Walmart Sees Gold in Small Neighborhood Grocery Stores

Eric Justian
| Friday July 11th, 2014 | 4 Comments

walmart marketGo small or go home. That’s my motto. Or it would be if I had a motto. And it seems that’s something Walmart is embracing — to the benefit of walkable communities and of those in food deserts where lower-income people suffer limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Walmart has announced it will nearly double its number of “small format” stores in unconventional locations, adding up to 300 more units around the U.S. focused on “perishables” such as fresh fruits and vegetables and meats. One of the major factors in the format’s success is how it uses pharmacies — another benefit to communities with walkability issues — as traffic builders.

This is not to say that the stores are specifically intended to address food desert issues. Back in 2011, Walmart committed to building stores in rural and urban food deserts, but that didn’t include the smaller format stores. However, the company did say stores like Walmart Express “will likely” serve food deserts. Ultimately, though, the intent of the smaller stores is to get a foothold in dense urban centers that aren’t cut out for the huge, sprawling format. Heck, some cities like Chicago have been downright politically hostile to Walmarts within the city limits.

The new format seems to be a huge hit, already. Walmart expects to see up to $20 billion in growth each year from these wee little outlets by 2018.

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Are We Really Ready to Divest from Fossil Fuels (and Plastics)?

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Friday July 11th, 2014 | 1 Comment

Divestment_fossil_fuels_plastic_industry_Cpj24Former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency Terry Tamminen came up with an interesting question the other day. In a post on Fast Company, the author and founder of the NGO 7th Generation Advisors asked a simple question regarding the carbon-producing fuels that we are now bent on relegating to the environmental trash heap: Can we really afford to divest from fossil fuels?

What a great question. It’s the kind that only one who has sat in the proverbial hot seat and lobbied for consensus and compromise would be asking right now.

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Redwood: The Natural Solution to a Man-Made Problem

3p Contributor | Friday July 11th, 2014 | 3 Comments

Sustainably managed redwood forests pull carbon out of the atmosphere and store it throughout their life.

By Charlie Jourdain

Mankind is ingenious if nothing else; and such inventiveness has allowed us to make incredible advances in science, technology and other pursuits that have made life easier. At the same time, some of our leaps and breakthroughs have resulted in unintended consequences that haven’t been kind to the environment.

At the California Redwood Association, we embrace science and technology, but we also believe that in many cases using products grown by nature can be the best decision for the environment and for the end-user. Sometimes, man does not need to add to what is already wonderfully designed.

We’ve discovered this as we’ve analyzed building products – most notably lumber used in decking. Though likely with the best of intentions, there are companies that try to use recycled plastic to create lumber (a composite, synthetic mix), but in doing so, contribute to carbon emissions through the use of fossil fuels. And just as unfortunate, composite lumber often gets dumped in landfills, where it doesn’t go away.

In the end, through what we’ve experienced and through an extensive Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Product Declaration, we’re convinced that whenever possible we should responsibly use what the Earth has already provided. If so, we are much closer to being truly sustainable than cooking up products in the lab.

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Harnessing Young Talent for the Impact Sector

3p Contributor | Friday July 11th, 2014 | 1 Comment

generation-innovation-millenialsBy Shannon Houde

In many ways, millennials are the hope of the 21st Century — and they’ve got a lot to teach us about social innovation. But to get them on board, business has to speak their language

“The youth of today” — it’s a typically derisory comment that anyone under the age of 30 will have undoubtedly heard from older people in their circle. Addicted to social media, valuing job satisfaction over job security, prizing individuality above conformity … “The youth of today” wouldn’t know real work if it jumped out of their tablet screen. But there’s another way of looking at the millennial generation, and business leaders run the risk of losing out by not paying attention to them.

A fascinating report from my previous-employer, Deloitte, surveyed 7,800 members of the millennial generation across 26 countries, and the results were summed up as ‘big demands and high expectations.’ Millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, and the findings show that they want to work for organizations that make a positive contribution to society by addressing global challenges of resource scarcity, climate change and income equality. They also want to work for companies that support innovation, and identified the biggest barriers to innovation as management attitude, operational structures and procedures, and employee skills, attitudes and diversity. What’s more, the report states that they are “ready to work independently if their needs are not being met by a traditional organization,” implying an entrepreneurial spirit and attraction to alternative working structures.

