RIT to Help Drive Chevrolet’s Campus Clean-Energy Efficiency Program

October 22, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Rochester Institute of Technology is among 12 colleges and universities—including the first in New York state—that will help drive Chevrolet’s Campus Clean Energy Campaign designed to reduce carbon emissions.

RIT was selected for its leadership role in sustainability and energy efficiency on campus, resulting in Chevrolet’s invitation to participate in the new initiative to retire carbon credits on behalf of the environment. The university is among a second wave of colleges and universities that have announced participation in the initiative today on Campus Sustainability Day, which has been celebrating sustainability in higher education nationally since 2003.

As a result of ongoing sustainability initiatives, RIT officials estimate that the university will sell Chevy carbon credits—a financial instrument used to tally the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere—yielding up to $100,000. The money will be reinvested in energy efficiency and sustainability projects on campus to help further reduce RIT’s carbon footprint. Continue reading

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New Hershey Learn to Grow Program to Impact Nearly 9,000 Cocoa Farmers in Cote d’ Ivoire

HERSHEY, Pa., Oct. 22, 2014 /3BL Media/ — The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) announced today an innovative partnership with Hershey suppliers and a European sustainability agency to help thousands of farmers in Cote d’Ivoire improve productivity, raise incomes and improve communities.

The partnership includes Blommer Chocolate and OLAM International through their joint “GrowCocoa” initiative and IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).  The Hershey Learn to Grow program aims to reach more than 8,700 cocoa farmers who belong to 27 cooperatives spread across six regions of Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa-producing country. There are three key objectives:

  • Improving planting methods to increase productivity on each participating farm
  • Providing fertilizer incentives and other important inputs to farmers who demonstrate use of good agricultural practices
  • Rehabilitating cocoa farms that are more than 25 years old with new, faster-growing and higher-yielding cocoa trees

Hershey is building on its cocoa sustainability programs in Cote d’Ivoire. In 2013, Hershey funded the construction of a primary school in the Abroko cocoa region. With today’s announcement, the Hershey Learn to Grow program will enroll approximately 19,000 Ivorian cocoa farmers by 2017. Continue reading

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Sodexo in the U.S. Wins First Aon Hewitt Best Employer Certification

GAITHERSBUR, Md., October 22, 2014 /3BL Media/Sodexo, a leading provider of sustainable, integrated facilities management and food service operations, was named among the first entities to be certified by the Aon Hewitt Best Employer Program.

This program compares organizations to identify those that strive to create competitive advantage through their people and become employers of choice. It recognizes organizations that are driving high employee engagement, effective leadership, high performance culture and a compelling employer brand strategy. The methodology is based on over 20 years of employee research experience at Aon Hewitt, including more than 10 years of local Best Employer Studies.

Sodexo has been recognized as an Aon Hewitt Certified Best Employer based on the opinions of their 133,000 employees, measured against standards from the Aon Hewitt global employee engagement database. Continue reading

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Top 5 Benefits of a Sustainability Audit – #2 Lowers Business Risks

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Benefit #2 – Lowers Business Risks

Organizations face many different kinds of risks on a daily basis.  A sustainability audit helps identify initiatives and tasks that reduce or eliminate these risks.

Compliance Risk – The number and complexity of international, national and regional regulations that address the environmental impact of product, services and business activities is increasing. Companies can find themselves with significant compliance and reporting risk if these issues are not managed and reported properly.  A sustainability audit can help identify compliance and issues.

Reporting Risk - In the face of mounting pressure to be transparent, a growing number of organizations are choosing to report on sustainability. Sustainability reports help readers understand how well the reporting organization is doing on the triple bottom line.  By not reporting, an organization risks its relationship with stakeholders, customers and the public.  A sustainability audit can help organizations create better reports. Continue reading

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Top 5 Benefits of a Sustainability Audit – #1 Lowering Costs

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Benefit #1 – Lowering Costs

Lower costs are one of the largest and most immediate benefits of a sustainability audit.   In the face of rising fuel, natural resources and waste stream costs, finding opportunities to eliminate waste and increase efficiencies in these areas save real money (and helps the environment) and provides real financial results.  Below is a list of some of the areas a sustainability audit will help lower costs:

  • Energy usage
  • Water consumption
  • Waste management
  • Fuel consumption
  • Packaging and shipping
  • IT spend
  • Heating & Cooling expenses
  • Environmental compliance
  • Business transportation

What is a Sustainability Audit?

