3p Weekend: 10 Clever (and Conscious) Ad Campaigns That Won the Internet

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday April 11th, 2014 | 0 Comments
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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 FridayTriplePundit 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 tough to deliver a truly great ad campaign these days.  The good news is that despite an an ever-expanding sea of competition, ads that appeal to social consciousness are cutting through the crowd. With that in mind, this week we’re featuring 10 clever and socially conscious ad campaigns that won the Internet.

1. U.N. Women’s Autocomplete campaign

Released late last year, this ad campaign rocked the Web by featuring portraits of women with discriminatory Google autocomplete results covering their mouths. The campaign, developed as a creative idea for U.N. Women by Memac Ogilvy and Mather Dubai, features portraits of women with autocomplete results for search terms like “women should” and “women shouldn’t” covering their mouths. The results were disturbing, with responses like women should “be in the kitchen” and women shouldn’t “have rights.”

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Can Corporate Sustainability & Economic Growth Coexist? A Twitter Chat With SAP, BSR and CDP

Marissa Rosen
| Friday April 11th, 2014 | 0 Comments

tweet-jam-sapJoin TriplePundit and CSRwire at #SustyBiz TODAY at 8am PT/11am ET live on this page or on Twitter.

What does it mean for a technology company to lead with sustainability? How can technology companies leverage their expertise and scale to make exponential social and environmental impact? Moreover, how do you sustain your impact while growing your business? In its second SAP Integrated Report , SAP announced “plans to power all its data centers and facilities globally with 100 percent renewable electricity” as well as a shift to a cloud business model, which it predicts will also help “eliminate carbon emissions caused by its customers’ systems by moving them into SAP’s green cloud.

The “green cloud” might sound geeky and industrial to many – especially when companies like Intel are busy making extraordinary commitments to reduce their footprint – but it does address the sustainability conundrum many corporations face on its head: how do you wrap your consumer into your sustainability strategy and attempt to minimize their footprint as well?

The answer isn’t simple, even for a company like SAP that has lead with sustainability for years by committing to ambitious goals and transparently reporting against them via an interactive sustainability platform and early adoption of integrated reporting.

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TerraCycle Wants to Help Businesses Go Zero Waste

Alexis Petru
| Friday April 11th, 2014 | 0 Comments

TerraCycle Zero Waste BoxTerraCycle is known for collecting materials that can’t be recycled through traditional curbside recycling programs – like chip bags, water filters and cigarette butts – and turning them into innovative, affordable products. Now with the launch of its Zero Waste Box program, the New Jersey-based company wants to make it easier for businesses to dramatically reduce their waste stream.

Unlike TerraCycle’s recycling Brigades program where participants can often recycle a product from only one company, the Zero Waste initiative allows customers to mix products from different companies in the same box. For example, you can order a Zero Waste Box to collect baby food pouches made by any company, but you would have to sign up for one Brigade to recycle Earth’s Best pouches and a separate one for Ella’s Kitchen. Some of TerraCycle’s Brigades let participants recycle products from different companies together like its cell phone Brigade, but all of TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Boxes are product-based, rather than company-based.

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The Return of the Pink-Mustached Jedi: Lyft Raises $250 Million

Mike Hower
| Friday April 11th, 2014 | 0 Comments

BattleOfHoth-STA few months back, I wrote about Uber’s efforts to level Lyft by leveraging its hefty $258 million in new funding from Google Ventures and TPG Capital. Shortly after, Uber attempted to stifle Lyft’s launches in St. Paul, Phoenix and Indianapolis by offering free rides in these cities. Since then, it has gone on much like this: Lyft expands to new cities, and Uber comes up with ever-more-crafty ways to steal the limelight. Not even kittens are safe.

For the longest time, Uber has been the well-heeled Galactic Empire, and Lyft the scrappy but stalwart Rebel Alliance. Uber respects markets; Lyft values people. But no matter how hard Uber has tried to squash its competitor with silly marketing schemes, attack ads and even lowering rates, Lyft continues to not only survive – but thrive.

And then last week happened. Lyft closed a $250 million Series D round, bringing its total funding up to $332 million – several million above Uber’s $307 million (although some reports claim Uber has actually raised between $361 million and $405 million).

It’s the return of the Jedi, baby. And this one wears a pink mustache.

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IKEA Invests In 98 Megawatt Wind Farm In Illinois

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Friday April 11th, 2014 | 0 Comments

windfarmIKEA US announced its investment in a 98 megawatt wind farm in Hoopeston, Illinois. The wind farm, called Hoopeston Wind, is the largest single IKEA Group investment in renewable energy globally. The project is being built by Apex Clean Energy and expected to be in operation by 2015. IKEA Group will own Hoopeston Wind and Apex Clean Energy will manage its operations. Rob Olson, Chief Financial Officer of IKEA US made the announcement at an business executive briefing by companies who have signed the Climate Declaration, which calls on the government to take action on climate change, for members of the Congressional Bi-Cameral Task Force on Climate Change.