This means big things for the impact and sustainability sectors. A young global generation — connected culturally and spatially through technology, motivated by social good and seeking careers that facilitate innovation — is exactly the kind of leadership business must harness if it is to adapt to the triple bottom line of economic, social and natural capital in coming decades.

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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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Harley-Davidson Signals Climate Change is Mainstream

CSRHUB | Thursday July 10th, 2014 | 3 Comments

The following is part of a series by our friends at CSRHub (a 3p sponsor) – offering free sustainability and corporate social responsibility ratings on over 8,900 of the world’s largest publicly traded and private companies. 3p readers get 15 percent off CSRHub’s professional subscriptions with promo code “TP15.″

As previously seen on the CSRHub blog.

Harley-Davidson Signals Climate Change is MainstreamBy Carol Pierson Holding

What is going to solve climate change? To borrow terms from technology, a distributed solution is underway that has moved along the technology adoption curve and is already entering the mainstream.

We’ve watched this distributed solution take form for a while now. Government regulation, which lagged at the federal level, is enacted globally at the city and community levels. Individual power plants are switching from oil and coal to the lower-emissions solution, natural gas, on their own and without regulation. Corporate social responsibility, which was isolated in its own department, has in many companies been distributed across the enterprise, with CSR departments providing only specific support functions like competitive benchmarking, measurement and reporting.

How do we know our distributed solution has reached the mainstream? Harley-Davidson, whose brand is arguably nonexistent without a combustion engine, just introduced an electric motorcycle. The dominant brand in motorcycles, Harley sells 36 percent of all motorcycles sold in the U.S., including 52 percent of all on-highway bikes.  It has a well-entrenched formula for customer loyalty that includes its unique sound. That’s so important that the company tried to trademark it, only giving up in 2000 after six years of legal wrangling.

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Walmart Highlights Products From Women-Owned Businesses

| Thursday July 10th, 2014 | 0 Comments

women-ownedThe latest initiative by Walmart to support women-owned businesses involves calling out their products on its shelves. Starting this fall, women-owned businesses can qualify for a special logo to be placed on their products through Women’s Enterprise National Council and WEConnect International. Once a women-owned business is certified by one of these organizations, meaning it is 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by a woman or group of women, the product can feature the new logo.

Companies like Sexy & Smart, a lingerie brand, and Maggie’s Salsa already plan to use the logo, and with the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. at more than 8.6 million, Walmart is betting that number will increase. According to Growing Under the Radar, American Express’s 2013 update of its annual study of women-owned businesses, from 1997 to 2013 the number of women-owned companies increased by 59 percent, while revenues grew by 63 percent.

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Climate Change: Old Cell Phones Can Now Protect Old Growth Forests

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Thursday July 10th, 2014 | 1 Comment

A-RainForest_phonesEnvironmental groups have long been searching for a way to stop illegal deforestation in old growth forests. According to Interpol, up to 90 percent of the logging that takes place in tropical rainforest areas like Africa, Asia and South America isn’t by large corporations that own the tracks of land, but by illegal poachers who can use stealth and advance planning in dense areas where surveillance is difficult and costly.

The environmental advocacy organization Rainforest Connection (RainforestCx) has figured a way to get around this problem and make it easier for law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations to stop illegal cutting while it’s happening. And like any great ecological brainstorm these days, they’ve also figured a way to underscore the importance of what musician Neil Young refers to as the connection between the “rainforest and you”: the cell phone.

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4 Entrepreneurs to Look Up to When Starting Your Own Business

3p Contributor | Thursday July 10th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Nick D’Aloisio

By Miles Young

What does it take to become a household name like Gates? Jobs? Zuckerberg?

It wasn’t just their great ideas that turned them into moguls. An incredible idea means nothing unless you can think of a way to deliver it to the masses in a way that’s hard to ignore. These four up-and-coming entrepreneurs are making waves in their respective industries because each of them has found a way to make a statement with their product. Each demonstrates a particular quality that set them up for success. They know what it takes, so what can you learn from them when starting your own business?

