[INFOGRAPHIC] The Impact of Recycling: Making a Daily Difference

From milk jugs to toilet paper rolls, your recycling really adds up. See the impact.

SOURCE: Recyclebank


See how recycling makes an impact every day on the Live Green Blog.


Recyclebank inspires and rewards smarter, everyday choices for a more sustainable future. It brings together people, businesses and communities to achieve real world impact. By participating in household recycling and learning how to live more sustainable lifestyles, more than 4 million members are part of the Recyclebank community. Recyclebank’s online shop, OneTwine.com, combines the company’s sustainability expertise and rewards program to help people choose products that are better for their home, their wallet and the planet. A Certified B Corporation, Recyclebank is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit www.Recyclebank.com

Tweet me: [INFOGRAPHIC] The Impact of Recycling: Making a Daily Difference http://bit.ly/15PZewy

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Recycling, Waste, municipal solid waste, MSW, recyclebank

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From Challenges to Opportunities: The 7 Sustainability Opportunities for Canadian Business in 2015

Guest blog by Network for Business Sustainability

SOURCE: Justmeans


Canadian businesses play a critical role in building resilient economies and communities. Our latest report, From Challenges to Opportunities: The 7 Sustainability Opportunities for Canadian Business in 2015, highlights opportunities for business to take decisive action towards positive change.

The task of improving sustainability nation-wide is daunting; businesses cannot act alone. They must marshal resources, talent and commitment both within their organizations and beyond to foster collaboration, trust and a shared strategic vision that deliver results, restore good will and empower consumers and the public alike.

Complex issues such as climate change endure, necessitating stronger public dialogue involving business, civil society and government. Relations with Canada’s Aboriginal communities remain a top consideration.

To continue reading, click here

Tweet me: 7 #Sustainability Opportunities for Canadian Business in 2015 http://bit.ly/1DawwRA via @Justmeans @NBSnet

KEYWORDS: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Business Ethics, Network for Business Sustainability, Canada, Canadian Business

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Oklahoma Shelter Provides Safe Place For Women

SOURCE: Mary Kay


This week’s blog post is by Marie Robinson, Executive Director for the Wings of Hope Family Crisis Center. Her organization is one of the shelters who received a 2014 shelter grant from The Mary Kay Foundation.

When a woman seeks help and freedom from domestic violence, she can make different choices. She can recognize her strength. She can recognize a potentially unhealthy relationship.

I live to hear someone say, “I was a victim, but now I’m a survivor.”

Head Held High
I remember the very first woman I worked with at our shelter six years ago. She had been physically abused. But her husband also repeatedly told her that her eyes were evil and that people only saw evil when they looked at her.

So she wouldn’t look me in the eyes during our therapy sessions. She ended up staying at the shelter about three months until she could work and save enough money to get an apartment.

When I saw her later around town, she seemed a bit taller to me. As I kept thinking about this, I realized that she hadn’t gotten any taller. Rather, she was looking at me in the eyes. She was no longer afraid to look people in the eyes.

Empowering Women
Now every time, I see her I smile thinking about what an empowered woman she is. She knows who she is. She’s no longer afraid, and she can move on with her life. And I like to think I had a little something to do with that.

When people donate to The Mary Kay Foundation, they make an impact on real people. I see these people every day. I hear their voices, and I see them grow as individuals. Shelters like ours can only help these women because of donations and grants like this one from The Mary Kay Foundation.

Home Away From Home
We operate one of the largest shelters in Oklahoma. It’s about 17,000 square feet. We have 10 bedrooms, each set up like hotel suites. They can sleep at least five people. Our shelter has a play area, kitchen, toiletries and clothing closet and a nice living room. We try to make it as much of a home as possible.

We provide all the food for our clients, so they don’t have to worry where their next meal is coming from. And we empower them to prepare their own meals.

