Please join us for special edition of our Weekly Google Chats on March 20th. These chats are broadcast on our Google+ channel and embedded via YouTube right here on 3p.
On Thursday, March 20th at Noon PST (3pm EST), TriplePundit’s Founder and Publisher, Nick Aster, spoke with Mike Tinskey, Ford Motor Company’s Global Director Electrification and Infrastructure; Haukur (Hawk) Asgeirsson, Manager of Power Systems Technologies at DTE Energy Company; and Deb Frodl, Global Executive Director of General Electric’s Ecomagination.
Developing reliable and sustainable energy sources has emerged as one of the great global challenges of our time. From the power necessary to run our homes to new innovations in the generation of renewables, business leaders across the globe are creating approaches that are reshaping the way we source and use energy. Businesses and vehicles are beginning to use smart technology to become more efficient, and the next generation of Ford’s electrified plug-in vehicles may not even require a plug at all.
Nick talked with Mike, Hawk, and Deb about auto manufacturers’ new product development strategies, the increased deployment of charging stations, and the role of partnerships in advancing the industry.
Evidence is mounting that there is a connection between the hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—method for extracting natural gas and earthquakes.
Consider this item from EcoWatch this week: “On Monday, Northeast Ohio experienced at least four earthquakes in Mahoning County, just south of Youngstown. Can anyone guess what was nearby? – A fracking site with seven drilling wells. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered the Texas based energy company, Hilcorp, to halt all fracking operations in the area.”
Also on Monday, a ClimateProgress article explored the idea that as fracking operations grow in Ohio, “so do earthquakes.”
Coincidence? It’s possible, but quite possibly not. Ohio is merely the latest place to make this connection: Other sightings on the fracking-earthquake circuit have occurred in the U.K., the Netherlands, British Columbia, East Texas, Oklahoma and even California.
What’s good for fish is good for fishing communities — and for impact investors.
That’s the thesis of three new vehicles for investing in sustainable fisheries that will be tested in the Philippines, Chile and Brazil over the next two years and then offered to investors more broadly.
According to the nonprofit B Lab, “B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.”
B Corp certification does not confer legal standing and is completely voluntary. However, it does provide the validation of an independent body acknowledging that the company has met a responsibility performance standard — and B Corps across all industries are well known for positive impacts on both people and planet. We at Triple Pundit received our B Corporation status earlier this month — joining more than 900 other forward-thinking companies.
Yesterday, the Wayne, Pa.-based B Lab honored 92 of these global companies for creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact with the release of its third annual “B Corp Best for the World” list. Including companies from 31 different industries, the list honors businesses that earned an overall score in the top 10 percent of all B Corps on the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment developed by B Lab that rates a company’s impact on its workers, community and the environment.
In late 2012, a class science project in Lagos, Nigeria created a buzz on the social media airwaves. Four teenage girls had created a power generator using human urine. The 14- and 15-year-olds, who created the project in an effort to find a safer generating system for local families that depend on gas-powered systems to generate electricity, figured out a way to separate and use the hydrogen from pee to essentially create electricity.
In order to help educate the American people, the Obama administration just launched a new site, data.gov/climate, devoted to providing data and facts about climate change.
The site is designed to help people “find data related to climate change that can help inform and prepare America’s communities, businesses and citizens.” The initial phase contains data and resources about coastal flooding, sea level rise and their impacts. “Over time, you will be able to find additional data and tools relevant to other important climate-related impacts, including risks to human health, the food supply, and energy infrastructure,” the site states.
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.
TriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.
Laura Noctor: I am the Global Director of Corporate Responsibility for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). IHG is one of the world’s leading hotel companies – we have 687,000 rooms in over 4,600 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. We operate nine hotel brands including InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express.
I joined IHG in 2008 as Global Director of Corporate Responsibility (CR). Since then, I have worked across our entire CR agenda. I project managed the initial development of IHG Green Engage – our online sustainable environmental management platform, led our team’s stakeholder engagement activities including our CR Report and more recently have taken on a broader role, driving our sustainable communities programmes globally. One of my focus areas is the IHG Academy. The programme involves our hotels creating partnerships with local community or education providers and offering work experience opportunities with the aim of helping participants to become more employable. Another programme, IHG Shelter in a Storm, supports employees, hotels and communities impacted by disaster and leverages the unique role our hotels play in society. I manage a fantastic team, and together we work to convey the benefits of these programmes and make it as easy as possible for our hotels and colleagues to get involved.
Last week wasn’t a great one for companies in the extractive industries. In South Africa, a wage strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) against the world’s top three platinum producers — Amplats, Lonmin and Impala Platinum – entered its eighth week, with no end in sight.
Norway operates what is by far the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, with approximately $840 billion in assets under management, so its investment decisions are powerful. For example, the World Wildlife Fund, which has encouraged Norway’s SWF to invest up to 5 percent of its assets in renewable energy, commented that such a move could have a “global impact and redefine how we use money consistent with commitments to limit climate change.”
With the dozens – maybe hundreds – of G4-related articles that have been published in the last few months, it’s difficult to write something fresh about the topic. And yet, I think I still haven’t read a single piece highlighting the bridges between G4 and the other major trend that has been shaking up the sustainability reporting world lately: social and online reporting.
