Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Long known as “Big Blue“, IBM is turning green…
The challenges have become clear: the need for clean water and air; affordable and reliable delivery of energy; the dwindling supply of fossil fuels; the reality of climate disruption and its implications for future generations.
At IBM, our approach is twofold: we are working to make our existing products and processes more efficient for both the environment and for business, while also developing new innovations that can accelerate the adoption of products and services that have lesser environmental impact.
This weekend I’m attending the 2008 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show and Conference (K/BIS). I was booked on American Airlines and my flight was cancelled so I missed the Friday morning opening keynote, but here’s what I’ve gleaned from other reports:
Christine Todd Whitman, former administrator of the EPA delivered the keynote address focused on sustainability. She said that kitchen and bath professionals can play a key role in educating the public about lessening environmental impact. “…selling green kitchen/bath design and products is very similar to selling eco-sensitive public policy: it’s about getting people to do something for the common good.”
By explaining the long-term benefits derived from an upfront financial investment, architects and designers can help open their clients’ eyes to green design “…they aren’t sacrificing anything by going green.”
A green theme is said to be present around the vast show floor and I’ll be checking out the “Implementing Sustainability” seminar Saturday to see just how quickly this old, old industry is taking the message to heart.
In his book, Bioteams, Thompson offers a way to build exceptionally agile, high performing teams based on a thorough examination of the key communication principles that underpin nature’s most successful groups — from signal bursts of migrating flocks of geese, to the waggle dance of honeybees, to the pheromone trails laid down by ants. Based on nature’s communication patterns, he provides a complete set of practical techniques that have been proven with real teams in the field, whose stories are described in a comprehensive set of case studies in the book. According to Thompson, “Using the principles of bioteaming, command-and-control leadership gives way to connect-and-collaborate, where every member of an organizational team is a ‘leader.’ In nature and in bioteams, leaders don’t give commands, they transmit information, trusting the team members’ competencies and gaining accountability through transparency. True team leadership is about cooperation, not control. It’s about acting on opportunities, and letting others lead the leader when they know best about getting stuff done.”
Yesterday I participated in the quartely board meeting of the Biomimicry Institute and I’m pleased to report this book is just one of dozens of new initiatives based on nature’s billions of years of R&D.
I read FastCompany’s guide a couple of months ago but just came across it again. Its well worth reading if, as the title suggests, you’re looking to green your business.
“Imagine asking today how the Internet affects business. It’s an absurd question, like asking how electricity changed business. Asking the same about sustainability, it turns out, is equally absurd. Like the Internet, sustainability spurs innovation in everything, from how you see your business model to whether you see your employees (why not let them work at home more?). Here are our favorite ways companies today are greening up–and saving money and making better widgets in the process.” Continued at FastCompany.
Know of other green guides? Lets me know…
I’m always pleased to report on mainstream coverage of the green economy. Sunday’s New York Times Fashion & Style section looks at ‘green flowers’.
To Pull a Thorn From the Side of the Planet
…as in other industries with increasing demand for green products, the floral industry is debating what is environmentally correct. Should flowers be organic — that is, grown without synthetic or toxic pesticides? Or should the emphasis be on fair trade, meaning that the workers who grow and cut them are safe and well paid? Or should consumers favor flowers grown locally, not flown or trucked over long distances? In other words, what, exactly, is a green flower? Full Article…
If you can’t find organic flowers locally or you need flowers delivered, try Organic Bouquet. (At last year’s LOHAS 11 Forum they announced their acquisition of the Organic Style brand from organic market pioneers Rodale. More on that story to follow.)
After years in the environmental movement he founded Act Now to help commercial enterprises green up their act. Now they’re taking the product and process innovation, grassroots workforce engagement, marketing developed by Act Now and syndicating it across the S&S network of offices – across the planet.
Saatchi & Saatchi are the people who launched the Prius so they know how to build consumer movements. SaatchiS will work with their clients to make them sustainable from the inside out.
What if a billion of us around the world decided it was time for something new and took small steps together to change the things we buy and the way we live?
What could a billion people accomplish?
To help answer that question we’ve formed Saatchi & Saatchi S. Our mission is to build a global movement of happy people living on a healthy planet.
We create sustainable visions for companies around the world and help them grow by embracing a grassroots approach to sustainability. Imagine your business becoming more profitable while helping your employees and your customers make the world a better place.
Now’s the time for you to do your part to unite those billion people. It’s time to take that step.
PS. They’re hiring!
Trying to understand who’s who, and what’s what in green business? Help has arrived via Joel Makower and the editors over at GreenBiz.com. Their first report into US green business activities is now available at www.StateOfGreenBusiness.com.
The report debuts the GreenBiz Index, a set of 20 indicators of green business progress including measures of how efficiently companies are using resources, reducing toxics, purchasing green fleet vehicles and renewable power, and reporting social and environmental performance. It also features the 10 key green business trends of 2007, plus dozens of “Editors’ Picks,” lists of the best books, websites, reports, business initiatives, and other resources of the past year.
Surprisingly for such a well researched and organized report, its free!
Update : Coverage at technology news site Cnet
Moving the green agenda forward is difficult enough without misinformation clouding issues. Fortunately there are organizations like Consumer Reports WebWatch and the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).
Full Frontal Scrutiny is a new joint project between these two organizations that aims to shine a light on front groups — organizations that state a particular agenda, while hiding or obscuring their identity, membership or sponsorship, or all three. Google “front groups” and you’ll find CMD’s SourceWatch site at the top of the list.
CMD Research Director Sheldon Rampton summed the project up like this:
“Full Frontal Scrutiny will be like no other site on the Web. Fakers, phonies and front groups beware — you will be exposed.”
“For six years, Consumer Reports WebWatch has evaluated sites against five simple guidelines for credibility and trustworthiness,” said Beau Brendler, WebWatch’s director.
- Who owns the site?
- What’s its purpose and mission?
- Does it disclose sources of funding or key relationships with third parties?
These are important questions for consumers to ask about any Web site, and they’re also remarkably effective for ferreting out sites that intend to spin, obfuscate or dress up an unpopular agenda.”
I first heard Van Jones present at the Bioneers Conference in 2003. He left a strong impression on me. So I’m very, very happy to see his message getting traction, not least with presidential candidates. In a recent post on Grist, Van Jones argues that “green-collar jobs” are a way to simultaneously boost the economy and beat global warming. Compelling reading!
In an extended Industry Week interview Interface, Inc. founder and chairman Ray Anderson calls for “…a vast, ethically driven, re-design of the industrial system, triggered by an equally vast mind-shift.”
Interface is one of the leading commercial exponents of the emerging science of biomimicry.