December Guide to Buying Used Clothing

Alexis Petru
| Friday December 5th, 2014 | 0 Comments

GoodwillWant to save 700 gallons of water for under $10? The next time you buy a new shirt, make sure it’s secondhand. That’s right: According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, it takes 700-2,000 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make your average cotton T-shirt. And growing cotton is just one small part of the tremendous overall environmental and social impact that the garment industry has on our planet.

But buying used clothing is a great way to opt out of the not-so-green fashion industry – and it’s often more affordable than purchasing environmentally and socially responsible new clothes, which can be quite pricey. Whether you’ve decided to start thrifting because of environmental or financial concerns or you just love the thrill of the hunt (or a combination of all these reasons), TriplePundit is here to help you get started, with our guide to buying secondhand.

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Carnival Corporation Reduced Its Carbon Emissions By 20 Percent

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Friday December 5th, 2014 | 0 Comments

carnival cruise lineCarnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company with nine brands, reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent from shipboard operations, a year ahead of its target. Its recently released 2013 Sustainability Report revealed that one way it reduced greenhouse gas emissions is through an exhaust cleaning technology called ECO-EGC. The system removes pollutants from exhaust gases. The company is installing the systems on over 70 percent of its fleet, and investing up to $400 million to design, build and install the systems on its ships.

Reducing fuel is important to Carnival, as the report shows. The company released the result of its Fleet Fuel Conservation Program which showed that by the end of this year it will have saved over one billion gallons of fuel and reduced carbon emissions from its fleet by 12 billion kilograms over the last seven years. The program has also improved its fleet’s overall fuel efficiency by 24 percent since 2007 and saved about $2.5 billion in fuel costs, the company’s largest expense.

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Marks and Spencer: Over 60% of All Products Sold are “Sustainable”

Leon Kaye | Friday December 5th, 2014 | 1 Comment
Marks and Spencer, Plan A, Shwopping, supply chain, ethical clothing, organic, fair trade, Leon Kaye, United Kingdom

Marks and Spencer claims 63 percent of its products sold are sustainable

Marks and Spencer (M&S) has long been one of the world’s more sustainable and socially responsible retailers, dating back to its 2007 launch of its Plan A. The 100-point plan helped transform the company’s supply chain and operations. The plan was extended in 2010 with even more goals added with 2015 and then 2020 guidelines. Now six months after what the United Kingdom-based company launched what it calls Plan A 2020, the company has reported on its most recent progress.

Some of the updates are relatively ho-hum, not to be surprising as M&S has a habit of enumerating everything. LED lighting is being installed at the company’s epic food halls. The company trained 7,000 of what it describes as “emerging leaders.” More of the company’s clothing can be traced to the Better Cotton Initiative. What really attracts attention, however, is the fact 63 percent of the retailer’s products sold have had a “sustainable” attribute. The competition will be hard pressed to come close to that figure.

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PwC: Greater Collaboration Needed to Achieve Zero Net Deforestation

| Friday December 5th, 2014 | 0 Comments

about_REDD+Reducing deforestation and land degradation are key elements of realizing the goals of U.N. climate change and biodiversity conservation treaties. Pledging to cut the loss of forests worldwide in half by 2020 and to zero by 2030, 130 governments, businesses, civil society and indigenous peoples’ organizations endorsed the “New York Declaration on Forests” during the U.N. Climate Summit 2014 this past September.

Reducing and ultimately ending deforestation and land degradation is inextricably linked with government and private property owners’ decisions on land use and development, as well as the broad social and environmental responsibilities of property ownership. Despite decades of multilateral effort, the necessary top-down and grass roots communications networks, coordinated resource allocation, and funding have yet to coalesce and gain traction at a scope and scale necessary to achieve these goals.

The lack of cross-sectoral and inter-organizational coordination is apparent even within the small community of leading global deforestation organizations, PwC highlights in “Ending deforestation: REDD+ CGF = 0 Deforestation.” “Whilst there are individual examples of the CGF (Consumer Goods Forum) and REDD+ (Reducing Deforestation and Degradation) community working together, there has not yet been systematic collaboration on a large scale. This is despite the fact that 100 percent of CGF and REDD+ organizations recently surveyed by PwC and Code REDD thought that the two communities should be working closer than they are now.”

