how do NSA data requests fit in with overall corporate responsibility? What is a company to do when faced with a request that seems to counteract its responsibility to consumers? We spoke with three key experts in corporate social responsibility (CSR) to find out the answers.

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3p Weekend: 11 Companies That Hire the Formerly Incarcerated

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday July 25th, 2014 | 14 Comments
Isidore Electronics Recycling provides job opportunities for previously incarcerated Los Angeles residents while finding a new home for e-waste.

Isidore Electronics Recycling provides job opportunities for previously incarcerated Los Angeles residents while finding a new home for e-waste.

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

It’s no secret that finding a job after being released from prison is an often insurmountable task, leading to skyrocketing recidivism rates across the country. While many companies are hesitant to hire the formerly incarcerated, a number of enterprises are taking a chance on these men and women — and, in turn, giving them a second chance at life.

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3p Weekend: 5 Cities Already Feeling the Effects of Climate Change

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday July 18th, 2014 | 19 Comments
A local man paddles past submerged cars on South Beach in Miami in 2009. Locals say the rising tides are only getting worse.

A local man paddles past submerged cars on South Beach in Miami in 2009. Locals say the rising tides are only getting worse.

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

While some still view climate change as some distant or unidentifiable threat (and others simply argue its effects “won’t be so bad”), the impacts of rising tides and surging temperatures are already changing lives around the world. From South Florida to the Pacific Islands, this list represents thousands of lives that are forever altered by the warming climate — and a threat to millions more unless something changes quickly.

1. Miami, Florida, United States

“Climate change is no longer viewed as a future threat round here,” atmosphere expert Professor Ben Kirtman, of the University of Miami, told the Guardian in a recent interview. “It is something that we are having to deal with today.”

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Millennials and the State of Employee Engagement

Mary Mazzoni
| Thursday July 17th, 2014 | 3 Comments
The WeSpire team talks employee engagement at the organization's active booth at the 2014 Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego.

Susan Hunt Stevens (center) and the WeSpire team talk employee engagement at the organization’s active booth at the 2014 Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego.

Employee engagement has been a hot topic in the sustainability space this year — and for good reason. Attracting, engaging and retaining top talent has caught up to — if not surpassed — motives like cost savings as the driving factor influencing companies to embrace sustainability goals.

To put it simply: More and more employees are asking companies about their sustainability programs, and, even in a sluggish economy, some may be hesitant to work for a company that hasn’t identified sustainability as a priority.

While the pressure is coming from all angles, research shows the younger generation is leading the charge: A recent PwC study found that more than half of recent college graduates are seeking a company that has corporate social responsibility (CSR) values that align with their own, and 56 percent would consider leaving a company that didn’t have the values they expected.

Building on this research, cloud-based engagement platform WeSpire (formerly known as Practically Green) recently released the results of a five-year research study that shows the influence millennials have in organizations stepping up their employee engagement action.

The findings are intriguing: In response to employee demand, particularly from millennials, a growing number of employers are adopting an official engagement policy on sustainability. This upward trend was especially pronounced from 2011 to 2014, where the prevalence of an official employee sustainability engagement policy nearly doubled: from 17 percent in 2011 to 30 percent in 2014.

“People are realizing that these are not ‘nice-to-have’ programs,” Susan Hunt Stevens, founder and CEO of WeSpire, told Triple Pundit. “They drive the bottom line and the top line of business.”

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3p Weekend: 5 Companies with Exemplary Customer Service

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday July 11th, 2014 | 0 Comments

7639756506_f7f0db8f85_zWith a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

In a world where terms and conditions pages read like Russian novels, it’s unfortunate that exemplary customer service is more the exception than the rule. But Friday isn’t a day to focus on the negative.

With that in mind, this week we’re tipping our hats to five companies that prove the stereotype wrong and are rewarded with happy customers and healthy bottom lines.

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Bridging the Gap: Connecting Buyers and Sellers of Sustainable Seafood

Mary Mazzoni
| Thursday July 10th, 2014 | 0 Comments
The FishChoice online directory . Click here to visit.

The FishChoice online directory has grown to 3,600 product listings from over 400 suppliers. Click here to visit.

If you’ve noticed a few more sustainable seafood options at your regular grocery chain, you’re not alone. Greenpeace’s latest Carting Away the Oceans (CATO) report showed significant progress by large retailers in embracing sustainability in their seafood supply chains.