Nobody seems to draw the line between publishing a report based on the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 guidelines and publishing a digital version of such a report online. Is it because companies can only advance one step at a time? Do you feel like you’ll either need to choose between investing time, resources, money and efforts into a beautiful online report that will leverage your audience, or following the new and exciting version of the GRI framework instead?
Please join us in person at Impact HUB San Francisco for our latest “Stories & Beer Fireside Chat” on Thursday, March 20th at 6:30pm when TriplePundit’s Founder, Nick Aster, will be chatting with Dan Fibiger of GAP Inc and Erin Decker of Salesforce.
In this chat, we’ll go behind the scenes with two seasoned sustainability reporters at major corporations. We’ll aim to ask and answer: How does sustainability reporting play out in the trenches? Erin and Dan will share tips and lessons learned. The chat will be valuable for anyone interested in bringing increased transparency to their organizations’ transparency or getting into the sustainability reporting field.
The environmental impact of the clothing industry is large and varied. The most significant factors depend highly on the energy, toxicity and water life cycle of the material in question. In general the largest contributions occur in the material production phase (e.g. agriculture), clothing production phase (factory) and usage phase (washing and drying). These are in the form of energy, water and chemical pollution.
A number of companies are taking steps to produce clothing more responsibly and with a lower impact on the planet. Perhaps best known is the selection of low-impact materials, such as organic cotton, which greatly reduces pesticide use. Other materials that have one or more sustainable characteristics include soy, bamboo, hemp and recycled plastic.
Then there are trends that reduce consumption such as recycled clothing, where scraps, rags and pre-worn items are refashioned into new forms. New designs that are multifunctional, like the Versalette, which can be worn 30 different ways have also come on the scene. The idea here is allowing you to pack lighter on your journey through life, with a few items that can meet a variety of needs.
In 2012, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped 3.3 percent from the previous year, but overall, the nation’s emissions have risen by 4.4 percent from 1990 to 2012 – an annual average rate of 0.2 percent, according to a draft report released by the Environmental Protection Agency last month.
It’s been a year since Sheryl Sandberg published her book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” and we’re betting that many of you have read it, or at least are familiar with its themes. We know our readers are a great source of information and knowledge. Now we’d like your take on some topics from the book and if they have had any impact on your life. Tell us your stories.
The first part of the book talks a lot about how women should get by in a man’s world. “Should women play by the rules others created?…I understand the paradox of advising women to to change the world by adhering to biased rules and expectations.” Do women still have to get by in a man’s world, or are things changing? If so, how? If not, why not?
“Women are reluctant to apply for promotions even when deserved, often believing good job performance will naturally lead to rewards.” Why is this bad? And why doesn’t it work?
Don’t tell the public transit naysayers who maintain that Americans will never get out of their beloved automobiles: Americans took a record 10.7 billion trips on public transportation last year – the highest annual ridership number in 57 years, according to the 2013 ridership report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). In fact, public transit rides rose by 1.1 percent in 2013, while miles driven only increased 0.3 percent.
Why the record public transit ridership in 2013? Last year actually marked the eighth consecutive year that more than 10 billion trips were taken on public transportation systems, and the APTA says the 2013 figures were part of the increasing public demand for transit that has been growing since 1995.
Attendees hold signs supporting the free market at a Tea Party rally in Albuquerque, N.M. in 2009.
Looks like hip new disrupter of motor vehicles, Tesla, is running into a few problems selling those silent vehicles of tomorrow. You would swear they are silent killers the way the motor vehicle dealers are complaining and moaning about Tesla selling their cars directly to those who want to bypass the good old carbon-coughing combustion engine. Five states have banned Tesla selling directly to the consumer – New Jersey being the latest. Christie decided to stop Tesla like traffic trying to cross a bridge…
But I’m not here to talk about Tesla. I want one but can’t afford one even though the company has a location literally just down the road from where I live, and no, they are not a client so I have no skin in this game. But I am having issues with the fake free market advocates.
The myth of the “free market”… So often business and its sidekick the business association use the free market as their defense against any threat of government regulations or anyone talking about the need for companies to focus a wee bit on sustainability or CSR or, the hot new favorite, shared value. Please, the concept of the “free market” is as big a lie as the urban myth that Mr. Rogers was a Navy Seal. Or that the check is in the mail. Or the Cubs winning the World Series next year. Or any year.
San Diego: Apr 24 – Apr 27 Social Venture Network Spring Conference SVN conferences convene and connect influential, innovative business leaders, impact investors and cultural entrepreneurs to create an experience where attendees can share the ideas and resources they need to succeed and grow. Register here.
New York: May 13 – May 14 Shared Value Leadership Summit For business leaders and problem solvers who see exciting market opportunities at the intersection of business goals and societal challenges, the Shared Value Initiative is the leading community shaping research, partnerships, and practices. Register here.
Southern California: May 19 – May 21 Fortune Brainstorm Green As the premier conference on business, sustainability, and green investing, Brainstorm GREEN delivers fresh thinking, actionable solutions, and unparalleled opportunities to build top-level relationships. Register here.
London: May 20 – May 22 2014 Global Sustainability Standards Conference Listen to progressive companies and governments and leaders from Fairtrade, Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, Rainforest Alliance, and other influential certifications discuss what brings the whole standards movement together: Trust. Register here.
San Diego: Jun 2 – Jun 5 Sustainable Brands 2014 Discover what happens when brand strategists & designers connect with sustainability teams to drive innovation. 20% discount with code NW3pSB14sd. Register here.
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