Category Archives: Business

First Annual Earth Month Conference to be hosted April 7th in Memphis

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First Annual Earth Month Conference for AK-MI-TN Region to be hosted April 7th in Memphis

Memphis, TN, March 30, 2015 – The First Annual Earth Month Business Conference (EMBC) of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee will be hosted April 7th in Memphis, Tennessee. The EMBC is jointly presented by CRG Sustainable Solutions (CRGss), the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), and The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), along with corporate title sponsor FedEx.

Says Mary Singer, the CEO of CRGss and the conference’s initiator, “This is not just another conference, not just another ‘environmentalist’ effort. It’s all about sustainability—the idea that good environmental sense is good business sense, and, ultimately, means more profit for business, more benefit for consumers and our culture at large.”

Uniquely, Singer explains, the EMBC will bring together leaders and technical specialists from big business in the AK, MI and TN region —FedEx, International Paper, Buckman International, Brother International and others —with representatives of small to medium sized businesses, municipal governments, and non-profits. “Forging fresh relationships and collective impact is our primary objective”, she says. “The conference will feature not only speakers, but panel discussions and exercises designed to bring broad cross sector people together who don’t usually communicate. How can we help you? How can you help us? We need to reach across traditional boundaries to learn, so that we can preserve resources and grow the bottom-line. . That’s our theme, and it’s all about improving both business and life.” Continue reading

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The Secret Ingredient for a Great Cup of Coffee

There are definitely some myths out there about sustainable products, and to be blunt, how good they are. Some people wonder whether something so focused on its mission can look great, taste great, feel great. (Apparently locally-grown wheat grass smoothies, raw yeast balls and sandpaper hemp pants don’t float everyone’s boat.) As it turns out, in the coffee world, sustainability not only goes hand-in-hand with quality, they’re integrally linked. And Fair Trade has become an important vehicle for helping farmers improve crop quality and build strong relationships with quality-forward buyers. In fact, today nearly 100% of Fair Trade Certified coffees are specialty grade.

Sorry to turn your world upside down, but it’s true: sustainable practices and thriving farmers are the secret ingredients to your mind-blowingly delicious cup of joe. Here are a few reasons why: Continue reading

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Nissan LEAF Battery Reliably Outperforms Cynics, Critics and Alternatives

ROLLE, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Five years and more than 35,000 European sales since the launch of its all-electric LEAF, proprietary data released by Nissan for the first time shows that 99.99 percent of its battery units remain entirely fit for purpose.

The failure rate of the battery power unit is less than 0.01 percent – or just three units in total – a fraction of the equivalent industry-widefigure for defects affecting traditional combustion engines.

To prove the long-term reliability of the battery technology, Nissan tracked down a rather infamous early model, whose owner is still enjoying fault-free motoring in her LEAF three years on: http://youtu.be/6V1bJJwJhEg

Electric vehicle advocate and presenter of online TV channel Fully Charged, Robert Llewellyn commented: “This comes as no surprise. There was a lot of apprehension about electric technology in the beginning, but with sales climbing month-on-month I struggle to see how these myths continue to be regurgitated today.” Continue reading

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Humana Sets Three-Year Goal For Carbon Footprint Reduction

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) today participated in an event at the White House during which several large federal contractors announced commitments to reduce their carbon footprints in 2015 and beyond. Humana announced its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by five (5) percent through 2017, from a 2013 baseline.

“As part of Humana’s Corporate Social Responsibility endeavors, we’ve been focused for several years now on Healthy Planet initiatives intended to reduce energy and emissions,” said Tim Huval, Humana’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “We recognize the impact greenhouse gas emissions have on our global climate, and our associates at Humana are deeply committed to doing everything we can to reduce the company’s environmental impact.”

Humana previously set and achieved goals related to energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, in 2011-2012. During that period, the company reduced its energy consumption by eight (8) percent, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by three (3) percent. In 2014, Humana announced a second generation of environmental goals focused on key owned and leased worksites, with a target date of the end of 2015. Today’s announcement represents a two-year extension of Humana’s work to continue reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading

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Enhancing Reporting

A growing importance has been placed on organizations, by the public, to report above and beyond the financial status of the organization. Stakeholders expect enhanced reporting practices as they want to be actively communicated with, regarding the community investment activities.

Increasingly, organizations are releasing annual community investment or corporate social responsibility reports to highlight these efforts. In doing so, these organizations promote accountability by speaking to the triple bottom line (social, environmental, and financial). Additionally, it demonstrates the organization’s contributions to the communities in which it operates, which is now expected by stakeholders.

The level of communication and engagement needed by an organizations stakeholders is supported by the dissemination of these reports. Increased communication between both internal and external stakeholders occurs and allows for conversations to occur that otherwise may not happen. Stakeholders at all levels become more engaged in the organizations activities, and the organization benefits by being able to show the breadth of its activities impact in society. Not only can enhanced reporting support and maintain shareholders by increasing positive public perception, but it also can inspire employees, citizens, and other organizations to become a part of the community investment discussion. Continue reading

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Driving High-Impact Through More Strategic Partnerships

A sea change is occurring in the philanthropic and social mission space in response to the scarcity of and competition for resources.  Government funding of charity (which some estimate represents 30 percent or more of all funds going to nonprofits), is dropping with no end in sight.  The funding that remains will increasingly be based on an evidence-based approach focused on finding those charitable programs that actually work, are scalable, replicable and sustainable in ways that achieve maximum social impact.

Similarly corporate philanthropy offices are seeking ways to be more strategic in their giving as they are increasingly under the gun to demonstrate the tangible outcomes of their efforts including more evidence that funding and resources are being directed to charities that are accountable, show evidence of their impact, and have potential to scale. Continue reading

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The U.S. National Action Plan for Responsible Business Conduct

As the U.S. Government begins drafting a landmark National Action Plan on business and human rights, it is facilitating a series of consultations across the country. One of four was hosted at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in January. An impressive mix of industry, government and civil society attended.

Companies with complex supply chains and financial institutions made important requests for “tools” that will equip them to evaluate their human rights impacts. This is a difficult request to parse. NomoGaia has been developing and publishing human rights due diligence tools for over 7 years, and organizations like BSR, GBI, DIHR and Foley Hoag have been privately supporting companies in assessment of human rights impacts. Practitioners have reached a level of consensus over what makes for adequate due diligence, which includes direct and ongoing engagement with rightsholders themselves. In general (though with important exceptions), corporations have been reluctant to acknowledge this central reality. Continue reading

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Flash Consulting: A Day of Transformative Results

What do you typically accomplish in a single afternoon? Perhaps digging yourself out of your inbox absorbs half the day. Or preparing for a meeting occupies your entire afternoon.

Or maybe, you’ve dedicated an afternoon to volunteering – picking up trash or staffing a soup kitchen. If so, you have witnessed the positive results of your contribution, as well as experienced the fulfillment that such an act brings.  Now take that impact and emotional high, and scale them tenfold. How? By adding your professional expertise and skills!

Skills as a Game-Changer

In November, Common Impact planned a Charles Schwab Skills Marathon in San Francisco: a half-day “flash-consulting” event that adapts the traditional day-of-service model to incorporate skills-based volunteerism. Continue reading

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