Creating Social Value – HBS Study

| Thursday September 8th, 2005 | 0 Comments

scales.jpgResearchers describe social and economic value creation as two sides of the same coin. Companies can improve operations through employee motivation, loyalty, skill development, and even through product differentiation when social values are adopted and aligned with economic values.
A recent study (HBS link) shows non-profits are founded to solve a specific social problem whereas companies respond with social initiatives because of a problem. Companies are good with planning and can bring resources together, but have difficulties integrating new practices into the mainstream.
The study is particularly relevant because organizations studied were in Latin America and Spain, where human development is just as important as economic development. Bottom line: Companies and non-profits have much to learn from each other.
(This article was contributed by Ken Chung – thanks Ken!)

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Starbucks “Everything Matters”

| Wednesday September 7th, 2005 | 1 Comment

starbuckslogo.jpgAirline Magazines are a specific and unique genre of publication, typically purchasing articles from free lancers and periodically, if not publicly, allowing articles to be purchased. In this month’s Hemispheres by United Airlines, the lead “voices” piece is an article by Starbucks CEO Jim Donald discussing the company’s CSR practices in in the many countries in which it the company operates. United Airlines boasts that they are the only carrier to serve Starbucks Coffee, which is a second part of this marketing relationship. Serve the coffee with highly visible branding and insert interesting articles into the in-flight magazine on behalf of the client. (I’m making the assumption that this articles appearance in the magazine is associated with a co-marketing campaign).
This particular article talks about the symbiotic relationship Starbucks has with its farmers, a program called “CAFE” – Coffee and Farmer Equity – which requires farmers to meet certain criteria in order to be recognized. The article also talks about the upcoming release of “Estima” a Fair-Trade Certified brand of coffee that Starbucks will soon launch.

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Corn Based Clothing Factory to Open in Tennesee

| Wednesday September 7th, 2005 | 0 Comments

tate_lyle.gifUK Based Tate & Lyle, along with DuPont, will open a $100 million factory in Loudon TN, to procude a key ingredient in DuPont fabrics called “Bio-PDO”. (Press Release Here). The production is expected to save the equivalent of 10 million gallons of gasoline a year.

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GDP vs. Biodiversity Loss: Does the Correlation Mean Anything?

| Wednesday September 7th, 2005 | 3 Comments

GDP-ESA correlation.jpgThe US gross domestic product (GDP) is almost perfectly correlated to the number of organisms protected by the Endangered Species Act, according to Brian Czech and colleagues. This observation was made in the journal Science on a discussion of measures for biodiversity.
Fortunately, no one (few?) believe GDP is a good indicator for biodiversity. Consider some reactions though …
If GDP measures economic wealth, does it mean that economic wealth is incompatible with species protection specifically or biodiversity conservation generally? If GDP and biodiversity conservation are compatible, does the correlation indicate we haven’t made progress in 30 years? Does it takes wealth to protect biodiversity? Are we wealthier because we have reduced some species to near extinction? Maybe they’ve been barriers to wealth?
Can we really have the triple bottom line?
(This article was contributed by Ken Chung – thanks Ken!)

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Seattle Talking Zero Waste

| Tuesday September 6th, 2005 | 0 Comments

seattle_space.jpgIt may be almost impossible to actually get there, but according to this article, the city of Seattle has “zero waste” in its line up of goals. The idea is to make the use of landfills virtually unnesesary and drastically lower the associated disposal costs to taxpayers. The plan calls for the use of electronic documents, encouragement for manufacturers, “green purchasing”, and community “garage sales”.

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Dozens of Commercial Facilities Commiting to Higher Performance

| Tuesday September 6th, 2005 | 0 Comments

epalogo3.jpgFrom Greenbiz: A recent EPA announcement says that 71 facilities in the us have now joined a program that rewards them for voluntarily exceeding regulatory requirements. “Facility” in this case is interpreted broadly, from Ford assembly plants in Georgia to a 3M plant in Wisconsin. The program is called “Performance Track” and rewards take the form of public recognition by the EPA as well as establishing good relations with regulators.

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Happy Long Weekend

| Friday September 2nd, 2005 | 0 Comments

donate.jpgHope you have an enjoyable long weekend and seeing as it’s labor day, do as little of it as possible. If there’s one thing you should do, however, it’s drop a few pennies into the Red Cross hat for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Anything helps.

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Kyocera Announces “Solar Grove” Power for Parking Lots

| Friday September 2nd, 2005 | 0 Comments

kyocera_solar.jpgWith the amount of solar innovation happening around the world these days, I think we are getting very close to the tipping point of cost effectiveness and real mass production. Anyway, here’s another fantastic installation by Kyocera in San Diego.
The idea – take a surface parking lot and put solar panels all over it. In the process, you not only get solar energy, you give shade to people’s cars, improve the asthetics of the area, and potentially reduce the heat island effect of the lot.
Via Grist and Curt Rosengren.

