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thinkstep and Anthesis Form Strategic Alliance: Companies join forces to expand sales and marketing opportunities
thinkstep and Anthesis Form Strategic Alliance: Companies join forces to expand sales and marketing opportunities

PRESS RELEASE -   Stuttgart/London/Boston, July 14, 2016 – thinkstep and Anthesis, two leading, global sustainability solutions and services providers, today announced a strategic alliance to pursue joint marketing, sales and consulting opportunities. Together the companies will work to expand market access to both organizations’ global clients through sustainability strategy and software implementation.   The alliance will benefit businesses that are committed to making sustainability an integral part of their overall strategy. Initially, the two will work together to further market adoption of thinkstep’s SoFi ts enterprise sustainability software platform. The companies plan to expand their agreement to include the GaBi software suite in the near future.

Wilhelms: Cultural Change Starts With Conversation
Wilhelms: Cultural Change Starts With Conversation

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - “Our goal is to make the intangible tangible, which is what we have to do with culture,” said Pamela Wilhelms, founder of Wilhelms Consulting Group, during a Monday workshop at SB'16 San Diego. The workshop, “Understanding and Measuring Cultural and Systems-Change Dimensions within Companies,” focused on how forward-thinking companies can initiate cultural shifts toward sustainability — and how to measure success. As the world moves toward a more sustainable economy, leading brands will be those capable of identifying and measuring healthy cultural dynamics. But culture often is too subjective and intangible to measure.

Securing Buy-in From the Top – 7 Benefits of Integrated Thinking
Securing Buy-in From the Top – 7 Benefits of Integrated Thinking

PRESS RELEASE - In spite of recent advances, the reality of life for many CSR and sustainability officers is still pretty disheartening. Many senior executives and key internal stakeholders still think of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an afterthought – another box to check on the corporate checklist.

Alter Eco's Gone4Good™ Packaging Eliminates Plastic Pouch Problem
Alter Eco's Gone4Good™ Packaging Eliminates Plastic Pouch Problem

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - According to a 2013 study by PCI Films Consulting, 17 billion plastic pouches ended up in landfills throughout the U.S. that year and production is expected to reach 24 billion plastic pouches by 2018 — but that staggering statistic isn’t one that we have to accept. As a company deeply rooted in the food industry, Alter Eco has seen the continual evolution of food packaging, and plastic pouches have become one of the newest, convenient and most sought-after formats on grocery store shelves.

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Sustainability: Separating the Talk from the Action
Sustainability: Separating the Talk from the Action

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - In 2010, I wrote a piece on sustainability. At the time, my point of view was that it’s a challenge too big and too complex for governments alone; particularly with the financial growth of nations such as China, Brazil and India, where consumers were beginning to get a taste of their newly acquired buying power. Back then I thought it would take a change in human behavior to have a real impact on business practices … people seeing the threats to their environment the way they once saw the threat of smoking to their health. So, it’s 2016, where do we stand?

New Evidence Bolsters Claims of Connectivity Between CSR and Market Caps
New Evidence Bolsters Claims of Connectivity Between CSR and Market Caps

NEW METRICS - Last August, I published an article here in which I described what, to me, is the most compelling business case for corporate sustainability or CSR extant: the fact that it literally drives the market values of publicly traded firms up or down in measurable ways. To be clear, I believe there are two fundamental business cases for CSR: an intrinsic one and an extrinsic one. The intrinsic one involves the pursuit of sustainability for its own sake; the extrinsic one involves the pursuit of sustainability for financial gain – a means to an end.

ASU Initiatives Delivering on Mission to Solve, Educate, Engage on Sustainability
ASU Initiatives Delivering on Mission to Solve, Educate, Engage on Sustainability

LEADERSHIP - Arizona State University (ASU) has emerged as a leader in sustainability education in part due to its Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a series of programs designed to solve global sustainability problems, educate future leaders in sustainability strategies, and engage and inform the public around sustainability issues.

Countries Ranked on Sustainable Competitiveness; US and UK Score Below China, Russia
Countries Ranked on Sustainable Competitiveness; US and UK Score Below China, Russia

NEW METRICS - Think tank and sustainable management consultancy SolAbility recently released its fourth Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index (GSCI), a ranking of 180 countries for “sustainable competitiveness,” defined as the ability to generate and sustain inclusive wealth and dignifying standard of life for all citizens in a globalised world of competing economies.Iceland topped the list for the second year running, followed by other Scandinavian nations. The only non-European countries in the top 20 are Japan (11), New Zealand (12), and Canada (16). The US ranked 41 and the UK ranked 48; China and Russia ranked above them at 25 and 33, respectively.

Net Positive: How to Move From Ambition to Implementation
Net Positive: How to Move From Ambition to Implementation

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Arriving a few minutes late after taking ‘the sustainable option’ and walking to the Beaumont Estate from Egham station, Forum for the Future’s Zoe Le Grand kicked off Monday morning’s Net Positive workshop. “Nature cannot continue to provide as the population grows and grows,” she asserted. “We are not going to get there by doing what we have always done or just being 10 percent more efficient. Business needs to step up the level of ambition and drive things faster and further.”So what is Net Positive?“Net Positive is about aiming to put back more than the organization takes out; with overall positive impact. This is a mindset shift that the organizations I have worked with have found very helpful.