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Video: Net Impact Student Mariana Negrao Talks Diversity at NI14

| Friday December 5th, 2014 | 1 Comment

net impactAs part of our Talking Diversity video series, we asked thought leaders from all backgrounds to make the business case for diversity. Attracting bright young talent was one of the top reasons cited, so getting the student perspective seemed like a natural fit.

At the 2014 Net Impact conference, Mariana Negrao, an MBA candidate in Colorado State University’s Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program and VP of Communications for the CSU Net Impact Chapter, shared what diversity means to her:

“To me, diversity is being able to bring different sources of inspiration to the debate,” Negrao said. “I think it’s important because, especially with sustainability, it requires a lot of innovation. And you can’t really have innovative ideas if you’re not getting [them] from the overlapping of different areas of knowledge.”

In this one-minute clip, Negrao, a native of Brazil, goes on to make the business case for diversity and describe how a diverse workforce can drive innovation.

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The Most Common CV and Resume Mistakes Part 3: Bomb the Profile

3p Contributor | Friday December 5th, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Shannon Houde

5263540555_536834a259_zPersonal profiles are the bane of a HR manager’s life. How can so many words communicate so little? A hiring exec has about 30 seconds to extract the key facts from your CV, and if the time runs out and they’re still looking, you can expect to land up in the reject pile. So why oh why, dear job seeker, do you insist on making it so hard for them to see why you’re perfect for the role?

At the same time, personal profiles are the bane of a jobseeker’s life. Describing yourself and your achievements is about as fun as listening to a toddler sing the Lego Movie song over and over on a long car journey (indeed, many people would rather do that than sit down and write 75 words on their employability). But do it we must, and so we do, reluctantly, and frequently ineffectively. Too verbose and flowery, too full of ‘I’ statements, too vague or too long… As a sustainability careers consultant and former HR exec, I’ve seen them all. And luckily for you, dear reader, I have a foolproof, pain free solution to making them awesome.

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Video: Ahmad Ashkar of the Hult Prize Foundation Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Friday December 5th, 2014 | 0 Comments
Hult Prize CEO Ahmad Ashkar (left) and Hitendra Patel, director of the Center for Innovation, at Net Impact 2014.

Hult Prize Foundation CEO Ahmad Ashkar (left) and Hitendra Patel, director of the Center for Innovation, at Net Impact 2014.

“It’s critical that anyone looking to be sustainable enact guidelines of diversity within their own organizations,” Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and founder of the Hult Prize Foundation, said at the 2014 Net Impact conference in Minneapolis.

The Hult Prize, often called the “Nobel Prize for students,” is the world’s largest student competition and one of the world’s most prestigious awards for the creation of new social enterprises.

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, Ashkar goes on to explain why diversity matters to the Hult Prize Foundation, which already counts students from more than 130 different countries as part of its applicant pool, in this 90-second clip.

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Groups Sue Feds Over Climate Effects of Coal Leasing

Bill DiBenedetto | Thursday December 4th, 2014 | 1 Comment

powder river coal_chrisTwo environmental groups are taking the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to court for failing to consider the harmful climate effects of the federal government’s coal leasing program.

The lawsuit was filed late last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Friends of the Earth and the Western Organization of Resource Councils. Interestingly, Bloomberg reported that the suit is being funded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen.

In addition to the Allen connection, this is a big deal because the two groups are seeking the first comprehensive review of the federal coal-leasing program since 1979. “Since that time, scientific evidence has established that greenhouse gases produced by coal mining and combustion endanger the public health and welfare,” the groups said in a statement. “The BLM, however, has never analyzed the coal leasing program’s impact on climate change.”

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Policy Points: After 2014 Elections, More Uncertainty Ahead

American Sustainable Business Council
| Thursday December 4th, 2014 | 0 Comments

I votedBy Zach Bernstein

With Election Day 2014 well behind us, it’s time to look at just how much things have changed in the political world. One thing that’s not up for debate: A lot has changed. One thing that is debatable: What’s going to happen as a result.

For proponents of a sustainable economy, this election offered some very encouraging signs. Voters continued to show their support for raising the minimum wage and offering paid time off to workers, including in states represented by people who oppose taking those steps. The electorate, on these issues, is more forward-thinking than many of its representatives.

