01 / Nissan
For creating the Leaf, the first mass-market electric car.
02 / Nike >>
For its mix of sports, style, and yes, plastic bottles. Nike developed 2010 World Cup jerseys for 10 countries/teams from discarded plastic bottles scavenged from Japanese and Taiwanese landfill sites. The bottles were melted down to produce a yarn for fabric for the jerseys.
03 / Samsung >>
For transforming itself into a steady source of cutting-edge electronics. Samsung has rolled out new and sophisticated options for kitchen appliances, including the Samsung FTQ307 induction range, which features a three-fan convection oven and warming drawer, and the Samsung RF4287, which features a flexible middle drawer that can help save energy usually lost to people (especially kids) opening the entire fridge and hanging in the doorway.
04 / Dyson
For continuing to rethink urban appliances–with style. The Dyson City vacuum, technically known as the DC26 Multi-floor Vacuum, is explicitly designed for urban apartment dwellers in need of a space-saving solution. Dyson Air Multiplier fans draw in air and amplify it, from 15 to 18 times, with no blades or grille, producing an uninterrupted stream of smooth air without unpleasant buffeting.
05 / P&G
For implementing a systemized, measured means of achieving a broader set of sustainability goals. Executives announced this year a series of 10-year goals, including using renewable energy for 30% of its factories and 20% renewable or recycled materials for all products and packages.
06 / Whirlpool
For its smart washer and dryer line that brings the kind of intelligence and personalization to laundry that we’ve grown accustomed to in, say, our home-entertainment centers.
07 / Method
For doubling down on its commitment to both good design and sustainability in home cleaning products. Its new eco-friendly laundry detergent uses pump technology (a first for laundry detergent brands) to eliminate the mess created by traditional jugs of detergent. If the consumer follows the “four pump” rule, there is less wasted detergent.
08 / Oxo
For reshaping more and more everyday household tools with its smart design ethos. The International Design Excellence Awards recognized the Oxo cork pull, which comes with a built-in foil-cutter; the firm also won a bronze Spark Design Award for its GG 360 LiquiSeal Travel Mug. Next up: moving out of the kitchen. Oxo Tot is a kid-friendly line that includes bathing, cleaning, feeding, and lighting gear.
09 / Unilever
For helping consumers change their cleaning habits to become better stewards of the earth–and making more of its own eco-friendly products–as part of its Cleaner Planet Plan.
10 / Merck
For developing a groundbreaking FootMapping technology for its Dr. Scholl’s brand that uses 2,000 pressure sensors to measure the different areas of the foot that take the biggest hits when walking, and then recommends different orthotics solutions. FootMapping is part of an in-store orthotics center that Dr. Scholl’s (a brand in Merck’s consumer care division) is installing in drug stores and shoe retailers.
CSR Minute: Herman Miller Scores #1 in Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies”; Chambers Ireland Launches 8th CSR Awards
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By Lynette T. Owens
The word of the year 2010 is transparency. Credit its prominence to the modern James Bondian figure Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks divulgence of state secrets. But WikiLeaks’ efforts have done as much to cloud the debate over transparency as they have to shed light on matters that impact our daily lives. What the Pharos Project shares with WikiLeaks is being a transformative platform for transparency. But we do not use shadowy tactics to achieve this goal. We do not play geopolitical games. We’re encouraging voluntary disclosure by manufacturers, and we’re empowering consumers to make informed choices. There are important distinctions between types of transparency, data collection tactics, and information dissemination. There are state secrets, and then there are marketplace secrets. There are data dumps, and then there are contextualized fact-based evaluations. There is now a healthy debate about the role full transparency has in global affairs — does it encumber authoritarianism (as Assange argues) or engender anarchy? It is hard to judge where the release of state secrets falls — does it hurt or help people to satisfy basic human needs, and protect human rights? It shakes up the status quo, but what is end game of this chaos strategy? In the marketplace, the role of transparency is clear. As consumers who want a healthier planet, we have the power to demand to know what we are buying. We are in a position of strength, though some corporations try to flip the equation through black-box certifications and greenwash. The Pharos Project has had some positive results in obtaining fully transparent information from manufacturers. Many companies are clearly committed. Others are much more reluctant to say even where their products are made. If we (and you) want to know, it is our choice to buy only from companies that are transparent.
The word of the year 2010 is transparency. Credit its prominence to the modern James Bondian figure Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks divulgence of state secrets. But WikiLeaks’ efforts have done as much to cloud the debate over transparency as they have to shed light on matters that impact our daily lives.
What the Pharos Project shares with WikiLeaks is being a transformative platform for transparency. But we do not use shadowy tactics to achieve this goal. We do not play geopolitical games. We’re encouraging voluntary disclosure by manufacturers, and we’re empowering consumers to make informed choices.
There are important distinctions between types of transparency, data collection tactics, and information dissemination. There are state secrets, and then there are marketplace secrets. There are data dumps, and then there are contextualized fact-based evaluations.
