Tag Archives: sustainability

Moving People to Safety

When, how, and where we build must become a top priority for builders.

SOURCE: Green Builder Media

DESCRIPTION:

Chalk it up to luck, I suppose, but a few weeks back we missed the only real snowstorm to hit our corner of the world this winter because we were traveling elsewhere on business. We received email reports from folks in the neighborhood that our hilly country lane was totally impassible due to ice and wet, deep snow plus plenty of downed trees, and their daily updates indicated that the situation remained unchanged for almost a week.

By the time we returned the little private road was open again, featuring the same jarring winter potholes we had carefully avoided on our departure, but the piles of shattered alder and hemlock, some a foot or more in diameter, still lined many parts of the course and several more weeks would pass before workers and equipment appeared to crush, saw, chip and haul away the debris, leaving the borrow ditches in what we hope will be a condition that can handle the impending spring runoff.

This incident actually illustrates how fortunate we are to have experienced such a mild winter, especially compared to so many parts of the country. Even today, several weeks after our “big” snow event and well past the official start of spring, the battered residents of New England and other parts of the East coast are hunkering down in anticipation of up to a predicted foot of new snow and ugly conditions. This comes after months of evening newsreels showing the aftermath of storm after storm and the misery endured by so many communities this winter.

I can’t help thinking about the mounds of mud and indescribable muck that loomed, layer upon layer, along the streets of many neighborhoods in New Orleans the first time I visited the region following Katrina and the mountains of shocking wreckage left in the wake of the devastating tornadoes that have destroyed entire towns in recent years.

I am left with the undeniable recognition of the fact that some things are beyond our abilities to control them. This will not be the last hard winter. What I’m more troubled by however, and this really brings me to my point, are the tragedies that we have at least some capacity to avoid but seem to be willing to ignore until it is too late.

Depending on your specific location, your home and family could be susceptible to any number of natural and/or manmade threats. In one place or another you may be at higher risk from flooding, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, and so on. Yet, we support policies that encourage people to rebuild over and over again in these zones.

It seems that almost daily we hear or read reports of bad things that happen to good people in ordinary communities because they don’t heed the warnings intended to protect them. So many times we have heard stunned victims say “I never thought it would happen here” or “We should have listened.”

Because there are things we can control, perhaps the building industry has an inherent responsibility to take a more firm position on not only what we build and how we build, but also on where we build.

More blogs from Ron Jones…

Tweet me: Moving People to Safety: The What, How and Where of Responsible Building http://3bl.me/2vm64z #disasterplanning

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Education, disaster planning, disaster recovery, disaster mitigation, Disaster preparedness, responsible building, sustainable building, Green Builder Media

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AT&T Energy Director to Expand Focus to Include Smarter Buildings

SOURCE: AT&T

DESCRIPTION:

John Schinter, who was hired as AT&T’s first Director of Energy in 2009, was recently appointed Assistant Vice President of Energy and Smart Buildings. 

While continuing with his current role to oversee company-wide energy management efforts, Schinter’s focus will expand to include the deployment of new M2M and big data solutions to optimize facility equipment operational performance and reliability. 

“Big data and machine-to-machine technologies are strategic tools that can be used in Real Estate operations to optimize equipment reliability and further accelerate our progress in responsible energy management,” said Mark Schleyer, Senior Vice President of Corporate Real Estate at AT&T. “With John Schinter leading our Energy and Smart Building work, AT&T will be even better suited to optimize our equipment operations and improve energy efficiencies that can positively impact AT&T’s network reliability, the environment and our bottom line.”

Over the next five to six years, Schinter will focus on:

  • Driving a technology transformation;
  • Deploying centralized real-time data analysis to support the reduction of the company’s real estate footprint and identify potential efficiencies;
  • Expanding alternative finance structures; and,
  • Expanding alternative/renewable energy, including solar and fuel cell technology.

Under Schinter’s leadership, AT&T implemented over 14,300 energy efficiency projects, producing annualized savings of over $151 million from 2010-2012. Such successes have been part of a company-wide focus on energy conservation.

Through AT&T’s employee engagement program, Do One Thing (DOT), employees across the company drive positive impact with small changes at work, at home and in their communities. The DOT for the month of March was dedicated to energy conservation.

“Personally, I have chosen a DOT to save energy both in my personal and professional life because it aligns with my work and interests, and I encourage employees across the country to join us in this movement to make a positive difference for themselves, their communities and AT&T,” Schinter said. “There’s no single action that’s going to move the needle. The collective actions of thousands of people create an impact.” 

