Safeway, one of the largest supermarket chains in the US has made a major commitment to renewable energy. According to GreenBiz, the company will convert all 15 San Francisco stores to 100% renewable energy, as well as all 270 fuel stations in the US. I didn’t even know Safeway operated “fuel stations”, but the supermarket conversion alone is a massive coup for alternative energy. The energy (78 Million KwH of wind energy) will be purchased via the EPA’s Green Power Partnership program.
“National Downshifting Week” is a successful campaign in the UK to encourage simpler living, embracement of pro-environmental pricipals, a saner use of time, and investment in family and community. It’s a “nice idea” and hopefully will catch on. A one week program like this, if it achieved critical mass, could really make a difference on a large scale – think the ultimate non-commercial holiday. As a recenly afflicted workaholic, this comes none too soon!
I recently ran across an interesting article in the Sunday Herald that looked at the game industry and its impact on society. Drawing the scorn of many for its assumed links to increases in violent behavior in children, it evokes in those living a significant number of hours in this cyber reality a feverish obsession akin to a cult following. The industry has often been accused of marketing their products to children who are more susceptible to the influences of the games’ violent messages. However, I discovered two marketing trends in this controversial and very successful $7 billion industry that surprised me: 1) an increasing number of women are being drawn to computer games and 2) game creation, far from any longer relying on simple demographics, is now based on highly co-creative fan-driven content.Click to continue reading »
It was announced in a big marketing splash: eBay will buy Skype. The business analysts were perplex, the Skype consumers surprised. Why in the world would an online auction company acquire an online communication service provider?
Market studies, social and behavior trends studies were certainly conducted by Ebay in order to make the move. The reporting of these findings did not make it in the media, maybe by choice from Ebay, to not release information to competitors.
Most of the world’s poor remain so because access to credit is denied. Microlending has helped revolutionize credit, but it’s the beginning. Now, small merchants in Kenya can use pre-paid phone cards in cell phones to call suppliers with orders. In addition, the telecom operator allows a transfer of funds from the pre-paid card to another subscriber.
Voila, 21st century funds transfer helps accelerate commerce among Kenya’s poorest. “Many people think it’s repugnant to make profits out of poor people, but having seen Kenyan poverty at work, I don’t agree,” says strategy guru C.K. Prahalad about the development. More on BBC News.
(This article contributed by Ken Chung)
I’m generally of the opinion that anything built in Las Vegas should automatically get a notch taken off for any sort of green standard, but I’m still impressed at some of the effort that is going into MGM’s utterly massive “CityCenter” project on the Las Vegas Strip.
This project is so monumental ($5 Billion) that it will permanently impact the entire strip in ways never before seen, and likely shape development for years to come. But then again, in Vegas superlatives mean nothing… what about the details?Click to continue reading »
It makes perfect sense that a company whose primary mission is improving the energy efficiency of buildings to be held in high regard by the sustainability movement. Johnson Controls has officially been added to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – a benchmark of companies who make up the top 10% of companies meeting a variety of economic and environmental criteria.
With the success of the 2005 Expo in Aichi, there has been a lot of attention focused on Japanese green building techniques and accomplishments. The latest to make the press is NEC’s “Tamagawa Renaissance City”. The facility boasts rainwater reuse, a compost system, reduced CO2 emissions, and if dismantled, could be 97% recycled. (via Japan for Sustainability)
Adding further clout to the United States’ only marketplace for greenhouse gas emissions, Swiss Re has joined the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). The exchange is a voluntary system whose aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via a market based trading system. As the world’s largest reinsurer, Swiss RE recognizes the potential impact that climate change may have on society and economy. As a result, joining the CCX makes perfect sense for a company seeking to minimize its long-term risk. (Via Greenbiz)
Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn has announced that all organic produce will be wrapped in biodegradable packaging not derived from petroleum. It might not be as significant as Safeway or Wal-Mart, but the change still represents a fairly major commitment from a fairly major chain.
Personally, I still wonder why people insist on a large disposable bag or any kind for everything they get in the produce section, and it’s unlikely that people’s behavior will change much unless government policies like bag-taxes come into effect. But that’s just my two cents.
As an unabashed meat-eater, I have always loved Niman ranch products and am willing to pay a little extra to have them. It’s not just that they taste a lot better, there is extra satisfaction in knowing that my meat came from free range livestock, raised naturally without a pharmacopia of steroids and god-knows what.
It seems I’m not the only one. Niman, and other free-range meat producers are now selling a majority of some meats to McDonald’s Chipolte Grill brand, as well as major specialty retailers like Whole Foods. (See Chicago Tribune Article – requires registration). With major contracts like these, it’s no wonder that organic and otherwise natural meat will continue to grow in popularity despite the slight added costs to consumers. But will quality and accountability suffer?
That’s a lot of letters, but if you’re looking for some good listening this weekend (or now), check out the PSFK interview with PhatGnat founder DK.
PhatGnat is a marketing consultancy based around bridging the gaps between the commercial sector, government, and youth. They were recently showcased on the 3P Presidio marketing blog. Founder DK has worked on some very interesting community building projects, mostly with youth. PSFK is a collective blog on trends. Together, they make for a fascinating discussion on brands and social responsibility, as well as some insights on blogging.
Do you have any interest in writing about buisiness and sustainability? Are you an MBA student looking for an outlet? I’m looking for some help keeping Triple Pundit going, and improving the quality and quanitiy of posts (especially editorially). As a full time student who somehow works on the side, it’s been really difficult to keep this site fully loaded, and even harder to move it to a new level. So! Please send an email to “tips at triplepundit” if you have any interest in becomming a contributor – either regular or occasional. I would love to have you on board.
Actually, the latest issue of business week is about a lot more than solar energy. It’s about alternative energy in general, and about how the cost for many forms of alternative energy will soon be cheaper than that of fossil fuels. From efficiency to personal power generation, it’s a great expose that goes to the heart of what better energy production and use means to you and your business. Check out the series of articles here.
Thursday is World Car Free Day. There’s no question that the automobile has had a bigger impact on how we build our cities than anything else has. It’s also probably one of the largest players in provking greater consumption of resources, and quite literally, land. Even a petrol-free car culture still has immensely greater impact on the environment than one where walking & biking are still available as an option.
That said, the car is most definitely here to stay. But slowly, especially in Europe, car-free areas, often in central business districts, are cropping up and thriving where once smokey traffic actually hindered commerce. In the future, a transportation network that is not totally exclusive to the automobile will be required if we want to preserve any semblance of quality of life, as well as to conduct business. Car Free Day is a somewhat radical idea, but check out some of the local events, it may provoke some thought.