sustainability trends

Well Beyond Recycling: The Evolution of the Chief Sustainability Officer

CSOIn 2011, the Weinreb Group released CSO Back Story, which highlighted Chief Sustainability Officers (CSO) at the time and provided an analysis on the position and the evolution behind the title. Three years later, the Weinreb Group published a follow-up to the initial report, now examining the shifts and growth of the position over the last few years.

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A month later, what did we learn from climate week?

Last month I was in New York City for Climate Week 2014 and Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Summit before heading to Montreal for the U.N. Principles for Responsible Investment. It was a fantastic week with lots of progress, promises and positive action from governments, cities, businesses, investors and citizens on climate issues and responsible business practices.

We must keep up the momentum. I am very optimistic and here’s why.

climate-march11

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Also posted in Carbon Reduction, Climate change, Energy, Cities and Climate Change, Human Rights, Leadership, new economy, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Have companies forgotten how to create genuine wellbeing? Do old marketing tactics miss the mark?

Genuine-stamp-GreenEarlier this month at the Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego, gDiapers CEO, Jason Graham-Nye said: “I think sustainability is like fight club. The first rule of fight club is don’t talk about fight club. The first rule of sustainability is the word is so dead.”

And he’s not alone. In one of the conference events, Raphael Bemporad – co-founder and chief strategy officer at BBMG and Tensie Whelan, president of Rainforest Alliance – presented a new report entitled The New Sustainability Narrative, which tries to address the following problem:

Sustainability doesn’t mean anything real to consumers. Too often, it brings to mind technical issues or seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges.

“Sustainability doesn’t mean anything real to consumers. Too often, it brings to mind technical issues or seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges.”

I guess this problem statement shouldn’t be surprising news to anyone involved in or following the many efforts to engage consumers in sustainability.  The issue it raises has long become the Achilles’ heel of the sustainability movement, making companies wonder what on earth can be done to get consumers on board.

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Also posted in Business and Sustainability, Communication, Green Consumer, Marketing and Communications, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

11 Ways to Build WIN-WIN Corporate-NGO Partnerships

Alice_KorngoldCompanies that are successful in finding solutions to global problems work in partnership with each other and with NGOs. Through the right partnerships, companies can leverage valuable access and expertise to achieve their business objectives—including building regional capacity, enhancing community relationships, and gaining knowledge of markets where the company seeks to expand its presence.

By understanding and helping improve communities, multinational corporations are best positioned to invest in facilities, infrastructure and workforces, and create and sell products and services that people want.

So how do you ensure the partnerships you invest in are worthy of your time and resources, and focus on impact? Here are a few best practices:

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Also posted in Business and Sustainability, Business for Good, Leadership, Social and Environmental Impacts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

A City Within a Forest: The Evolution of Green Building

Vertical-Forest-by-Stefano-Boeri-Architetti06Visually stunning and environmentally progressive condo buildings and office towers are appearing in Europe and Asia in recent years, including the Bosco Verticale in Milan, Hearst Tower in New York, and Urban Cactus in Rotterdam. Corporations and condo developers take note … whoever construct the first of this type of building in Canada can really make a statement. I talk to Andrew McAllan of Oxford Properties to see when that might happen.

The next generation of consumers increasingly demand sustainable practices. Combining environmental initiatives with stunning design, builders worldwide are thinking outside the box. In Milan, the Bosco Verticale is a vertical forest, housing 400 residential units and 900 trees of three to six meters tall. Architect Stefano Boeri anticipates a 5% increase to construction costs for the additional structure required to support the plants.

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