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In Search of Sustainable Leadership: Building Antifragile Competitive Advantage
In Search of Sustainable Leadership: Building Antifragile Competitive Advantage

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - This is the second in a series of articles examining ‘sustainable leadership’ and what it entails. Find links to the full series below. We start our search for sustainable leadership with a quote from Buckminster Fuller: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” This rule has applied to all successful innovations, from the bronze age that replaced the stone age, to the iron age, the industrial revolution, electricity and smartphones; these innovations succeeded because they made what existed before obsolete.

HP Inc. Challenges Tech Industry to Raise the Bar on Electronics Recycling
HP Inc. Challenges Tech Industry to Raise the Bar on Electronics Recycling

WASTE NOT - According to environmental non-profit Basel Action Network (BAN), electronics recycling may not be quite as straightforward as consumers believe. While some electronics are safely dismantled and have their components scrapped or re-used, the recycling process consists of a complex, multi-step supply chain that ends in the developing world, where e-waste is often exported for treatment and oversight is minimal.

Johnson Controls, Aqua Metals Revolutionizing Lead-Acid Battery Recycling
Johnson Controls, Aqua Metals Revolutionizing Lead-Acid Battery Recycling

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Solid and e-waste generation are growing at alarming rates as income and demand for new gadgets, appliances and automobiles rise across the globe. The dangers of rampant e-waste for environmental and human health are significant, but a new partnership announced last week marks an important step towards progress. The world’s largest automotive battery manufacturer Johnson Controls has joined forces with Aqua Metals to change the way lead-acid batteries are recycled globally.

Three Tackles E-Waste, Tech Gap with Reconnected Recycling Scheme
Three Tackles E-Waste, Tech Gap with Reconnected Recycling Scheme

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Communications provider Three UK is attempting tackle the ever-growing e-waste problem while connecting disadvantaged citizens to the digital world with a new recycling initiative aimed at redistributing unused mobile phones across the UK. Three’s Reconnected scheme encourages the public to donate their old or unused mobile phones to people at risk, including the homeless, individuals who have left the military and victims of domestic abuse.

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More Affordable Devices Lead to Doubling of E-Waste in China Since 2010
More Affordable Devices Lead to Doubling of E-Waste in China Since 2010

WASTE NOT - The volume of discarded electronics in East and South-East Asia jumped almost two-thirds between 2010 and 2015, and e-waste generation is growing fast in both total volume and per capita measures, according to new research by United Nations University (UNU).

Apple, HP, Samsung, Sony Join Effort to Keep Child Labor Out of Cobalt Supply Chains
Apple, HP, Samsung, Sony Join Effort to Keep Child Labor Out of Cobalt Supply Chains

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Apple, HP, Samsung SDI and Sony have joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, with a pledge to follow the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for mining supply chains, which call for traceability and immediate correction of any abuses.

AT&T And Teach For America Expand Computer Science Opportunities To Bay Area Students
AT&T And Teach For America Expand Computer Science Opportunities To Bay Area Students

PRESS RELEASE - Teach For America announced today that it will expand its Computer Science (CS) initiative, bringing high-quality opportunities to teachers and students in the Bay Area with support from AT&T. Through its signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, the technology company will contribute $200,000 to Teach For America–Bay Area toward providing Udacity Nanodegree credential scholarships to help students learn the skills needed for entry-level jobs in the tech industry, and also to provide quality professional development and resources for teachers reaching 2,570 students across the Bay Area.

5 Steps to Building Better Working Conditions in Global Supply Chains
5 Steps to Building Better Working Conditions in Global Supply Chains

SUPPLY CHAIN - According to a recent survey of 287 sustainability professionals, working conditions are the most important sustainability issue in supply chains. That’s not too surprising; in the short time it’s taken to read this far, 153 people around the world have had a work-related accident.

WRAP Advises Electronics Shoppers to Keep Calm and Be 'SMART' This Black Friday
WRAP Advises Electronics Shoppers to Keep Calm and Be 'SMART' This Black Friday

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - As retailers and shoppers gear up for another “highly charged” Black Friday, UK anti-waste advocacy organization WRAP has provided a ‘SMART’ guide for buying electronic products. Each year the UK buys 1.4 million tonnes (or £21 billion worth) of electrical and electronic products; WRAP estimates that consumers discard a similar amount. The SMART guidelines are designed to help consumers keep calm, buy smarter, and avoid unnecessary waste of devices and their components.

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Electricity Giants Offer Support to Development Finance Orgs to Meet Paris Agreement Goals
Electricity Giants Offer Support to Development Finance Orgs to Meet Paris Agreement Goals

CLEANTECH - An association of global electricity companies, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP), is offering their expertise to development finance institutions and other international organizations to jointly identify electricity technology investments that can help countries reduce their carbon emissions on schedule in accordance with the Paris Agreement goals.

Brewing a Better Battery: Researchers Pulling Power from Brewery Wastewater
Brewing a Better Battery: Researchers Pulling Power from Brewery Wastewater

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Engineers from the University of Colorado Boulder (CUB) have developed a bio-manufacturing process that uses a biological organism cultivated in brewery wastewater to create the carbon-based materials needed to make energy storage cells. The process could represent a win-win by reducing expensive wastewater treatment costs for beer makers while providing manufacturers with a more cost-effective means of creating renewable, naturally derived fuel cell technologies.

