The Corporate Players in Organic Foods

| Thursday March 30th, 2006 | 2 Comments


As we’ve talked about quite a bit lately, organic food is becoming big business. This is both good and bad of course : less pesticides and a healthier population are good things, but there’s understandable fear that with big money involved quality standards may be compromised and the small farmer further decimated. I tend to fall on the side of believing this is part of a positive evolution – and the chart above illustrtates that almost every big player in the food industry is getting involved with organics to one extent or another. Click the chart to go full screen (courtesy of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia).
Soon, we’ll see Wal*Mart on that map too.

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Bainbridge Graduate Institute Scores High in International Case Competition

| Wednesday March 29th, 2006 | 7 Comments

bainbridge_logo.jpgBeating out traditional heavyweights like Yale, Berkeley, Duke and Stanford, the Bainbridge Graduate Institute finished 4th in its first case compeition among business schools. (CSRWire report here)
BGI is one of a handful of new business schools founded on the principals of sustainabilty and offering a curriculum that integrates environmental and social considerations with a core business education. Congrats to the BGI Team!

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What’s your Social Footprint?

| Tuesday March 28th, 2006 | 2 Comments

footprints.jpgYou may have heard of the concept of an environmental “footprint”, or perhaps a “carbon footprint”, but now the Center for Sustainable Innovation has proposed measureing a company’s impact on society with a “social footprint” measurement. LOHAS article here. The concept builds on the Global Reporting Initiative and can be read about here.

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Interesting Dialogue Opportunity on McDonald’s CSR Blog

| Monday March 27th, 2006 | 2 Comments

mclogo.jpgMy collegue, Steve Kopfl has been engaging McDonald’s on their “CSR Blog” and asked them about their lack of a ‘fair trade cofee’ policy and their continued use of polystrene foam cups. The answer (see here) that was give, although thoughtful, seems to miss the point of what Steve was asking. Namely – that there are probably negative health effects steming from the use and manufacture of this type of cup. Also, that thicker paper cups, assuming they are from trusted sources like FSC certificed forests or post consumer recycling are not necesarily worse for the environment. Finally, they never responded at all to his question about Fair Trade Certified coffee. Seem like a missed opportunity on their part. Check it out here.

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Wal Mart’s Organic Commitment Pushes Us Further Past the Tipping Point

| Monday March 27th, 2006 | 13 Comments

walmartplastic.jpgWal Mart Stores plan to double their organic grocery offerings next month, in addition to a strong commitment to responsibly caught seafood and organic cotton in clothing (AP Article here). The best thing about this is the inevitable effect on Wal Mart’s massive supply chain – increasing the likelyhood that many other retailers and suppliers will follow their lead.
The assumption is still that organic is more costly, and is therefore part of a Wal Mart strategy to lure “more affluent” shoppers. Hopefully, however, with a move this sweeping, it will start to bring the price down for everyone, and expose Wal Mart’s regular clientelle to something a little more savory.

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AASHE Releases Its First Publication

| Friday March 24th, 2006 | 0 Comments

aashe.jpgThe Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has just put out a great digest on “campus sustainability news stories and resources from the past year”. It’s a great big PDF that you can download here containing hundreds of stories about various sustainable initiatives on university campuses, ranging from transportation to SRI, to Green Building. It’s great to hear about so many things going on at universities everywhere, and even better to see them all collected in one place!

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Great Ray Anderson Interview on BBC

| Friday March 24th, 2006 | 2 Comments

interface.jpgThere are few business leaders as well known as Ray Anderson in terms of having an epiphany about sustainability. Andersons’s company – Interface Carpet – is a leader in the quest to create a truly cradle to cradle company with a goal of having “Zero Impact” on the environment. I could go on and on, but for your weekend enjoyment, please listen to this BBC Rado interview and hear all about it. [Listen Here]

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Environmental Defense – New Global Warming PSAs

| Thursday March 23rd, 2006 | 2 Comments

tick.jpgEnvironmental Defense Fund has put together a couple new public service messages about global warming. Both are very dramatic and feature children as key players – and the recipients of the negative consequences of climate change. They are quite high on the “doomsday” scale, which may very well be correct, but I wonder how much more doomsaying people need? That’s a fundamental question when it comes to educating the public about this sort of thing, and it’s possible that these ads might be very effective in generating public outcry. Anyway I much prefer the train video than the one with the series of kids. How about you?
[View the PSAs here]

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3P in SF Newspaper – Story on Green Blogs

| Thursday March 23rd, 2006 | 1 Comment

Our own TriplePundit Chief Blogging Officer, Nick Aster, has gotten a fantastic quote on San Francisco’s largest newspaper, the SF Chronicle. It also mentions 3P’s fellow green blogs such as: Treehugger, Grist, Worldchanging, and City Hippy to name a few.
Read the article here.
The world is indeed changing and we are on the face of the wave!