Nick D’Aloisio

Australian native Nick D’Aloisio was just 15 when he released Trimit in 2011, an iOS app designed to condense text content down into 1,000, 500 or 140 characters. In an age when consumers like their news and information in tiny, tasty bites, D’aloisio’s idea was spot-on.

The proof is in the pudding. Apple caught wind of Trimit and featured it as a new and noteworthy app on iTunes shortly after its release.

As it gained popularity, it also gained the attention of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, who granted D’aloisio $300,000 in venture capital to take his creation to new heights.

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Successful Sourcing for LEED: From Building to Maintenance

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Wednesday July 9th, 2014 | 0 Comments

143070812_Hires_FFor many of us, green building design is still a confusing concept. Even though LEED, the U.S. Green Building Council’s signature environmental rating system, has been around since the 1990s, figuring out what makes a “green building” and what steps are associated with meeting LEED requirements often seems challenging to prospective home owners.

That’s in part because of a simple, underlying principle of the LEED rating system, says Josh Jacobs, UL Environment’s technical information and public affairs manager: It’s always improving.

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Water and Energy Conservation Opportunities in the Paper Industry

RP Siegel | Wednesday July 9th, 2014 | 1 Comment

img-water-quality As we study the key systems upon which our human population depends, it quickly becomes clear that water and energy are essential. Not only are they essential, but they are also inextricably linked. It takes energy to move, heat and purify water. It also takes a great deal of water to produce energy, whether it’s from hydropower or from thermal power plants, both nuclear and fossil fuel-fired.

The most prominent example of this interdependency is in agriculture, which uses enormous quantities of both energy and water. The paper industry differs from agriculture for a couple of important reasons. First, 72 percent of the fiber used in paper comes from trees which are rainfall-fed. This, in water conservation parlance, is considered green water – which is distinguished from surface and groundwater, referred to as blue water. Agriculture also depends on rainfall, but in many cases it is supplemented by a great deal of additional water via irrigation, which is why the industry is by far the largest water consumer in the nation.

Most of the water used in the paper production life cycle is used during the manufacturing process, primarily for conveyance of the fibers as they are extracted from logs as wood chips, and through the pulping process. By the same token, most of the energy used in paper-making goes into cooking the pulp, in order to remove the fibers, and drying the wet fibrous mat as it comes out of the paper machine before it is rolled up and ultimately cut into reams or converted into cardboard. According to this Energy Star report, more than $7 billion worth of energy was purchased in 2009 for the manufacture of pulp, paper and paperboard. This is primarily used as boiler fuel for both process-steam and power generation.

Of course, there is an opportunity to do things in a smarter and greener way. There is a great deal of residual biomass such as bark that could be used to produce energy. International Paper does exactly that, generating 72 percent of its energy from forest residuals. The company has also been working to improve energy efficiency, with a goal of a 15 percent reduction in purchased energy by 2020. An investment of $290 million has led to a reduction of 9 trillion BTUs per year.  At current coal prices, that will pay for itself in 8 years, though if natural gas is substituted, it could take longer. Since 2010, the company has reduced its purchased energy usage per ton of paper by 3.7 percent.

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Buying Gas Gets Easier with SAP, Toyota, VeriFone Technology

Bill DiBenedetto | Wednesday July 9th, 2014 | 1 Comment

old station_pete zarriaThe day when technology rules the road gets closer all the time. SAP AG, Toyota InfoTechnology Center and VeriFone have developed a prototype system that features a one-touch screen that directs drivers to the nearest gas station and authorizes payment electronically.

And the driver can even receive personalized coupons! Promotions! Loyalty points!

It’s called connected fueling in the connected vehicle — a brave new world for the fossil-fuel consumer. The companies announced the prototype at the 14th SAP Automotive Forum, early this month in Leipzig, Germany.