Encouragement and Counseling
Every woman who comes to our shelter is assigned a counselor and an advocate. Every child also sees a counselor or an advocate. We encourage the women to find jobs and continue living a normal life.

Just to endure an abusive relationship, a person has to be strong physically and emotionally. Our counselors work really hard to encourage those women to continue to use that strength to find a job, move on with their lives and take care of their children. We remind them there is life after domestic violence.

We would not be able to provide these services for victims if it weren’t for grants like The Mary Kay Foundation. We feel blessed to receive this grant and look forward to increasing services because of it.

Tweet me: Living to hear “I was a victim, but now I’m a survivor.” http://3bl.me/nswxeq @MaryKay provides support for #domesticviolence shelter

KEYWORDS: Philanthropy, Business & Trade, Mary Kay, Mary Kay Foundation, csr, domestic violence, domestic violence awareness

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What's Next for Good Business?

SOURCE: Common Impact


Times have changed dramatically since those early conversations. As I sat in front of my laptop on January 1st, big cup of coffee already mostly empty on the desk as I charged up for the coming year, I read the many predictions for corporate social responsibility and sustainability forecasted for 2015. Across the board, three key themes resonated through every prediction: 

  • Corporate social responsibility is now an absolute mandate for companies who want to cultivate new customers and grow their business. 
  • Strategic CSR is simply good business sense and, done well, has tangible financial return.
  • What gets measured gets managed. Metrics like GRI scores, Net Promoter Scores, and the dollar value of pro bono efforts in the community are no longer buried in the pages of the annual corporate citizenship report, but are also on the dashboards of the C-Suite.  

And now, those same corporate leaders whom we met with years ago have the proof they need to build, influence and inform real change at their companies through these initiatives. This represents enormous progress towards sustainable social change.

So, what’s next?

We’re not going to solve society’s most intractable challenges through a collection of corporate engagement programs and good business alone. But building on the foundations we’ve developed over the past fifteen years, there is now an even stronger role for the private sector to play in deepening our progress on fighting poverty, increasing access to education and housing, and fostering a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way of life.

Engaging businesses of all sizes

While large companies have led some of the most recognized community engagement efforts over the past few years, the small and medium-sized business market represents significant opportunity – to the tune of about 95 million potentially “engagable” owners and employees.* These smaller companies are, in many ways, even more connected to the communities in which they operate, but often lack the resources to build and launch full scale engagement programs (though there are great resources out there from our friends at Business Doing Good and Billion + Change).

One new approach to tapping into that potential is for businesses of all sizes to work together in collaborative community engagement efforts.  We’ve seen and supported many new models along these lines:  from companies that are otherwise competitors banding together to address challenges that are affecting their neighborhoods, cities, and states, to vendors and business partners engaging in skills-based teams that support local nonprofits and nurture their partnerships at the same time, to larger companies looking up and down their supply chain and influencing and supporting their smaller business partners in adopting more sustainable practices. 

Data sharing and transparency

The rise of “shared value” concepts has brought the measurement of engagement efforts closer to overall financial, business and success metrics for companies. However, the biggest failing of this trend to date has been that companies have been hesitant to share some of their internal metrics more broadly. And, while complete transparency is not realistic, companies need to take a step towards disseminating some of the powerful business results of their community engagement efforts. Like the increase in recruiting, promotion and retention rates of employees that have the opportunity to engage in skills-based volunteer efforts. Or the sales growth a product achieves gets when it’s tied to a cause that resonates with consumers. Or even the programs that didn’t work, the places where business return wasn’t positive, the mistakes that were made. 

These are the conversations and proof points that are going to allow the private sector to get more effective in informing real social change.  Late last year, Nancy Mahon of Estée Lauder made a call for greater corporate transparency. Large companies such as Estée Lauder can move this conversation forward by taking the first step, and by sharing their successes and mistakes for the shared purpose of enhancing the collective efforts of the private sector.