“We are committed to renewable energy and to running our business in a way that minimizes our carbon emissions, not only because of the environmental impact, but also because it makes good financial sense,” said Olson.  “We invest in our own renewable energy sources so that we can control our exposure to fluctuating electricity costs and continue providing great value to our customers.

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Clean Solar Initiative II To Add 100 MW of Solar Power on Long Island

| Friday April 11th, 2014 | 0 Comments

lipa-logoResidents of New York’s Long Island (2010 estimated population 7.568 million) will be getting more of their electricity from clean, renewable solar energy as the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and PSEG Long Island move forward with the second-round Clean Solar Initiative (CSI-2). Following a four-month application period that ended Jan. 31, the Long Island electric utility on April 2 announced that it had chosen 76 projects out of a prospective 178 CSI-2 proposals in a bid to bring an additional 100 megawatts (MW) of solar power online — enough to power some 13,000 homes.

PSEG Long Island conducted a clearing auction to determine a final bid price of $0.1688 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the second-round solar energy feed-in tariff (FiT). That’s the fixed rate the utility will pay to project developers over the life of their 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the utility.

CSI-2′s final bid price is almost 25 percent lower than the prices being paid for solar energy generation via CSI-1, LIPA and PSEG Long Island’s first solar feed-in tariff (FiT) — an annual savings of $8.1 million, PSEG Long Island director of Energy Efficiency and Renewables stated in a press release.

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Water-Energy Nexus: Utah Approves Largest Solar Power Park

| Friday April 11th, 2014 | 0 Comments

UnivUtahSolarScatec Solar on April 1 received final approvals from the Utah Public Service Commission and Iron County Community Development and Renewal Agency to start building what will be Utah’s largest solar energy facility.

Under the terms of a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with PacifiCorp, the 80-megawatt (MW) AC Utah Red Hills Renewable Energy Park will supply clean, renewable electricity to residents in far-off Idaho and Wyoming, as well as Utah, through Rocky Mountain Power.

The project highlights the social and environmental, as well as economic, benefits and advantages to deploying solar and other renewable energy sources as opposed to conventional fossil fuels. Those aren’t limited to green job creation and reducing carbon emissions, but extend to the conservation of increasingly precious freshwater resources.

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Climate Change Getting You Down? Just Follow the Butterfly

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Friday April 11th, 2014 | 0 Comments

comma_butterfly_PMatthews123The polar bears are doing it. The birds are doing it; even the trees are doing it. And now, according to research by several biologists, the butterfly has given us the best example so far of how nature, confronted with shifting parameters, is hurrying to adapt to climate change.

As early as 2005, scientists found evidence that animal and plant species were making migratory changes to offset dwindling food supplies or intolerable temperature changes. Species ranging from the Canadian red squirrels to rock barnacles apparently already knew something we found very contentious: that adaptation was going to be necessary.

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Video Interview: Nic Delaye, Dir, U.S. Sustainable Business Solutions, PwC

| Friday April 11th, 2014 | 0 Comments

I just got back from the Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara and put together a handful of great video interviews.  You can follow along on our conference page here for all of them, as well as past years’ coverage.

logo-pwcNic Delaye is Director of PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Sustainable Business Solutions group in San Jose California.  He led a roundtable discussion at last week’s WSJ ECO:nomics conference about how to demonstrate the connection between sustainability and shareholder value.

Although looking at the ROI from the cost reductions that occur from sustainability initiatives is relatively simple, there is significant indirect value created by sustainability that’s often left unquantified. Sustainability valuation enables companies to put a dollar value on enhanced stakeholder perception, improved customer loyalty, and the strengthened employee engagement that may result from investments on sustainability initiatives.

Nic and I sat down for 10 minutes to discuss all of this.  Video after the jump…

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Why Did Indiana Kill Its Successful Energy Efficiency Bill?

RP Siegel | Thursday April 10th, 2014 | 0 Comments

smokestackThere was some strange news out of Indiana recently. A piece of legislation designed to dismantle the state’s energy efficiency law made its way to the desk of Gov. Mike Pence. The governor neither vetoed nor signed the bill, thus allowing it to become law by default.

The governor defended his action, or inaction, as follows:

“I could not sign this bill because it does away with a worthwhile energy efficiency program. I could not veto this bill because doing so would increase the cost of utilities for Hoosier ratepayers and make Indiana less competitive by denying relief to large electricity consumers, including our state’s manufacturing base.”

This seems a bit odd at a time when most states are taking action to reduce energy consumption, encourage the adoption of renewables, and enable technologies such as storage systems to facilitate the rapid integration of renewables into their utility grid.

In fact most of Indiana’s neighbors continue to move forward on efficiency.

  • Illinois utilities are set to reduce annual electricity demand by 1.5 million MWh over the next three years.  ComEd has saved its customers more than $700 million through energy efficiency.
  • Michigan utilities are reducing their electricity usage by more than 1 percent per year through energy efficiency.  These utilities saved a net of $800 million in the first three years of their programs.
  • A group of manufacturers in Ohio including Honda, Honeywell and Whirlpool recently wrote a letter to the state legislature urging them to keep the energy efficiency standards in place.
  • Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin are all using energy efficiency as a resource and capturing the benefits for their customers.