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Dictionary of Sustainable Management

| Wednesday March 22nd, 2006 | 0 Comments


At long last, the Dictionary of Sustainable Management is finally live. The dictionary is an open resource of business-related terms that deal with issues of sustainability. All definitions are open to comment. The project was spearheaded by students at the Presidio School of Management, and is hosted here on Triple Pundit. Enjoy!
If you have a blog, there is a special feature I’ve added that takes advantage of trackbacks. If you reference a particular term in a post, it will be noted at the bottom of the page for that term. This way, every term has an “official definition”, an open comments area, and a listing of recent usage in the blogosphere.

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DuPont Commits 10% of R&D to Bio-based Materials

| Tuesday March 21st, 2006 | 0 Comments

duplogo.jpgAs reported by BSR, DuPont is making a concerted effort to move away from fossil fuel based materials, investing almost 10% of their billion-dollar-plus R&D budget into renewable, bio-based products. The line up includes corn-based fuels, plastics, and other materials. By 2010, the company says 25% of its work will be in bio- materials.

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Why Is Population Growth Always Considered Good?

| Tuesday March 21st, 2006 | 3 Comments

popgrowth.jpgWhy is population growth so often assumed to be a good thing? Is economic well-being really dependant on it? Here’s a little article on CNN about the latest US County data on population [LINK HERE]. The language the article uses makes out population growth to be some kind of competition – with a county in Florida proclaimed the “winner”. The article refers to a county in Georgia as having the “dubious distinction” of losing the most people.
The Economist recently laid out a pretty good article [3P Report Here] that argues pretty well that well-being of any kind ought not have anything to do with population growth. And, everyone is aware of the problems that rapid growth bring. I hope that in the future we’ll have a slightly saner way of looking at this sort of thing and see fewer articles like the CNN one referenced above.

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Blended Value Proposition – The New Triple Bottom Line?

| Monday March 20th, 2006 | 0 Comments

blended.jpgJoel Makower, has this to say about the “Blended Value Proposition”:

Before you glaze over about yet another sustainability-minded catchphrase, consider that this brave new term is being bandied about in the nation’s top business schools — or, at least, those with sustainability programs. It’s been a featured topic in mainstream business and investing publications, and has been uttered by the venerable John Elkington, who coined “triple bottom line” in the first place.

Continues on Joel’s Site. (thanks Paul!)

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The Wasteful Door Unlocker Analysis

| Monday March 20th, 2006 | 1 Comment


This post is partly for the sake of amusement, but may have some useful points. Last night at an event, my collegue Pablo noticed that the locking mechanisms on the door were hot to the touch. Quite Hot. It turns out that the lock had a constant stream of electricity flowing through it in order to keep it engaged. In the event of a fire (or presumably a power outage) the door would lose its charge and unlock. But for the most part it just sits there heating up and wasting electricity. So we sat down and decided to figure out just how wasteful it was (I’ll withold the brand name). Here’s Pablo’s analysis:
The unit uses 8W 24hours day. kWh/year = .008kWh/h x 8760h =70.8kWh
Which, at $0.13/kWh: 70.8kWh x $0.13/kWh = $9.204/year per door

Nine bucks a year is pretty trivial, and surprisingly low given the heat coming off this thing, but it was a useful little exercise in noticing and analysing inefficiencies! Find enough 9 dollar items and you’ll eventually save a fortune.

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Wisconsin Renewables and Efficiency Bill Passes

| Friday March 17th, 2006 | 0 Comments

wisc.jpgJoining other leading states, Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle signed into law a bill to pave the way toward more green energy. “The Energy Efficiency and Renewables Act focuses on three areas: increasing the use of renewable energy in Wisconsin, promoting the development of renewable energy technologies, and strengthening the state’s energy efficiency programs to maximize their benefit.” Pretty good looking bill – read the official release here.
Rumor has it, one of the State Assembly speakers mentioned while the proceedings were underway. If you’re a state intern or have access to one, perhaps you could confirm?

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