“When we first ran this assessment back in 2008, literally all of the stores failed,” James Mitchell, senior oceans campaigner with the Greenpeace Oceans program, told Triple Pundit in a recent interview. “Now in our 2014 edition, the vast majority of retailers, 22 out of 26, passed. And four of them — Whole Foods, Safeway, Wegmans and Trader Joe’s — actually landed a ‘Good’ score.” Even mega-retailer Walmart was lauded for its efforts to introduce a private-label sustainable canned tuna product.

Despite these promising steps in the right direction, noticeable gaps still exist in the market. Richard Boot, now founder and president of FishChoice, Inc., noticed one of these gaps while working in the restaurant industry and later for sustainable fishery advocate FishWise. Although large retailers have the opportunity to work directly with the environmental community to source sustainable seafood, he explained, local chefs and small- to medium-sized buyers are often left to their own devices — and can become confused by the vast array of certifications and standards in the market.

“What chefs and small buyers needed was a resource to find a company with products that fit sustainability standards,” Boot told Triple Pundit. “The challenge is that there’s a lot of information out there. What buyers said — and what I remember from being a buyer — is that they need a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and a phone number to call. If you’re looking for sustainable shrimp options, you don’t need to read a 25-page paper on sustainable sourcing, you just need to find a supplier.”

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7 Companies Embracing Independence With Employee Ownership

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday July 4th, 2014 | 1 Comment

4324883337_4a8f4551d4_zFor a special holiday edition of 3p Weekend, this week we’re focusing on companies that embody the spirit of July Fourth by formalizing their employees’ independence. 

Once a niche phenomenon, the number of worker-owned businesses is growing by about 6 percent per year in the U.S. The number of employee-owned companies grew from 1,600 in 1975 to around 11,000 in 2013, accounting for 12 percent of the private-sector workforce.

Sometimes criticized as “not quite capitalism,” Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are picking up steam as a way to center companies around worker collaboration, rather than the pressure of external stakeholders. So, as we light up our fireworks and let our flags fly, we salute these seven companies that took a chance on independence — and reaped the rewards.

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3p Weekend: 5 Reasons Businesses Should Care About Climate Change

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday June 27th, 2014 | 7 Comments

10637793755_3c52dddbe8_zWith a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

On the heels of the latest three-part report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it seems a new study comes out daily about how a changing climate may impact life as we know it. It’s always tricky to ask: Why now? But, as recent research shows, not asking may prove even more costly. To get your mind going this Friday afternoon, we gathered up five reasons businesses should care about climate change — not tomorrow, not next year, but right in the here and now. 

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3p Weekend: 7 Companies That Make Employee Volunteering a Priority

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday June 20th, 2014 | 0 Comments
Timberland employees recently surpassed 1 million volunteer hours served.

Timberland employees recently surpassed 1 million volunteer hours served.

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

It’s easy to start losing your faith in humanity once Friday rolls around. To give you a bit of a mental boost this afternoon, we rounded up seven industry-leading companies that make employee volunteering a priority while still turning a profit. 

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4 Lessons the Apparel Industry Can Learn from Carpet-Makers

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday June 20th, 2014 | 0 Comments

TriplePundit attended Sustainable Brands 2014 in San Diego this month. This post is part of our coverage. Find the rest here.

5185833554_e9fb31921e_zThe 2014 Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego prompted discussions about a host of sustainability issues, from climate resilience to consumer engagement. But in a nation where waste recovery rates have hovered below 35 percent for the past decade, it was tough not to talk about recycling as well.

In a panel discussion hosted by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, leaders in the textile recycling space spoke about lessons learned that can be applied to the apparel industry, which is a key area of focus for the institute. One of the more surprising additions to the panel, entitled “Optimizing Building Blocks: Cradle to Cradle Materials for Textiles,” was Paul Murray, vice president of sustainability and environmental affairs at Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer.

Believe it or not, there’s actually a great deal the apparel industry can learn from carpet-makers about closed loop recycling. Shaw, for example, has been producing Cradle to Cradle certified products for more than a decade, and they now make up 64 percent of the company’s sales. I sat down with Murray after the panel to find out more about how the carpet industry’s success with closed loop recycling can be applied to your favorite fashions and lessons that translate across the textile industry.

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3p Weekend: 10 Companies Committed to Sustainable Palm Oil

Mary Mazzoni
| Saturday June 14th, 2014 | 2 Comments
Palm oil-related deforestation in Indonesia.

Palm oil-related deforestation in Indonesia.

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

Palm oil is quickly becoming a hot-button issue in the sustainability space, and for good reason. The growth in palm oil plantations is among the most serious causes of deforestation in tropical regions. (For more on the issue, check out these posts from Phil Covington’s recent trip to Indonesia.)