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Business Day – Creating MBAs with a Conscience

| Friday September 2nd, 2005 | 0 Comments

thinker.jpgAllAfrica’s Business Day cites three good reasons for a new emphasis on ethics and sustainability in business. One, a response to recent scandals. Two, increasing availability of opportunities made possible by the demand for sustainable development. Three, need for socio-economic change – particularily applicable in Africa – which can only be made through business. The article concludes that South Africa’s business schools are lagging in their response to the issues. Is yours?

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About The Presidio Managerial Marketing Blog Project

| Thursday September 1st, 2005 | 1 Comment

This project is a part of the Managerial Marketing course at the Presidio School of Management in San Francisco.
Is the essence of marketing to sell a dream or to fulfill the dream of society? Is the dream of society the common good, or what the market wants, or what business wants? What role does marketing play in this tension? This blog will explore these questions and the idea that sustainability marketing is transformative and is about creating and communicating “the dream of the possible” – a vision of a sustainable society.
Going beyond the traditional MBA marketing curriculum, students at Presisdio engage in an exploration of the implications for sustainability and are challenged to critically analyze existing marketing systems. The objective is to ensure students gain the skill and ability to integrate sustainability into marketing strategy, planning and decisions. Most importantly, the objective is to gain the mindset of a marketer – the ability to inquire into the real needs, of the individual and society, and to serve them.

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When Going Green Means Gaining Greenbacks

| Thursday September 1st, 2005 | 0 Comments

dsire.gifAs testified to in one of yesterday’s postings, alternative energy investments can offer the best ROI yields on the market today . It is well worth exploring this Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy website. Take a peek and see if this might be the time for you to go green…both environmentally as well as inside your pocketbook!

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GM’s New 6-speed Transmission Gives Better Mileage

| Thursday September 1st, 2005 | 1 Comment

gm.jpgWith gas prices at their current levels, any mileage improvement is likely to be a big seller. GM is taking notice of this and introducing a 6-speed automatic transmission as part of an advanced powertrain it is developing. The extra gear will let the engine run slower while the car is at high speed. Addtional developments are revealed on GM’s press page.
To me these are great examples of ecologically sound developments which are motivated purely by economics. In fact, environmental issues are not even mentioned in the release. What would happen if they were? Would you consider it greenwashing? Would it turn off a certain segment of buyers?

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Organic Flower Company Continues to Thrive

| Wednesday August 31st, 2005 | 0 Comments

sunflowers.gifWe mentioned Gerald Prolman’s Organic Flower company before. But there’s a great article in yesterday’s SFGate that brings more to light about this inspiring individual and his increasingly successful company. Prolman credits passion and tireless enthusiasm as the keys to his success, along with the satisfaction of singlehandedly converting thousands of acres of farmland to organic over the years.

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The Pot of Gold at the End of the Sun Beam

| Wednesday August 31st, 2005 | 4 Comments

solarroofchi.jpgWanna go green and get rich at the same time? State and Federal Incentives make solar infrastructure among the most lucrative and risk free investments that can be made. Take the following example:
Here in my home town of Chicago, I am one of three owners living in a residential three flat building. Our monthly natural gas bill associated with hot water averages $170 per month. This totals in excess of $2000 annually. Keep in mind that, in less than a year, natural gas prices have more than doubled.
The total cost of purchasing and installing a system that would best address our building’s hot water needs is approximately $11000. In Illinois, our clean energy rebate program will pay half of the first $10K spent on solar water heat, solar space seat, and photovoltaics. After that, 25% of costs are reimbursed for the next $20K. Given these rebates, this system will cost our condo association an estimated $5750.

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What are A Million Solar Roofs Worth? $6 Billion.

| Tuesday August 30th, 2005 | 0 Comments

solar.jpgThe Million Solar Roofs initiative is a DOE project to jump start the installation of solar technology in the United States. The state of California, led by an enthusiastic Governor Schwarzenegger, hopes to install 3,000 Megawatts of capacity as a part of the program. So, what’s it really worth in economic terms? According to Clean Edge News, the answer, after incentive costs, is a whopping $6 Billion savings to California. It breaks down as follows:
Energy Infrastructure Savings: $7,099
Economic Savings (Jobs & Tax): $1,507
Environmental Savings: $525
Total: $9,133
Incentive Costs: $(3,025)
Net Benefits to State: $6,107
The rest is explained here, on the LOHAS site.

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