A sustainability audit is a powerful tool.  A sustainability audit takes an inventory of all of the policies, procedures and practices of an organization and compares these to the best practices in their industry.  In essence, an audit is a gap analysis and a maturity analysis of the sustainability practices of an organization. It is meant to document ‘what you are doing’ and ‘to what extent’ across a wide range of categories.  By doing so, and organization can better know where to concentrate is efforts and resources to get the maximum impact. Continue reading

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Forest City Retail Operations Honored with Cool Planet Award for Sustainability

CLEVELAND, Ohio, October 20, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Forest City Enterprises, Inc., (NYSE: FCEA and FCEB) today announced the company has been recognized with a 2014 Cool Planet Award for demonstrating exemplary leadership in energy and carbon management at three of its California retail properties: South Bay Galleria, Antelope Valley Mall and Promenade Temecula.

The Cool Planet Awards, presented by Southern California Edison (SCE) and managed by The Climate Registry, a non-profit organization, celebrate outstanding commitment to implementing energy efficiency projects, participating in demand response programs and establishing environmental and greenhouse gas emissions management systems.

“As part our dedication to our local communities and corporate social responsibility, Forest City is committed to effectively managing our energy, waste and carbon footprint across our nationwide portfolio” said Joyce Mihalik, vice president, Integrative Design Services for Forest City. “We are proud that our associates’ efforts in California, together with our continued partnership with Southern California Edison, are being recognized with this 2014 Cool Planet Award.” Continue reading

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Values Add Value to Food Buys, From Whole Foods to McDonald’s

“Values matter.” That’s the slogan that Whole Foods has chosen for its first national brand marketing campaign. The message is, Whole Foods provides value to its customers through the values the company uses to select the food products on its shelves. That is, values for money in shopping for groceries is as important as bargain pricing, which Whole Foods is not known for.

The company believes that consumers will find that value in the increased information it provides about where the food comes from, and how it was grown, raised, and made. Whole Foods is serious about getting out this message. The campaign’s budget is estimated at between fifteen and twenty million dollars. It’s the latest example of what Madison Avenue calls variously “conscious capitalism,” “cause marketing,” and “purpose marketing.” Continue reading

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Why your company should have a Sustainability Audit

currentstate sustainability audit

What is a Sustainability Audit?

A sustainability audit is a powerful tool.  A sustainability audit takes an inventory of all of the policies, procedures and practices of an organization and compares these to the best practices in their industry.  In essence, an audit is a gap analysis and a maturity analysis of the sustainability practices of an organization. It is meant to document ‘what you are doing’ and ‘to what extent’ across a wide range of categories.  By doing so, and organization can better know where to concentrate is efforts and resources to get the maximum impact.

What it is Not

The objective of an audit is to provide a ‘snapshot’ of current policies, procedures and practices.  Therefore it is not an exercise in counting carbon or tallying the financial implications of sustainability initiatives.  Nor is a audit an in-depth examination of any specific program of work.

Why should your company get one?

Having an audit is ideal for any company.  Whether your organization has a mature sustainability program in place or whether it is just beginning, the information an audit provides will be very useful.

If you have a program in place, the audit will let you know what things you are doing well and (perhaps more importantly) what items you should consider doing.  Sustainability touches all corners of an organization – from Green IT to Facilities to business practices.  Therefore it is quite probable that even sophisticated programs have overlooked many potential area to green operations.

For an organization that is just beginning its journey, an audit will provide a detailed roadmap on what programs and practices should be put into place.  It will also provide ‘quick win’ initiative that take little effort and resources, but can have a significant impact and help jump-start your program.

Benefits of a implementing initiatives

The benefits of sustainability are well documented and numerous.  Companies that have meaningful and successful sustainability programs in place perform better financially.   Recently the Wall Street Journal and many other publications have writing stories about the correlation between sustainability and the stock and financial performance of companies.  What they have found is that because sustainability focusses on increasing efficiencies, reducing waste and risk and improving compliance and reputation, business that have initiatives in these areas make more money – for themselves and their shareholders.

For information about the CurrentState Sustainability Audit, Click HERE.

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