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How This Residential Care Home Bumped Employee Engagement Into Overdrive

Sarah Lozanova | Wednesday July 9th, 2014 | 2 Comments

Editor’s Note: This is the second post in a three-part series on dynamic governance, a new way to run either for-profit companies or nonprofit organizations. In case you missed it, you can read the first post here.

employee engagement Mealtime at Living Well Care Home and the Ethan Allen Residence includes farm-to-table foods made from scratch, with a chalkboard list of which farms provided the ingredients. A naturopathic physician is the medical director, and yoga and Tai Chi classes are available to residents. Inspired by Feng-shui, the rooms have warm and inviting colors. Essential oils are used as cleaning products, all of which are nontoxic. What might sound like a high-end spa are two innovative senior care facilities in Bristol and Burlington, Vermont.

When Dee DeLuca and a small group of like minded folks acquired Living Well, a 15-bed residence, 10 years ago, and Ethan Allen, a 34-bed home, last year, she had a vision of transforming these senior care facilities into loving and supportive environments where elders could thrive with few or no medications, natural foods and holistic treatments. This vision, along with a dynamic framework to govern the organization, was instrumental in the shift from business-as-usual, in an industry where high employee turnover, isolated residents and processed food are common.

“With dynamic governance, we are working with creativity,” explains DeLuca, executive director and co-founder of Living Well. “The typical bureaucratic structure [with top-down decision-making] leaves a lot of unmet needs on the table. With dynamic governance, the needs in the organization get met in a much more efficient way – and we have more fun!”

Employees who have a say in how they work are engaged employees, with a high level of commitment to the decisions they make. Many studies have shown a strong relationship between employees’ workplace engagement and a company’s overall performance. A 2013 Gallup poll estimates that only 13 percent of workers worldwide are engaged, resulting in $300 billion in lost productivity annually in the U.S. alone, as well as higher rates of absenteeism, safety incidents and turnover. To put it simply: Disengaged employees erode the bottom line.

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Upcycling Gets Famous With New Reality Show Series

Sherrell Dorsey
| Wednesday July 9th, 2014 | 0 Comments

 Teracycle, upcycling, pivot tv, pivot television, recycling, terra cycle, tom szaky, waste stream, recycling stream, human resources pivot tv, reality television, reality television human resources, sustainability, eco products, recycled products, post consumer wasteOne might assume that handling trash every day for a living might be a smelly job. But for the crew of designers, nerds and Captain Planet-pushers at upcycling firm TerraCycle, trash is a profitable problem that keeps on giving.

On August 8, PivotTV viewers will get a sneak peak inside the world of TerraCycle’s upcycling empire when its original, unscripted docu-comedy series “Human Resources” kicks off for a 10-episode run.

“Human Resources” follows the wacky, fast-paced work environment of the TerraCylce team as they come up with solutions to eliminate the concept of waste. The mash-up of eclectic personalities run the gamut as they bend the rules of corporate America, perform rain dances in the middle of the work day, break for early-morning yoga in the conference room and share kale chips with their in-office pets.

With more than 120 employees in several cities around the world, Tom Szaky, CEO and founder of TerraCycle, encourages both mischief and antics among his lively staff of eco-geeks, scientists and the occasional apathetic employee.

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MillerCoors Cuts Water and Energy Use, Pilots Sustainable Barley Farming

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Wednesday July 9th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Coors canNext time you reach for a MillerCoors brew, you can rest assured that the company is doing its part to be environmentally sustainable.

The company has greatly reduced its water and energy usage, according to its latest sustainability report. From 2012 to 2013, MillerCoors reduced the barrels of water it takes to brew one barrel of beer by 9.1 percent. The second largest brewer in the U.S., the company also slashed energy use by 15.6 percent from 2012, saving 1.6 billion mega joules of energy last year. MillerCoors has eight major breweries, and all of them reduced energy use.

Water is a big part of brewing beer, so reducing its usage is not an easy feat for any brewery. From 2011 to 2013, MillerCoors saved over 1.1 billion gallons of water. That’s enough water to fill 1,783 Olympic-size swimming pools or meet the needs of more than 11,500 average American households for a year. One of the ways it achieved the water savings is by converting its Fort Worth Brewery from steam heating to a pasteurizer reclaim system, which uses recirculated water instead of fresh, incoming water to cool beer after pasteurization. It also installed water reclamation systems in six of its eight major breweries, which saves tens of millions of gallons of water a year.

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