As consumers become more aware of palm oil-related deforestation, a select few companies are leading the charge and making bold commitments to sustainable sourcing. There’s still more work to be done, but this week we’re happy to give these 10 companies a well-deserved pat on the back.

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Employee Engagement: The ‘Human Thread’ Between Sustainability and Results

Mary Mazzoni
| Tuesday June 10th, 2014 | 1 Comment
Andy Savitz, author of, speaks about employee engagement at SB'14 in San Diego on June 3.

Andy Savitz, author of “Talent, Transformation and the Triple Bottom Line,” speaks about employee engagement at SB’14 in San Diego on June 3.

The 2014 Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego gathered some of the most influential companies, organizations and thought leaders in the sustainability space. During the event, one unexpected theme arose over and over: employee engagement and its role in corporate sustainability.

A recent PwC study found that more than half of recent college graduates are seeking a company that has corporate social responsibility (CSR) values that align with their own, and 56 percent would consider leaving a company that didn’t have the values they expected. As Andy Savitz, author of “Talent, Transformation and the Triple Bottom Line,” put it in a panel discussion on Tuesday: “They’re looking for purpose, not just a paycheck.”

While some business leaders may have a first-instinct shrug when it comes to employee engagement, it offers scores of benefits for companies. In a 2012 report that compiled 263 research studies across 192 companies, Gallup found that companies in the top quartile for engaged employees, compared with the bottom quartile, had 22 percent higher profitability, 10 percent higher customer ratings, 28 percent less theft and 48 percent fewer safety incidents.

In a panel discussion on Tuesday, Desso CEO Alexander Collog d’Escury called employees a company’s “most important resource,” while Savitz identified employee engagement as “the human thread between sustainability, the triple bottom line and business results.”

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3p Weekend: Trending Topics from SB’14 San Diego

Mary Mazzoni
| Saturday June 7th, 2014 | 0 Comments
"Reimagine. Redesign. Regenerate." was the theme of this year's Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego.

“Reimagine. Redesign. Regenerate.” was the theme of this year’s Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego.

Triple Pundit spent the week at the 2014 Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego, which gathered some of the most influential companies, organizations and thought leaders in the sustainability space.

We gathered five of the top trending topics from the event for a quick weekend read. Stay tuned for more coverage all week!

1. Turning the mega challenges into prosperity

Resilience to climate change and resource constraints was a hot topic at SB’14. Talks often centered around how a company can turn its approach to these pressing mega challenges into brand value and bottom line returns.

PwC and author, speaker and environmental strategy consultant Andrew Winston led a panel on ‘building good growth’ in a brand by using cutting edge techniques to turn challenges into value. Andy Savitz, author of “Talent, Transformation and the Triple Bottom Line,” examined how sustainability programs can help companies attract and retain top talent, while others explored how things like biomimicry and the sharing economy can teach big business a lesson about turning challenge into change.

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3p Interview from #SB14sd: PwC on Resilience and Total Impact Measurement

Mary Mazzoni
| Thursday June 5th, 2014 | 0 Comments

pwcResilience to climate change and resource constraints was a trending topic at the 2014 Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego. In one of the many discussions on the issue, PwC and author, speaker and environmental strategy consultant Andrew Winston led a panel on ‘building good growth’ in a brand.

Part of the conversation centered around using breakthrough techniques like natural capital management and total impact measurement to build resilience and strengthen brand value. I sat down with panelists Clinton Moloney and Amy Longsworth of PwC after the discussion to find out more.

Triple Pundit: Your chat focused on creating measurable sustainable value for brands. For folks who weren’t able to attend, can you speak to how you define ‘measurable’ and ‘sustainable’ value?

Clinton Moloney: It’s a great question, and what you have to look at is what measures or what value you are talking about and to whom. We spend a lot of time with investors and shareholders, and they’re looking for two things: They’re looking for how can you improve my financial performance in the next quarter, as you might imagine. But we just completed a study where we found that one-third of investors with more than $100 billion under management are saying that they need more on sustainability to be able to make high quality, long term investment decisions.

If you look at what companies are reporting today, they’re doing many many things, and the question is: How do you narrow that in on some of those things that are going to be much more material? So, we spend time helping make that link between sustainability performance and business performance, and we’re hearing pretty loud and clear from investors that there’s a real need for that.

Fund managers can’t play casino capital like the short-term traders do on Wall Street. They’re really looking to place assets over the longer term. They’re the investors for whom sustainability really matters.

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