When a company looks beyond its own community investment, and towards the broader ecosystem within which it operates, it unlocks new possibility for broad-scale change. Common Impact’s next 15 years will focus on equipping companies in our communities to make this leap – to quantify the long-term value, to create and share the stories of how these complex partnerships can work, and to create increasingly more conscious, connected communities.   

*Forbes blog post by Ryan Scott: “New e-Book Says Best Corporate Volunteerism is Skills -Based,” “Small Business, Big Purpose: A guide to skills-based volunteerism,” by A Billion + Change, Blackbaud and Riggs Partners

Tweet me: What’s next for good business? @CommonImpact shares trends, strategies in #CSR & future of #skilledvolunteering: http://bit.ly/1ziBsDP

Contact Info:

Dana Yonchak
Common Impact
+1 (617) 868-1832

KEYWORDS: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Corporate Social Responsibility, Common Impact

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SAP Employees Donate $50,000 to STEM-Focused Non-Profits

Promoting education and developing STEM skills among youth is a key focus for SAP workers!




More than 8,000 votes decided how funds from SAP would go to local non-profits.

One of the top 20 corporate donors in Silicon Valley, SAP invited employees to distribute $50,000 among three organizations focused on building STEM skills in youth.

In a two-week voting sprint, employees reached out to their extended networks to build support for their non-profit of choice.

Continue reading the original article on Patch about SAP employee donations >>

Original source: Patch

Tweet me: .@SAP employees distribute $50,000 among 3 organizations focused on building #STEM skills in youth. http://aol.it/1CdDuIS

Contact Info:


KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, Education, SAP, STEM, Non-profits


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High Speed Chargers Bring EV’s One Step Closer to Mainstream

by RP Siegel

SOURCE: Justmeans


In the year 1906, Ray Stannard Baker wrote the following passage about automobiles in the book The Boy’s Book of Inventions: Stories of the Wonders of Modern Science.

“The electric vehicle which has had its most successful development in this country has its well-defined advantages and disadvantages. It is simpler in construction and more easily managed than any other vehicle: one manufacturer calls it ‘fool proof.’ It is wholly without odor or vibrations and practically noiseless. It will make any permissible rate of speed and climb any ordinary hill. On the other hand, it is immensely heavy, owing to the use of storage batteries; it can run only a limited distance without recharging…”

He goes on to say, “Indeed, all the manufacturers of electric vehicles speak with the confidence of the day when the whole of the United States will be as thoroughly sprinkled with electric charging stations as it is today with bicycle road-houses.”

A hundred years ago we were at a crossroads similar to the one we find ourselves at today, with electric vehicles vying against gasoline-powered cars. Back then, the choice was made, influenced by a good deal of lobbying and maneuvering by the oil industry. The fact that gasoline powered cars were also cheaper and didn’t have the range issues of electrics also helped to tip the scales.

To continue reading, click here

Image courtesy of Chargepoint

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. 

Tweet me: High Speed Chargers Bring #EV’s One Step Closer to Mainstream http://bit.ly/1Dd2vRq via @Justmeans @RPSiegel #energy

KEYWORDS: Energy, Business & Trade, electric vehicles, BMW, VW, ChargePoint, Ray Stannard Baker, Chevy Bolt, Shai Agassi, Better Place, Toyota, Tesla, CHAdeMO, J1772, Chevy Spark EV, BMW i3, Justmeans, 3bl media llc

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GM Reducing Environmental Impact in a Variety of Ways

The Green Samaritan is electric over the next-gen Chevrolet Volt and Chevy’s Bolt EV Concept.

SOURCE: General Motors


I was recently given the opportunity to be a part of a group of bloggers invited by General Motors to attend the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Mich.

On my blog, The Green Samaritan, I gather and share advice and resources for living the green lifestyle, so I jumped at the opportunity to see the behind the scenes auto show action – especially since I heard rumors Chevrolet might reveal a new electric vehicle.

Fresh from an exciting and informative week in Detroit, my mind is racing.