There is now a healthy debate about the role full transparency has in global affairs — does it encumber authoritarianism (as Assange argues) or engender anarchy? It is hard to judge where the release of state secrets falls — does it hurt or help people to satisfy basic human needs, and protect human rights? It shakes up the status quo, but what is end game of this chaos strategy?
In the marketplace, the role of transparency is clear. As consumers who want a healthier planet, we have the power to demand to know what we are buying. We are in a position of strength, though some corporations try to flip the equation through black-box certifications and greenwash.
The Pharos Project has had some positive results in obtaining fully transparent information from manufacturers. Many companies are clearly committed. Others are much more reluctant to say even where their products are made. If we (and you) want to know, it is our choice to buy only from companies that are transparent.
“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink”. Taken from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” , the author describes a man dying of thirst surrounded by a sea of water. This text, in many ways, describes one on the major challenges facing the world today. Beyond simply having access to water, the ability to effectively manage this precious resource will be essential for long-term global sustainability. Governments, businesses, and individuals around the world are recognizing the relationships of water to long term sustainability. Clean, fresh, and ‘usable’ water is no longer just an issue for developing countries. It has become a global social and business sustainability issue. Water is linked to every facet of life on our planet and directly interacts with a myriad of sustainability concepts. Focusing specifically on the unique energy/water relationship, our professional consulting discusses this critical link in a recent post. In many ways water, rather than energy production challenges, will be the focus for many in the future. • Water and energy are essential to every aspect of life: social equity, ecosystem integrity, economic and business sustainability. • Water is used to generate energy; energy is used to provide water. • Water and energy are used to produce crops; crops can in turn be used to generate energy through biofuels. As a sustainability consultants, we explore the full stream of sustainability. Water management, like all sustainability concepts, is a continuous and all-inclusive process. Providing abundant clean water will require efforts from all angles, and both large scale and individual water cycle management.
Each business has its own unique relationship with its supply chain. Some relationships are stronger than others; therefore, the drivers to implement change can be quite different from one organization to the next. However, our business sustainability consulting experience has shown that every supply chain can benefit from greater visibility. The recent drive to incorporate ‘Sustainability’ into Supply Chain Management has inspired companies to reexamine their internal and external processes. Progressive organizations, like Wal-Mart and IBM, are evaluating their procurement, sourcing and supplier management from a new perspective to create additional value. But as we have discussed, not everyone sees the world from the same perspective as a Wal-Mart or IBM. Incorporating sustainability concepts into business relationships creates, at a minimum, line of sight across the value chain. This visibility provides a path to the greater value of alignment and engagement. The sustainability concept of ‘Alignment’ and its impact on the supply chain is well documented. Creating alignment across the value chain can improve operational efficiency, reduce cost, and add value. Examples include: • Internal Business Processes: Corporate goals focused on the process improvements which promote and enable a sustainable supply chain. • Employee Engagement: Individual and organizational performance metrics which support corporate business sustainability goals • Customer Expectations: Sustainable product expectations clearly communicated down the supply chain. • Supplier Integration: Creating integrated processes with supplier to improve communication, increase efficiency, and ensure common sustainable processes. • Learning and Growth: Create working relationships that promote change, innovation, and growth across the supply chain. Customers and suppliers grow and develop with your business. • Financial Balance: Allowing all partners the ability to succeed financially creates a stable business environment and an aligned business sustainability direction. Creating SCM alignment through increased eco awareness, applied sustainability concepts or a fully integrated sustainable supply chain can have immediate business impacts. Our professional consulting and small business resources provide guidance to companies seeking to make significant changes in their operations.
I traveled 15 hours to get to the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” on Saturday in Washington, D.C. Where did I come from? New York City. Was that insane?
What drove me to sit in Holland Tunnel traffic for 2 hours on a Friday night and crawl down the New Jersey Turnpike was probably the same thing everyone else en route was motivated by: Passion! A passion for having our voices heard, a passion for making the statement that our country is not controlled by extremists or haters, a passion for openly declaring our love for country, freedom, mutual tolerance and our way of life. These were the lovers that went down to our nation’s capital. By all accounts, more than two hundred thousand people attended the “Rally for Sanity and/or Fear”—twice the amount that showed up for Glenn Beck’s rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August. It was good to know that more people attended an anti-hate rally than a pro-hate one.
One of the most interesting aspects of the amazing turnout was its intergenerational quality. Twenty-somethings to sixty-somethings filled the overcrowded Metro and the National Mall. Some said they were liberals; others called themselves conservatives. Many said they were “moderates” not confined to labels. All were voicing their protest simply by their presence to the heated and empty vitriol currently favored by politicians and pundits. In Jon Stewart’s moving closing speech, he echoed this theme:
Most Americans don’t live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives.
How do Americans live their lives? He continued in his usual deadpan style:
Americans live their lives just a little bit late for something they have to do. Often something they do not want to do. But they do it. Impossible things that are only made possible by the little reasonable compromises we all make.