This shouldn’t be surprising.  Despite being controversial in Congress or other legislative bodies, policies like these are incredibly popular with voters (and, as recent polling has shown, small business owners). Policymakers on both sides of the aisle would be wise to take those lessons into account going forward.

Before the election, we wrote about certain races to keep an eye on. In a lot of cases, those races featured two candidates with very different positions on top issues facing our economy, like environmental protections and renewable energy growth, health care, agriculture, and more. And not all of those races came at the federal level — some were ballot initiatives at the state level.

Now that the election is over, what are we to make of the new political landscape? Let’s recap some election results at three different levels, and see what they tell us about the political debate going forward.

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Corporate Support Pours in For EPA Clean Power Plan

RP Siegel | Thursday December 4th, 2014 | 7 Comments

Smokestack sunsetA number of different groups came out this week in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the rule that will allow the agency to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. Power plants emits nearly one-third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and they comprise the largest contributing sector. The goal of the rule will be to reduce those emissions by 30 percent compared to 2005, by the year 2030. Republicans in Congress are hoping to block the rule. Transportation, which is the second largest sector, is already being addressed in various ways including updated fuel economy standards. These improved standards have helped to keep American cars competitive with high efficiency models from overseas. An additional rule addressing heavy duty trucks also took effect this year with impressive results.

This week, the advocacy group Ceres hosted a conference call in which they, acting as a spokesman for a wide array of companies across numerous industries, presented a letter of support for the EPA rule signed by 223 companies. They had a number of industry representatives on hand to speak out in support of government policy action on climate change. Ceres president Mindy Lubber said it well in her opening comments.

“Today’s press event affirms that companies and investors are supporting solutions to tackling climate change. More than ever before, businesses are setting ambitious goals to reduce their own energy use, lower their carbon footprint, and source more and more renewable energy. They’re achieving these goals and in so doing, they’re improving their bottom line and helping the environment. These companies also recognize that their voluntary actions alone are not enough. Lowering carbon pollution at the scale and during the time frames that are needed to avoid catastrophic temperature increases requires stronger policies. That’s why hundreds of companies have signed the Ceres climate declaration, a business led call-to-action that urges Federal and State policymakers to adopt clean energy policies that will enable companies to seize the clear economic opportunities of addressing climate change.”

Other speakers included Tim  Brown,  President  and  Chief  Executive  Officer,  Nestlé  Waters North  America; John  Gardner,  Chief  Sustainability  Officer,  Novelis  Inc.; Dan  Probst,  Chairman  of  Energy  and  Sustainability Services,  Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL); Sandy  Taft,  Director  of  U.S. Energy  and  Sustainability  Policy,  National  Grid; and Donna  Carpenter,  Chief  Executive  Officer,  Burton  Snowboards.

John Gardner of Novalis (Aluminum) praised the plan’s flexibility in including energy efficiency (EE) as a means for power providers to reduce carbon emissions, noting that EE is, “the cleanest, cheapest, and most readily available energy resource to help states cut their carbon emissions.”

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Huffpost Impact: CSR in Action

3p Conferences
| Thursday December 4th, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Julie Noblitt

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

HuffpostImpactFrontPageHas someone recently sent you a link to a well-written short article about something funny or informative or enraging or weird? Chances are it came from The Huffington Post, the Pulitzer Prize-winning online destination for breaking news from all over the web. But, until I attended the workshop on “Driving Impact Through Digital Media” at the Social Innovation Summit (November 19-20) in Silicon Valley, I didn’t realize that The Huffington Post publishes a section devoted to social impact called Huffpost Impact. And, Huffpost has partnered with companies to sponsor the distribution of that content as part of their CSR programs. I sat down with Brian Sirgutz, Senior Vice President of Social Impact at The Huffington Post, to learn more about it.

Social media for social change

Sirgutz started Huffpost Impact in October 2009 when he was President of Causecast. “I did not have a typical media background when I co-founded Causecast,” Sirgutz told me, “but I wanted to build a platform that would let people tell stories that would drive impact for social change.” With more than 90,000 bloggers posting content to Huffington Post, and an every-second news cycle, it can be difficult to hold people’s attention on the stories that matter the most. It’s even harder to translate those stories into action for social change. Sirgutz wants to change that.