I’m both a full-time mom and blogger, so I went in to this experience with plenty of questions. I currently drive a crossover SUV, but I’m in the market for something a little more environmentally friendly. As a busy mom with two boys and a wide array of sports gear to lug around, along with all the groceries that fill-up the trunk each week, I wanted to know what vehicle would help me get around while reducing my environmental impact? Can I sacrifice space for sustainability?

When we arrived on the show floor, James Bell, GM’s Consumer Affairs director, gave our group a tour and talked about the future of the industry. While we were at NAIAS, Chevrolet revealed the next generation Volt, which is an even more committed step toward electrification by increasing the range from 38 miles on a fully charged battery to 50 miles.

Reducing the size and weight of the battery packs is another significant step to greater efficiency. It’s a real balancing act to achieve a stylish look on the vehicles while being fuel-efficient. By making the car weigh less, this balancing act is made a little easier.

The surprise announcement of the Chevy Bolt EV Concept, described by GM CEO Marry Barra, as an “EV for everyone” with a price point of around $30,000 after incentives, clearly shows GM’s desire to make this type of vehicle attainable for all.

These efficient vehicles are built at facilities with sustainability practices as well. From their landfill-free facilities to the reuse of the Volt battery cases for duck houses, GM is reducing its environmental impact. When I asked Sharon Basel, manager of environment and energy communications, about employee engagement in green initiatives, I learned sustainability goals are part of and as important as their other goals such as production, safety and financial.

John Bradburn, GM’s global manager of waste reduction, came up with the idea to repurpose Volt battery cases into duck houses, which is a clever and meaningful reuse of an unlikely item. With only 2,500 or so scaly-sided merganser ducks left, this reuse is making a big difference in successful breeding efforts.

As I reflect back on my experience at NAIAS, it seems GM has mapped out a path for me to follow towards a greener, cleaner world. I look forward to seeing what GM brings to NAIAS next year and hope to see the Bolt at my local dealership in the future.


Jeanne Blaisdell is the founder and publisher of The Green Samaritan blog, which gathers and shares the best advice, resources and tips for clean, green, and healthy living.

Tweet me: GM FastLane Guest Post: @GreenSamaritan shares post- #NAIAS enthusiasm about GM’s new #EVs http://bit.ly/1yLIaTC

KEYWORDS: Energy, GM, General Motors, 2016 Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Bolt, Green Samaritan, NAIAS, North American International Auto Show, EV

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Biogen, Allergen, J&J, Adobe, Ecolab, GE, Agilent, Intel, Cisco Rank Among Most Sustainable Companies

by Vikas Vij

SOURCE: Justmeans


Favorable trends in corporate sustainability are transforming the world and creating a significant impact on the companies’ top and bottom lines. Global challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity and demographic shifts are creating new opportunities and risks that businesses must address today to stay competitive tomorrow.

Toronto-based media organization Corporate Knights has released its 2015 Global 100 report, which identifies companies around the world that are utilizing resources in a sustainable manner and optimizing employee performance. Companies are assessed across 12 “key performance indicators” (KPIs) and the data-driven rankings are released annually at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Corporate Knights looks at a company’s resource utilization in terms of its energy use, emissions, water use, and waste generated. Financial sustainability is determined by taking into account factors such as the ratio of CEO compensation to the average employee’s compensation. Employee management sustainability is evaluated on the basis of factors such as fatalities or lost time, employee turnover, diversity in leadership positions, and female representation on the board and in management.

To continue reading, click here

Image Credit: Flickr via Carbon Visuals

Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of “The Power of Money” (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations “Decisions for Life” run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.

Tweet me: See who ranks among the most sustainable companies http://bit.ly/1GNXVz0 via @Justmeans #Global100

KEYWORDS: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Awards and Recognition, Green Companies, 2015 Corporate Knights Global 100 Index, corporate knights, Global 100, Justmeans

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