Tweet me: .@ATT AT&T Energy Director to Expand Focus to Include Smarter Buildings http://soc.att.com/1l1OaON

KEYWORDS: Energy, Business & Trade, Smart Buildings, do one thing, Technology, carbon footprint reduction

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Coca-Cola's Refreshing Impact in Brazil

Leading

SOURCE: Shared Value Initiative

SUMMARY:

In the new series, Leading Shared Value: Personal Reflections from Global Practitioners, the Shared Value Initiative speaks with global leaders who are driving shared value strategy within their organization. Today we interview Brian Smith, President, Latin America Group of The Coca-Cola Company. Mr. Smith will speak at the Shared Value Leadership Summit: Investing in Prosperity, May 13-14 in New York.

DESCRIPTION:

In the new series, Leading Shared Value: Personal Reflections from Global Practitioners, the Shared Value Initiative will speak with global leaders who are driving shared value strategy within their organization. Today we interview Brian Smith, President, Latin America Group of The Coca-Cola Company. Mr. Smith will speak at the Shared Value Leadership Summit: Investing in Prosperity, May 13-14 in New York.
 

What does the success of shared value look like for you? Tell us your favorite example. 

For me, shared value success looks like the more than 50,000 youth ages 15 through 25 who have completed Coca-Cola Coletivo. Coletivo began in Brazil as a platform for self-esteem and job preparedness training for urban youth, and its initial impacts are inspiring. Approximately 30 percent of graduates begin employment within four months of finishing the program, and graduates report a 20 percent increase in their self-esteem – one of our most important impacts. We’re seeing an average income increase of 40 percent for families where a Coletivo graduate is employed, as well as tangible impacts on our business in Coletivo communities. 

The success of Coletivo Retail prompts us to think bigger. We’ve challenged ourselves to think about how our value chain, our capillarity and our ability to connect with communities can transform social challenges.

Our thinking has evolved during the last five years, and the Coletivo platform has now expanded in Brazil to seven different models focused on all kinds of demographics, from women artisans to rural acai harvesters in the Amazon. Coca-Cola Coletivo is truly a transformational shared value approach – contributing solutions to social issues that range from youth unemployment to lack of market access for agricultural commodities – in ways that strengthen our own core business.

Today, we are committed to taking this model and its potential for positive impact even further. In partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, we are refining Coletivo to scale relevant parts of the program, both across Brazil and in Latin America.

- See more at: http://sharedvalue.org/groups/coca-colas-refreshing-impact-brazil#sthash…

In the new series, Leading Shared Value: Personal Reflections from Global Practitioners, the Shared Value Initiative will speak with global leaders who are driving shared value strategy within their organization. Today we interview Brian Smith, President, Latin America Group of The Coca-Cola Company. Mr. Smith will speak at the Shared Value Leadership Summit: Investing in Prosperity, May 13-14 in New York.
 

What does the success of shared value look like for you? Tell us your favorite example. 

For me, shared value success looks like the more than 50,000 youth ages 15 through 25 who have completed Coca-Cola Coletivo. Coletivo began in Brazil as a platform for self-esteem and job preparedness training for urban youth, and its initial impacts are inspiring. Approximately 30 percent of graduates begin employment within four months of finishing the program, and graduates report a 20 percent increase in their self-esteem – one of our most important impacts. We’re seeing an average income increase of 40 percent for families where a Coletivo graduate is employed, as well as tangible impacts on our business in Coletivo communities. 

The success of Coletivo Retail prompts us to think bigger. We’ve challenged ourselves to think about how our value chain, our capillarity and our ability to connect with communities can transform social challenges.

Our thinking has evolved during the last five years, and the Coletivo platform has now expanded in Brazil to seven different models focused on all kinds of demographics, from women artisans to rural acai harvesters in the Amazon. Coca-Cola Coletivo is truly a transformational shared value approach – contributing solutions to social issues that range from youth unemployment to lack of market access for agricultural commodities – in ways that strengthen our own core business.

Today, we are committed to taking this model and its potential for positive impact even further. In partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, we are refining Coletivo to scale relevant parts of the program, both across Brazil and in Latin America.

- See more at: http://sharedvalue.org/groups/coca-colas-refreshing-impact-brazil#sthash…

Here is an excerpt. Read the full interview at sharedvalue.org.