HPE Sets Goal to Increase its Products’ Energy Performance 30x By 2025
HPE Sets Goal to Increase its Products’ Energy Performance 30x By 2025

PRESS RELEASE - Lara Birkes, CSO at HPE, talks about HPE's bold new goals: Thirty times more efficient in 10 years. That’s the ambitious goal Executive Vice President Antonio Neri announced at the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit in New York this week. By 2025, Hewlett Packard Enterprise will increase the energy performance of our product portfolio by 30x from a 2015 baseline.

Ford Offering E-Waste Recycling Program, Education to Shanghai Employees
Ford Offering E-Waste Recycling Program, Education to Shanghai Employees

PRESS RELEASE - Ford has announced that it will offer its employees in Shanghai with ongoing education about the importance of recycling e-waste and access to an e-waste recycling system. The program, financially supported by the Ford Fund, is part of Better World Initiative and done in partnership with Green Initiatives’ [WE] Project. The more than 1,000 employees of Ford headquarters will be able to place used electronics in numerous collection boxes located around the facility. Items can include mobile phones, appliances, storage devices such as external hard drives and USB drives, physical media including CDs and video games, entertainment equipment such as televisions and musical instruments, and electronics of all varieties.

UPS Tests Medicine Delivery by Drone Off Atlantic Coast
UPS Tests Medicine Delivery by Drone Off Atlantic Coast

PRESS RELEASE - Delivery giant UPS and drone manufacturer CyPhy Works have started testing a CyPhy hexacopter to deliver packages to remote locations. On September 22, the companies conducted a mock delivery of urgently needed medicine from Beverly, Mass., to Children’s Island, three miles off the Massachusetts coast. UPS is not new to the drone industry; the Atlanta-based logistics concern acknowledged last year that it was testing drones to monitor stock in its warehouse facilities. That testing is being done at warehouses in Louisville, Ky., and Venlo, the Netherlands. More recently, Houston Mills, UPS Airlines' director of safety, was named to the FAA’s high-level Drone Advisory Committee, which held its first public meeting on September 16.

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HPE Commits to 100% Renewable Energy with RE100
HPE Commits to 100% Renewable Energy with RE100

PRESS RELEASE - Lara Birkes, CSO at HPE, talks about HPE's bold new goals: Today Hewlett Packard Enterprise marked an important milestone on our Living Progress journey. We joined RE100 with a commitment to reach 100 percent renewable energy, while setting an interim goal to source 50 percent of our total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2025. RE100 is led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, as part of the We Mean Business coalition.

Trending: Consumers Want Fewer Phones, More E-Waste Recycling
Trending: Consumers Want Fewer Phones, More E-Waste Recycling

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Each year, a new wave of computers, smartphones and accessories spill onto the market with smaller components made from increasingly complex materials. Even as awareness of e-waste has grown and the circular economy has begun to spread its wings, progress is being undermined by a disposable culture in the tech industry.

The Internet of Things: Net Positive or Negative for Sustainability?
The Internet of Things: Net Positive or Negative for Sustainability?

CLEANTECH - Despite the hype surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT), its promise of enabling smart connected products, new business models, and delivering better customer experiences is undeniable. Combining physical products with sensors, software, storage, and connectivity will also enable exponentially more “products as a service.” Besides providing unprecedented opportunities for transforming brands’ relationships with customers, it’s also a promising portal to a more sustainable world – reducing waste, emissions and natural capital dependencies. Implicit is the hopeful and exciting potential for improving environmental and, in some cases, social footprints of both consumer and industrial products.

Fairphone Achieves Traceable Supply for All Four Conflict Minerals; Your Move, Industry
Fairphone Achieves Traceable Supply for All Four Conflict Minerals; Your Move, Industry

SUPPLY CHAIN - Today, Fairphone announced it is adding conflict-free tungsten from Rwanda into its supply chain. With this achievement, Fairphone has successfully managed to transparently source all four of the conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold). Fairphone began in 2010 as a campaign to increase awareness for the use of conflict minerals in consumer electronics. Six years later, the social enterprise has released two smartphones and more than 100,000 Fairphone owners have joined the movement, but this cause is more relevant than ever.

Toyota Advances Safer, Longer-Lasting Rechargeable Batteries
Toyota Advances Safer, Longer-Lasting Rechargeable Batteries

CLEANTECH - Earlier this month, engineers at the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) announced they made a breakthrough in magnesium battery technology that could lead to smaller, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for “everything from cars to cell phones.” Magnesium metal has long been theorized as a much safer and more energy-dense alternative to current lithium battery technology, but research on magnesium-based batteries has previously been limited by a lack of suitable electrolyte.

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Spinach, Carrots Are Good for You … And for Making Prosthetics, Say UK Scientists
Spinach, Carrots Are Good for You … And for Making Prosthetics, Say UK Scientists

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Scientists in the United Kingdom are using spinach leaves and carrots to investigate selective formation of metallic nanoparticles in plastics. The researchers are working to form conductive circuits and create antimicrobial surfaces by accelerating the production of metals already embedded in treated plastic materials using chemicals from the plants. If successful, the practical applications include smart prosthetics, medical devices for hospitals, mobile phones, and other ‘smart’ surfaces.

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