Business Not As Usual: Apple Polishing; Footprint Verification, & More


  1. Apple has responded to years of NGO pressure tactics by posting life cycle inventory (LCI) study findings on its website. Such studies generally offer low business value and generate little consumer interest outside a small audience of the most eco-savvy. (Anyone seen peer reviewed, published evidence that  life cycle inventory contributes to a business bottom line?) This is mostly about corporate image backup. See Apple Adds More Environmental Impact Information to Website for a full discussion. This particular apple seems unlikely to roll far from its tree; though others may elect to cultivate a green image in more effective, ways.  I’m rating business significance fairly low – a scale explained at the bottom of this post – as U1/C3
  2. An Asian TV maker has taken LCI a step farther, obtaining a verified (by one of the “standards) product carbon foodprint.  Standards proliferation makes verification a real cost issue for the many manufacturers across multiple markets; so, it’s hard to see this single action as a benchmark other electronics makers will match, unless forced by regulation.   See World’s First Carbon Footprint Certified Television – Is Energy Efficiency Old News?
    Business significance: U1/C3
  3. When major municipal water supplies in developed nations are threatened by weather extremes, business takes notice.  Strategic relocations may be in order. Waters of the Danube, Rhine, Po, and Rhone River, long critical for Europe’s industrial power consumption, process cleaning and cooling, and waste assimilation are under threat.  See Climate Change in Alps to Leave Europe High and Dry for context. The same  applies in the USA.  See Once-Parched Atlanta Is Swamped With Floodwater, Sewerage, And Repair Bills for illustration.
    Business significance:U2/C5
  4. Sustainable businesses want happy employees, and customers who’ll stay that way: generation after generation.  Pay attention to the master plan, then.  Now is the time to collaborate with State and local government to bring light rail and bike trail access to your operating sites and offices…or the other way around.  See The Obama Adminstration’s Sustainable Infrastructure Strategy for what the future will bring.  Opportunity is knocking.
    Business significance:U3/C2
  5. The environmental extremism of trade organizations continues to stir the pot of corporate policy making.  Adding momentum to the ongoing “what side are you on” movement, PG&E Says See You Later To Chamber of Commerce. Underscoring this point, as mother taught, we are judged by the company we keep (and who we invite to speak to us).  See Former Bush Environmental Expert To Speak At Bank of America, Merrill Lynch-Sponsored Conference for an example.
    Business significance:U4/C4

Following the example of our first, and introductory, weekly roundup from TreeHugger, Business Not As Usual: Chinese Environmental Activists Riot, And More, business “criticality” (C) and “urgency” (U) are each ranked above, subjectively, on a scale of 1 through 5, with 5 being the highest, and 1 the lowest. See that intro post for instructions on how to put the rankings to use.

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