What does the success of shared value look like for you? Tell us your favorite example.

For me, shared value success looks like the more than 50,000 youth ages 15 through 25 who have completed Coca-Cola Coletivo. Coletivo began in Brazil as a platform for self-esteem and job preparedness training for urban youth, and its initial impacts are inspiring. Approximately 30 percent of graduates begin employment within four months of finishing the program, and graduates report a 20 percent increase in their self-esteem – one of our most important impacts. We’re seeing an average income increase of 40 percent for families where a Coletivo graduate is employed, as well as tangible impacts on our business in Coletivo communities.

The success of Coletivo Retail prompts us to think bigger. We’ve challenged ourselves to think about how our value chain, our capillarity and our ability to connect with communities can transform social challenges.

Our thinking has evolved during the last five years, and the Coletivo platform has now expanded in Brazil to seven different models focused on all kinds of demographics, from women artisans to rural acai harvesters in the Amazon. Coca-Cola Coletivo is truly a transformational shared value approach – contributing solutions to social issues that range from youth unemployment to lack of market access for agricultural commodities – in ways that strengthen our own core business.

Today, we are committed to taking this model and its potential for positive impact even further. In partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, we are refining Coletivo to scale relevant parts of the program, both across Brazil and in Latin America…Read the full interview at sharedvalue.org.

Learn more and register for the Shared Value Leadership Summit: Investing in Prosperity.

Tweet me: Check out @CocaColaCo ‘s Refreshing #sharedvalue Impact in #Brazil: http://bit.ly/1kcYJA4 #SVInvest @SVInitiative

Contact Info:

Michelle Morgan-Nelsen
+1 (617) 502-6164
michelle.morgan-nelsen@sharedvalue.org

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Coca-Cola, Brian Smith, Shared Value, Shared Value Initiative, summit, New York, Latin America, Brazil, Brasil, colectivo

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Southwest Airlines Employees to Split Record-setting Profitsharing Amount in 40th Consecutive Payment

Southwest ProfitSharing Contributions Total Nearly $2.5 billion Over Four Decades

SOURCE: Southwest Airlines

DESCRIPTION:

DALLAS, April 14, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today announced it will contribute approximately $228 million—the largest total dollar amount ever allocated—directly to Employees through its ProfitSharing Plan this year. The payment is an 88 percent increase over last year’s contribution of $121 million. Southwest was the first in the industry to offer a ProfitSharing Plan, and this is the Company’s 40th consecutive ProfitSharing payment. Through the ProfitSharing Plan, Southwest Employees currently own more than four percent of the Company’s outstanding shares.

“The hard work of our People, and the pride and ownership they take in providing outstanding Customer Service, has resulted in four decades of profitability. Our People earned this reward, tirelessly working toward our vision of becoming the World’s Most Loved, Most Flown, and Most Profitable Airline,” said Gary Kelly, Chairman, President, and CEO of Southwest Airlines. “We had a great year in 2013 because of their collective efforts and contributions toward Southwest’s success and profitability, and they absolutely deserve this recognition.”

Combined with ProfitSharing is the Company’s $269 million match and other amounts contributed to the Southwest and AirTran 401(k) plans. Southwest rewarded its Employees with a 2013 total retirement benefit of nearly $500 million.  In addition to retirement contributions, Southwest Airlines also invested approximately $580 million in its Employees’ benefits during 2013, which included healthcare coverage, wellness programs, and other benefits.  In total, that’s more than $1 billion dedicated to the wealth and wellbeing of Southwest Employees in 2013 alone, on top of base salaries. 

Over four decades, Southwest ProfitSharing contributions have totaled $2.5 billion. In other words:

  • It’s enough money to buy 500 million mini bottles of founder Herb Kelleher’s drink of choice, Wild Turkey, which would fill 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Or, $2.5 billion would buy 83 billion bags of Southwest peanuts—enough for 10 roundtrips to the moon if you lined them up end-to-end.

ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 43rd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by nearly 45,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 96 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and five near-international countries via wholly owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2012 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at southwest.com/citizenship.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as “The Southwest Effect,” a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. With Southwest Airlines, Bags Fly Free ® (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply), and there are no change fees when you need to change your flight. Southwest’s fleet offers leather seating and the comfort of full-size cabins, a majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi connectivity over the United States, which enables live and video-on-demand TV currently FREE compliments of DISH, and a new, sustainable cabin interior. Southwest acquired AirTran Airways in May 2011 and by the end of 2014 intends to complete the full integration of the AirTran network into Southwest. With 41 consecutive years of profitability, the People of Southwest and AirTran operate more than 3,600 flights a day. Southwest Airlines’ frequent flights and low fares are available online at southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.