Why did Indiana let this happen? Was it simply a matter of politics?

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Apple’s New Headquarters Missing a Major Green Point

3p Contributor | Thursday April 10th, 2014 | 4 Comments

A version of this post originally appeared in Metro Magazine.

M-Apple-Headquarters-sign-Hector-Garcia-WCBy Tom Fairchild

As an avid iPhone user, I have bought into the sense that Apple could literally peer into the future and deliver me technology I never realized I would so desperately need.

For years, Steve Jobs and company seem to have been our reliable guides to a better tomorrow. For new technology, Apple’s vision towards the future seems nearly flawless. But for corporate responsibility? Well, that’s a different story.

Apple’s decision to build a mammoth new headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. — miles from public transportation and adequate housing — amounts to a corporate denunciation of sustainability and a giant corporate shrug to Mother Earth.

Leadership for the tech giant maintains that the new campus will offer “a serene environment reflecting Apple’s values of innovation, ease of use and beauty.” However, the simple facts show that many of Apple’s 13,000 employees will now be commuting to an isolated location 45 miles south of San Francisco.

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Volkswagen Biodiversity Initiative To Establish Nature Corridor in Mexico

| Thursday April 10th, 2014 | 1 Comment

VWThinkBlueOn April 8 Volkswagen (VW), the owner-operator of the largest auto manufacturing plant in North America in Puebla, Mexico, launched an ambitious, pioneering biodiversity and ecological sustainability initiative to help establish a protected biological corridor that will assure local wildlife has the habitat and migratory paths required for their survival. The program also aims to instill a healthy environmental ethic in Mexico’s youth and communities.

With its “Think Blue” strategy, VW has sought to firmly ingrain and establish ecological, as well as economic and social, sustainability principles in its core organizational values, operating policies and procedures. The results of this effort are evident in the company’s “green” manufacturing facility outside Chattanooga, Tenn.

VW is taking that a step further with the “Think Blue. Nature.” program. The world’s third-largest auto manufacturer, VW, is allocating an initial €260,000 (~$358,800) as the first private sponsor of the Corredor Ecologico Sierra Madre Oriental (CESMO) (Eastern Sierra Madre Ecological Corridor), a 4 million-hectare area spanning five Mexican states that provides habitat for some 650 endangered species.

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Global Companies Call On Governments to Cap Carbon Emissions

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Thursday April 10th, 2014 | 2 Comments

oil drillingMore than 70 global companies signed the Trillion Tonne Communiqué, coordinated by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, to limit cumulative carbon emissions to 1 trillion metric tons. That’s the emissions threshold needed to avoid more than 2 degrees Celsius of warming, according to the new IPCC report. We are already halfway to that limit as cumulative carbon emissions are around 579 billion tons. The 1 trillion limit is expected to be reached in 2040. Companies that signed the Communiqué include major multinationals such as Acciona, Adidas, CalSTRS, EDF Energy, ING, Mars, Shell, TetraPak and Unilever. The signatories have a collective turnover of about $900 billion.

The Communiqué, the seventh in a series coordinated by the Corporate Leaders Group, calls for a “’rapid and focused response’ to the threat posed by rising global carbon emissions and the ‘disruptive climate impacts’ inevitably associated with them.” It specifically calls on governments to set a timeline for achieving net zero emissions before the end of the century, design a strategy to transform the energy system, and create a plan to manage reliance on fossil fuels, particularly coal.

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Video Interview: Ory Zik, Founder and CEO, Energy Points

| Thursday April 10th, 2014 | 0 Comments

I just got back from the Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara and put together a handful of great video interviews.  You can follow along on our conference page here for all of them, as well as past years’ coverage.

logo-energypointsOry Zik is the founder and CEO of Energy Points, Inc. Energy Points uses analytics and big data to enable enterprises to maximize energy productivity and strategically de-risk their resource supply chains. Its integrated source-to-site energy analytics directs intelligent data-driven use of electricity, water and waste.

I had a chance to sit down with Ory last week at the WSJ ECO:nomics conference to learn a little more about Energy Points and how the company helps make sense of complex data in the energy supply chain. Ory is also an occasional contributor to Triple Pundit.

Video after the jump…

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REI Commits to Solar Energy to Reduce Climate Impact

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Thursday April 10th, 2014 | 0 Comments

REIREI, the $2 billion national outdoor retailer, is committed to renewable energy. The company has 26 locations with solar power systems in eight states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia). The locations with solar rooftop power systems include retail stores and a distribution center in Bedford, Penn. REI began installing solar panels on certain stores in 2008 after Davis, Calif.-based Blue Oak Energy conducted a three-year feasibility survey that found solar rooftop panels can provide 10 to 100 percent of a store’s electricity.

Sharon Im-Lee, energy manager at REI, Seattle, told Interiors & Sources that stores with high energy costs were a good fit for solar, including those located in California, which has higher energy rates. “Here in Seattle, our electricity costs are only 5 to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour; in California, we’re seeing upwards of 17 to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour, so what you’re offsetting is dramatically more in California,” said Im-Lee.

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