It was the “reasonableness” of ordinary people that Stewart and fellow funnyman Stephen Colbert emphasized.
How do executives in a business reduce emissions, increase worker productivity and integrate sustainability concepts into the workplace? One way is to leverage technology. As demonstrated as a business sustainability program, leveraging technology has its benefits:
• increase organization and productivity
• eliminate storage space
• reduce costs
• improve disaster recovery protection for documents
• reduces environmental impact
As many industries continue to recover from the economic slumber, now may be the perfect time to make changes for a new business environment. Incorporating sustainability concepts into the core company vision and implementing them consistently through all business process, positions a company to be one step ahead on the road to business recovery. Technology can do just that. Check out the following posts to explore how technology can help your business to further business sustainability within your organization.
- IdeaScale: Small Business Tool for Stakeholder Engagement
- allEtronic: Paperless Solution for Retailers and Consumers
- Telecommuting: help your Business, help the Environment
- The Growing Role of Virtual Conferencing and Webinars in the Sustainability Meeting Landscape
- 5 Ways to a Greener Website
- A Guide for SME’s: How and Why to go Paperless
- Intuit’s GreenSnapshot: Do You Have it in Your Green Biz Toolkit?
- CRM: Golden Nugget for Sustainability in Business
- Foursquare for Greenies
- Social Media Advancing the Business Sustainability Conversation
The USDA has a law on the books that levels the playing field between family farmers who raise cattle, hogs and poultry and the large meat packers who purchase their livestock and bring it to market. It’s called the Packers and Stockyard Act, and its overseen by the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration or GIPSA. But don’t tussle with that mouthful because it doesn’t explain what you need to know about the complex livestock market system. Just keep reading. GIPSA makes sure small producers have equal access to market that larger producers do. It’s fair competition, which is, of course, the American way.
Sounds great, right? And just in time for the good food revolution. But instead, this law has been gathering dust because the USDA hasn’t enforced it.
From Glenn Croston’s Fast Company expert blog
This election season one of the most contentious battles in California is over Proposition 23 which proposes to roll back and delay the implementation of AB32, California’s landmark bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Those in favor of Proposition 23 say we can’t afford to implement AB32 and fight climate change now, that it will cost us jobs. The measure would delay AB32 until the state’s unemployment rate falls to 5.5% for a whole year. Others say that Proposition 23 (delaying AB32) will do just the opposite, killing jobs, while AB32 would be the job creator. Their positions appear diametrically opposed, total opposites. Who is right?
AB32 is the California Global Warming Solutions Act, passed in 2006 and passed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. The law would require that the state’s greenhouse gas emissions are reduced back to 1990 levels by 2020, a 25% reduction compared to scenarios where little or no action is taken. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is tasked with figuring out the details for how this will happen. The solution is likely to include putting a price on carbon emissions from the most intensive greenhouse gas emitters like utilities and heavy industrial sources.
While one report from CARB has found that implementing AB32 would create 10,000 jobs, others have pointed to studies suggesting that the measure would cost the state billions of dollars. Among those supporting Proposition 23 are those you would expect to see there – oil companies such as Valero and Tesoro which have refineries in the state. Oil refineries are significant emitters of greenhouse gas emissions and would probably be significantly impact by actions to fight climate change, so this comes as no surprise. Action on climate change is always sure to have those heavily vested in old, dirty, and inefficient industries like oil and coal as opponents.
Those opposed to Proposition 23 include a diverse collection of students, mayors, nonprofits, environmental activists, and representatives of the cleantech industry. A group of 30 CEOs in San Diego is also stepping up to oppose Proposition 23, as an idea that isn’t just bad for the environment, but bad for business as well. Led by Yeves Perez, CEO of EcoHub in San Diego, and Bob Noble, CEO of Envision Solar, this group of CEOs met on October 18th and issued a joint letter along with the Green Chamber of San Diego saying, “In anticipation of AB32 being implemented, the group has seen a boom of clean energy technology businesses that has created more than 500,000 new jobs and $9.1 billion in private equity investments to our state.”
To me this isn’t really a disagreement about jobs. Nobody is anti-jobs. It’s a difference in the way people see the world. We are faced with a choice between looking backward and moving forward. We can try to hold on to the dirty polluting industries of the past, or move forward to grow the innovative clean and efficient businesses of the future. California has always lead the way forward, and it’s time to stay on this path. People are afraid and angry about the economy, but turning back isn’t an option. Holding on to the past is futile. If we don’t create these cleantech jobs here, they will be created somewhere else. It’s a choice between fear and hope. To me, the choice is clear. I vote for the future.
Glenn Croston is the author of “75 Green Businesses” and “Starting Green”, showing businesses how to start, grow, and succeed with green. He is also the founder of Starting Up Green, and the Home Sustainable Challenge, opening the door to the conserver economy, in which we live well by saving more and consuming less.