To quote American nature writer Kenneth Brower, “A living planet is a rare thing, perhaps the rarest thing in the universe, and a very tenuous experiment at best.” A living planet is comprised of complex ecosystems that nourish myriad species, each one interdependent, relying on the others to play their role to such perfection that only exists in nature.
When ecosystems fall out of balance, chaos ensues. The cycle of life is interrupted, and species perish. Without sustainable natural systems, there is no provision for communities, no sustenance for societies, no nourishment for economies.
Since our arrival some 60,000 years ago, humans have had a major impact on the planet’s ecosystems. Our presence has—slowly at first and now quite rapidly—caused the extinction of a broad spectrum of species across the globe. Continue reading
Green building is more than just a development trend. It involves a range of environmental aspects such as emissions reduction, water conservation, storm water management, temperature moderation, and waste reduction. Greenbuild 2014, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, which began in New Orleans, highlights these aspects and showcases the latest technologies and innovations in sustainable building.
Make It Right, the organization founded by Brad Pitt, which builds LEED Platinum certified projects for people and communities in need, has showcased the 2014 Greenbuild LivingHome. This LEED Platinum net-zero home is created by LivingHomes in partnership with Make It Right to demonstrate how cutting-edge sustainable building techniques can support affordable housing for people in need. Continue reading
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has issued a new report detailing the retail industry’s involvement with LEED and the impact of globally recognized green buildings on the consumer experience. The LEED in Motion report outlines the many ways LEED certification delivers a superior consumer experience, including the benefits of circulating fresh air, setting a consistently comfortable temperature and utilizing daylight wherever possible. Additionally, the report shows that 100 percent of retailers participating in LEED reduced the pollution and land development impact of their buildings by meeting LEED’s sustainable site standard. The report profiles the involvement of Yum! Brands and interviews Jonathan Balas, Senior Manager of Global Sustainability, on the company’s LEED strategy. “With more than 40,000 restaurants, and continued rapid growth around the globe, we’ve embraced our responsibility to be environmentally responsible corporate stewards,” said Balas. Balas also discusses: Continue reading
Eleven year-old Joe Redmond and Taco Bell have two things in common: a love of burritos and of showing Más Heart. When the brand heard that Joe had combined the two to help other people, they knew they wanted to celebrate and honor him in true Taco Bell style.
The brand first learned about Joe and his burrito passion in June, when Joe’s dad shared a video with the Taco Bell team. The video was of Joe practicing a public speaking project about the history of the burrito. Joe, who has Down syndrome and is very shy, rehearsed his speech several times at home before delivering it in front of his classmates.
Taco Bell loved Joe’s video but soon learned it wasn’t the only way he had shown enthusiasm for his favorite fare. The year before, Joe held a fundraiser at his elementary school – appropriately dubbed “Joe’s Burritopalooza” – and sold homemade burritos and baked goods to raise money for his two favorite charities, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society and York Region Down Syndrome Association. Continue reading
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
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
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
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