Media Contacts:

Emily Samuels

emily.samuels@wnco.com

(214) 792-6146

Multi-Media Assets and other Company news at swamedia.com
Media Relations Team: (214) 792-4847

Tweet me: .@Southwest Air announces nearly $2.5 billion over four decades to Employees through ProfitSharing Plan: http://3bl.me/rk3xzh

KEYWORDS: Southwest Airlines, ProfitSharing, ProfitSharing Plan

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Support National Public Health Week and Build Healthier Communities Nationwide

SOURCE: CVS Caremark

DESCRIPTION:

By Eileen Howard Boone, President, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust; Malvise A. Scott, Senior Vice President for Programs and Planning, National Association of Community Health Centers

This week marks National Public Health Week, a time to highlight issues that are important to improving the health of our nation. As we reflect on the state of the nation’s health and the recent news of 7.1 million people enrolling under the Affordable Care Act, it is vital that we continue to make strides to increase access to health care services, especially for underserved populations, as we look to improve community health nationwide.

Continue reading the original article on Huffington Post Impact: http://huff.to/1n81NgO

Tweet me: Support #NationalPublicHealthWeek & Build Healthier Communities Nationwide http://huff.to/1n81NgO via @HuffPostImpact @EileenBooneCSR

KEYWORDS: Health, Business & Trade, School Based Health Alliance, cvs caremark charitable trust, National Public Health Week, National Association of Community Health Centers, Affordable Care Act, National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

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New Jersey Looks to Boost Renewable Energy, Cut Consumption with New Law

SOURCE: 3BL Media, LLC

DESCRIPTION:

The New Jersey legislature is at work on a bill that would dramatically increase that state’s reliance on renewable energy to 80 percent while decreasing energy consumption by 30 percent. Both targets would be achieved by 2050. The bill in progress is the work of legislators, energy executives, lobbyists, and other stakeholders, who are concerned that the state is making little progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. New Jersey’s solar sector growth has slowed, and the state’s goal of building 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2020 is far behind schedule.

To address this problem, the “Renewable Energy Transition Act” would contain provisions to fundamentally change how energy markets work in New Jersey. The most contentious issue is decoupling. Decoupling is a rate mechanism that separates the utility’s fixed cost recovery for maintaining its system from the amount of electricity or gas it sells to customers. Instead, rates would be based on the total number of customers it serves. While the proposed bill does not yet include a provision for decoupling, experts argue that it’s the only way to persuade utilities to get customers to reduce energy usage, ensuring that savings for gas and electricity ratepayers will not hurt a power company’s bottom line.  On the other hand, there has been near unanimous agreement among all involved that reducing energy consumption is the best way to address global climate change. For New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the country, planning a more sustainable, pollution-free future is a critical choice. 

I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.

Video Source: New Jersey Looks to Boost Renewable Energy, Cut Consumption with New Law

Tweet me: New Jersey bill seeks to increase state’s reliance on #renewable #energy http://3bl.me/c5bzp2 #EnergyMinute via @3BLMedia

KEYWORDS: 3bl Media, Energy, New Jersey, renewable energy, wind power, solar power, The Minute

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Why UPS Trucks Don't Turn Left

SOURCE: UPS

DESCRIPTION:

Originally published on priceonomics.com

In 2004, UPS announced a new policy for its drivers: the right way to get to any destination was to avoid left-hand turns. Even if that means following this route that a UPS driver described to an incredulous press member:

“We’re gonna make a right turn onto 135th to Western. We’ll make another right on Western down to 139th. Righ turn on 139th and go down to the end of the block and we’ll make another right turn.”

When better tracking systems emerged in 2001, the package delivery service took a closer look at how trucks performed when delivering packages. As a logistics company with some 96,000 trucks and several hundred aircraft, much of UPS’s business can be distilled to a series of optimization problems around reducing the amount of fuel used, saving time, and using space more efficiently. (Trucks in UPS facilities park just a few inches apart with their side mirrors overlapping to save space.)

Click here to continue reading . . .