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India Close to Announcing Big Climate Change Shift in Lima

Leon Kaye | Thursday December 4th, 2014 | 0 Comments
India, climate change, Lima climate change conference, carbon emissions, Leon Kaye, Narendra Modi, climate talks, per capita carbon footprint, clean energy, solar

Traffic on a good day in Mumbai, India (Leon Kaye)

The United Nations climate negotiators are meeting once again, this time in Lima, Peru, where—as we have heard before—we will hear promises of making significant progress on climate change. All eyes are on India, which, like China, is often criticized for dragging its feet on developing a solid plan on climate change. Of course, those charges are often unfair, considering these two countries are the workshops for the world. If the U.S. had a real manufacturing sector, this country would be an even more massive polluter. With China taking bolder steps in addressing its carbon footprint, all eyes are now on India. The odds are that the world’s second most populous nation will make a big announcement this week at this week’s Lima climate change conference.

According to India’s daily Business Standard, the Indian government is keen on making “fresh and enhanced commitments to the international community.”

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Lighting It Up: Sporting Venues Transition to LED Technology

Presidio Sports
Presidio Sports | Thursday December 4th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing student blogging series entitled The Business Of Sports & Sustainability. This “micro-blog” is the product of the nations first MBA/MPA certificate program dedicated to sustainability in the sports industry. You can follow the series here.

By Katie Levinestadium in lights

Stadiums and arenas at the professional and collegiate levels, and across leagues from the NHL to the NFL have begun the transition to what is becoming known as the 21st century light source: LED technology. Emitting more light per watt, LEDs require significantly less energy than traditional lighting solutions.

As lighting is typically the second largest energy consumer in sporting venues, installing LED lighting systems offers facility managers one of the fastest paybacks among all the potential energy efficiency upgrades, averaging as little as two to three years. LEDs reduce energy costs up to 75 percent and also provide significant maintenance cost savings, because they last far longer than other lights – typically up to 50,000 hours and some more than 225,000 hours.

These economic wins are matched by environmental benefits including lowered greenhouse gas emissions due to their reduced energy usage. As a result, LEDs have become a go-to choice for operators and leagues looking for viable ways to advance their greening initiatives.

The upstate NY-based company Ephesus Lighting is at the fore of aiding this transition to LED lighting systems within the sporting world.

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Video: Antoine Andrews of Symantec Talks Diversity at Net Impact ’14

| Thursday December 4th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Antoine Andrews “From a business perspective, we look at diversity as a way to help us make better business decisions, to make sure that we’re innovative,” Antoine Andrews, director of global diversity and inclusion for Symantec, said at the 2014 Net Impact conference.

“I like to use the term ‘insider’ and ‘outsider.’ We’ve all been in situations where we were either an insider or an outsider,” he continued.

“So, if you look at inclusion from that perspective — of how to help people get comfortable in environments, to be able to be a little bit more creative, to be able to challenge the status quo — really helps organizations get into a better place.”

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, Andrews went on to describe his role at Symantec — and how he leverages diversity to help departments within the company become more innovative and recruit top talent — in this 90-second clip.

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Video: Laura Clise of Areva Talks Diversity at Net Impact 2014

| Thursday December 4th, 2014 | 0 Comments

photo “One of the things that I find really interesting in talking about diversity, and in practicing diversity within my company, is: As you start to look at and try to define what the ‘value’ is, oftentimes you find that you’re having conversations that run parallel to the conversations that we have when we’re trying to articulate the business case for sustainability,” Laura Clise said at the 2014 Net Impact conference.

“What I think is really fundamental is that both are focused on the translation of and the impact of looking at corporate values and then linking that to value creation.”

Clise, who serves as director of external communications and corporate citizenship for Areva, moderated a panel on diversity and inclusion at the conference in Minneapolis last month. She even wrote a 90-second rap to kick things off. (If your day could use a boost, do yourself a favor and check it out here.)

As part of our Talking Diversity video series, Clise talks about the difference between diversity and inclusion — and how anyone, regardless of background, can be an ally and an advocate for diversity — in the following clip.

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