Tag Archives: Video

IBM Using Technology to Improve Water Sustainability

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Some things that people may take for granted on a day-to-day basis is the availability of freshwater. Our world is made up of massive amounts of water, however, the majority of this is salt water, about 97.5%. The remaining 2.5% is freshwater but only 30% of these freshwater sources are groundwater, the main source of water for human consumption. For a world population that is continually growing and consuming more and more resources, this staggeringly small amount of available freshwater cannot sustain it. This is highlighted by the fact that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in areas with an extremely scarce water supply (UN Water Statistics). Thus, a need is created to be able to better utilize our current freshwater resources and improve the sustainability of these resources. The root of water resource sustainability is water conservation, preached and advocated for all over the world. International Business Machines, most commonly referred to as IBM, has been developing computers and technologies for businesses for many years and has grown into one of the largest companies in the US. Currently, IBM has pushed a business solutions focus that involves analytics,  Continue Reading »

Emerson Helps Milwaukee Turn Waste into Energy

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Recently, Emerson Electric Company has been airing a fairly strong television advertisement campaign on many channels again, resurrected from a few years ago. The gist of the advertisements is that Emerson is providing cities and companies with solutions to problems that have “never been done before.” Originally these commercials were developed back in 2009 as the “It’s Never Been Done Before” campaign and they can be seen on Emerson’s YouTube Channel and explained in this Emerson news release. As it relates to sustainability, there is one very intriguing part of this campaign that seemed very out of the ordinary. It was the way in which Emerson has helped the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin increase its initiative to produce a substantial amount of electricity through its wastewater program. What the City of Milwaukee had developed was a methane producing system in its wastewater treatment plants to create electricity. Microbes are introduced into the wastewater tanks, where they digest the sewage to expel methane. The methane is then captured and turned into energy. This process is nothing new and Emerson was not the one to develop this for Milwaukee. However, what Emerson did was show  Continue Reading »

The Bluesign Standard

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Since sustainability initiatives are beginning to become very common, almost all industries are trying to figure how or what they can do. With this comes the rise in other businesses designed to help those attain their sustainability goals and New Leaf is one of them. It is a great opportunity for businesses to be able to have access to experts who they would otherwise have to hire or train, which can prove to be time consuming and more expensive than consulting firms. However, there has been an increase in large companies specifically hiring sustainability personnel because they feel it is worth their while and sustainability is not just a fad, it is important and here to stay. But when a company needs to dramatically overhaul their product line to become more sustainable, an outside organization can prove to be an easy route. For the textile industry, Bluesign is just that organization. A Swiss scientist, Dr. Peter Waeber, began to develop sustainable products in the 1980s, with a project for the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) to create a “green” cotton. Throughout the development of this and the introduction of sustainable dyes, finally  Continue Reading »

The Concept of Natural Capital

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Every company deals with capital when figuring out how to operate their business and observing how the business is performing. Companies in the United States operate under a capitalist economic system, where capital goods are owned by individuals who use them to create a product or service to sell for a profit. This is nothing new of course, but it then feeds in to how some people feel that the dwindling free natural resources of the world need to be accounted for economically. This brings about the concept of natural capital, which was first foreshadowed by President Roosevelt in 1937 when he talked about how the Earth’s permanent capital, natural resources, were being transformed into wealth faster than the real wealth was being replaced. The term natural capital was first used by E.F. Schumacher in 1973 in his book “Small is Beautiful.” What natural capital does is essentially place a value on the things we amass from the Earth for free, like clean water, air, and trees. In the dollars of today, a 1997 research group valued the entire biosphere at $47 trillion dollars. It seems like this notion has been  Continue Reading »

Carbon Neutrality

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis   Let’s face it, becoming completely carbon emission free as a business can be very hard and especially so when your business involves transportation. However, if your business must put carbon emissions in the air, as even hybrid vehicles do, sustainability can be achieved through something called carbon neutrality. So, what does this mean? Becoming carbon neutral means that for every carbon emission produced there is a reduction of carbon emissions of an equal amount. Thus, neutrality is achieved through net carbon emissions of zero. This step is what can take a business from being environmentally conscious to sustainable. Even though it is not a perfect sustainability, it is a solution for a time in which fossil fuels are still readily used, cheap, and where there are cases wherein carbon emissions cannot be feasibly taken to zero. The goal is to use carbon neutrality as a stepping stone to having a completely sustainable business operation. The first step in becoming carbon neutral is a measurement of the business carbon footprint for a set amount of time. For example, the amount of emissions from the company cars, vans, busses, trucks, or  Continue Reading »

Lessons from Dell’s Bamboo Packaging Story

In this interview (How Dell Turned Bamboo and Mushrooms Into Environmental-Friendly Packaging) by MIT Sloan Management Review, John Pflueger, Principal Environmental Strategist for Dell, talks about innovations in packaging, Dell’s sustainability structure, and goal setting.  It is always refreshing to learn about how Big Business successfully integrates sustainability into their business model.  The article gives examples of two key concepts:  sustainability fosters supply chain innovation and corporate sustainability needs centralized leadership. Fostering Supply Chain Innovation Dell wanted a new kind of packaging for their high-tech products.  They wanted something that was sourced near the point of use to limit resources used in transportation of the packaging materials, something that was easy to replace, and something that could be recycled and composted.  So they found a Chinese company that was interested in using bamboo, native to China and rapidly renewable, the same way that paper is used to make cardboard packaging.  This story is a great example of how a corporation can foster supply chain innovation through sustainability planning.  Dell was involved in the development of the product, making sure that it was sourced sustainably according to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines, and they even walked the supply chain.  The result  Continue Reading »

Video Post: Why and How Do We Engage?

How do we engage those who are not like us?  First step: Understand that they ARE like us.  Simran Sethi talks about engaging others in environmental issues with understanding about how and why people engage.  This powerful TEDxCibeles Talk is an eye-opener with valuable insight on how to tailor your message about environmental concerns to your audience.

Video Post: Andrew Winston talks about Green Recovery

In this Harvard Business Publishing interview, Andrew Winston talks about how businesses should innovate beyond the products and services they sell to come out of the economic downturn on top of their market sector. Innovation does not just mean exciting new products and services.  It can also mean rethinking processes and procedures; and when companies focus their innovation toward green practices, they are setting themselves up to save money, gain competitive advantage, and be more successful when the economy begins to improve.  Large companies like Subaru and Walmart are already doing this.  Watch this 12 minute video for more.