Tweet me: .@UPS drivers avoid turing left http://3bl.me/99xk4f because right turns minimize fuel use; smart and #sustainable #logistics

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, UPS, Mythbusters, sustainability, climate change, priceonomics, Fuel, united parcel service, logistics

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Green Builder® Media Celebrates Earth Day and Second Anniversary of the VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort

A tree planted for guests who visit the exhibit during Earth Day Week

SOURCE: Green Builder Media

DESCRIPTION:

Cincinnati, OH, April 9, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Green Builder® Media, North America’s leading media company focused on sustainable living, is celebrating the second anniversary of the VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS, an innovative green home exhibit located in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort.

To celebrate Earth Day, a tree will be planted in honour of each guest (up to 2,500) who visits the VISION House in INNOVENTIONS from April 20-26, 2014.  Green Builder Media will donate to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund so that the trees can be planted.

Guests who visit the exhibit on Earth Day will be able to participate in the Green Shopping Spree Game, which illustrates how everyone can make a difference by being an eco-friendly shopper. Items that we use or eat every day can affect wildlife and our environment by how they are made or thrown away.  The Green Shopping Spree game will show families how choosing “green” products can make a big difference for nature.

“The purpose of the VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS is to present green living ideas in a fun and informative manner that empower guests with the knowledge that a sustainable future is possible,” says Green Builder Media CEO Sara Gutterman. “The Green Shopping Spree Game and the tree planting program, along with the exhibit itself, embody the mission of Green Builder Media, which is to affect positive change in the world.”

The VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS is a part of Green Builder® Media’s VISION House Series. These demonstration projects around the country, most of which are actual residences, are designed to highlight that a successful structure is more than simple shelter—it is an interactive set of systems that combine to create a truly green living environment for inhabitants.

As guests tour the VISION House® in Innoventions, they will experience sustainable products and technologies, including:

• High efficiency heating and cooling and whole-home automation systems by Trane 

• Advanced entry systems by Schlage

• Electronic vehicle charging station by SIEMENS

• Chevy Volt electric vehicle by GM

• Photovoltaic solar panels from Hanwha Solar

• Durable and environmentally friendly exterior systems, including smog-eating tile roofs, cultured stone and permeable pavers by Boral

• Ventilation solutions to improve indoor air quality by Panasonic

• Energy efficient windows and doors from Pella

• High performance glass products by Schott

• Fire sprinkler information from the National Fire Protection Association

• Housewrap and solid surfaces from DuPont

• Sustainable hardwood flooring and cabinets from Armstrong World Industries

• Water-conserving plumbing fixtures and home standby generators from KOHLER

• ENERGY STAR certified home appliances by Bosch

• LED lighting solutions by SYLVANIA

For more information about the VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS, green product news, visit www.greenbuildermedia.com

About Green Builder Media

Green Builder Media, LLC is the leading media company in North America focused on green building and sustainable living.  With a comprehensive suite of print and digital media solutions, demonstration projects, case studies, online training, and live events, Green Builder Media assists building professionals in preparing themselves for the new green economy and helps homeowners understand how to live more sustainably.  For more information, contact Sara Gutterman at sara.gutterman@greenbuildermedia.com or visit www.greenbuildermedia.com.  For media inquiries, contact Cati O’Keefe at cati.okeefe@greenbuildermedia.com

About VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS

The VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot is a groundbreaking green show home exhibit presented by Green Builder® Media in collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering. This experiential exhibit in the heart of Epcot highlights the very best in green residential design and sustainable living. Visitors leave with a greater understanding of green design, technology, and products as well as a host of sustainable living ideas that they can incorporate in their lives the minute they get home from vacation.

About INNOVENTIONS at Epcot

INNOVENTIONS is located in the heart of Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Creativity and imagination abound as guests celebrate the inspiration and innovations that improve their lives and expand their horizons. Hands-on, interactive exhibits allow children and adults to be immersed into ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. For more information about INNOVENTIONS, visit www.innoventions.disney.com.

 

CONTACT: Cati O’Keefe

513-532-0185

cati.okeefe@greenbuildermedia.com

Tweet me: Visit #VISIONHouse 4/20-4/26. Get tips on sustainable living & a tree will be planted in your honor! http://3bl.me/zfkect #VHTreePlanting

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Education, Earth Day Initiative, earth day, Disney, Walt Disney World, EPCOT, Green Builder Media, Recycling, VISION House, Innoventions, sustainable living

  

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