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MSC Pilots Seafood Traceability Tool, Asks for Industry Feedback
MSC Pilots Seafood Traceability Tool, Asks for Industry Feedback

SUPPLY CHAIN - The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is soliciting feedback on a new traceability tool that verifies seafood supply chain transactions on a global scale. A public consultation period is taking place from August 16th to September 18th, during which industry members are encouraged to offer their expertise and comments to shape the tool.

OK ... Now What? The Future of Natural Capital Accounting Metrics
OK ... Now What? The Future of Natural Capital Accounting Metrics

NEW METRICS - Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) is an emerging methodology in the private sector, aimed at measuring the dependency and impact of companies on natural systems. NCA helps in quantifying the value of usually intangible assets from nature (such as water, pollination, etc). NCA allows mitigating risks but also identifies opportunities to reduce costs, innovate and become more resilient.

Natural Capital Coalition Releases Stakeholder Feedback Report, Draft Protocol
Natural Capital Coalition Releases Stakeholder Feedback Report, Draft Protocol

NEW METRICS - The Natural Capital Coalition has released an extensive report on business expectations around the Natural Capital Protocol, its standardized framework for measuring impact and dependence on natural ecosystems. Due to be published next year, the Protocol will provide decision-making support to businesses in their risk-management processes, exploration of new revenue streams, and in product and value chain innovation.

Lexmark Predicts Connected Future Built on ‘Economy of Use’
Lexmark Predicts Connected Future Built on ‘Economy of Use’

CLEANTECH - The emerging Internet of Things (IoT) space represents one of the most disruptive, yet lucrative, forces in the business world today. Research by McKinsey & Co estimates that IoT technology offers a potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025. At the top end, that level of value would be equivalent to about 11 percent of the world economy.

How the World's Biggest Brands Should Communicate Sustainability on Social Media
How the World's Biggest Brands Should Communicate Sustainability on Social Media

MARKETING AND COMMS - Matthew Yeomans spoke to a packed house on Tuesday morning, sending the message that social media can no longer be seen as a tactic; it is a fundamental way of doing business — as is sustainability.Yeomans, founder of Sustainly, is a writer and consultant with 20 years’ experience writing and editing at major publications. In his 10 years of advising companies’ online communication strategies, he authored the Social Media Sustainability Index and became one of the UK’s first social media consultancies.

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Elkington’s Dramatization of ‘The Stretch Agenda’ Aims to Help Execs Move Beyond ‘Change-as-Usual’
Elkington’s Dramatization of ‘The Stretch Agenda’ Aims to Help Execs Move Beyond ‘Change-as-Usual’

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - “We pan in to a generously proportioned boardroom on the 33rd floor of an iconic skyscraper, soaring above London and the River Thames. … This is an Extraordinary Board Meeting.”So begins the opening scene in The Stretch Agenda, a ‘playper’ released by advisory firm Volans last week. Over three acts, the report enlivens the call for businesses to look beyond incremental change and focus strategy on the system dynamics that impact their longevity.

European Commission Launches Scientific Debate On How to Feed the Planet
European Commission Launches Scientific Debate On How to Feed the Planet

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - The European Commission has launched an online consultation on how science and innovation can help the EU “ensure safe, nutritious, sufficient and sustainable food globally.”The consultation will underpin the debate on a future research agenda to help tackle global food and nutrition security challenges. It will focus on the areas where the EU's research efforts can have the strongest impact, including how to improve public health through nutrition; increase food safety and quality; reduce food loss and waste; make rural development more sustainable; increase agricultural yields through sustainable intensification; and how to better understand food markets and increase access to food for people around the world.

Waste Is an Error of Design
Waste Is an Error of Design

WASTE NOT - There is a worldwide concern that the ability of our environmental systems to sustain the conditions of life as we know it is being compromised. We need to act now, and we need to act fast, so today more than ever we need innovative solutions and a different approach to problem solving.Every time we analyze a problem by focusing only in its consequences, we risk not understanding it at all. We miss the opportunity to comprehend what is causing it in the first place, and that the solution might not be to solve the end result, but to eliminate the root that is causing the problem in the first place.

Copenhagen ‘Big Data’ Marketplace Set to Spur Sustainability Innovation
Copenhagen ‘Big Data’ Marketplace Set to Spur Sustainability Innovation

CLEANTECH - Global IT firm Hitachi Consulting has been selected to construct a first-of-its-kind Big Data platform for Denmark’s capital Copenhagen to help achieve its sustainability goals.To develop the platform, the firm will work with the City of Copenhagen, Capital Region, the Danish cluster organization, CLEAN and a consortium of partners.The Copenhagen Big Data project will enable advanced analytics to support city functions such as green infrastructure planning, traffic management and energy usage. It will integrate data from multiple sources, including demographics, crime statistics, sensor-based sources — such as energy consumption meters, air quality sensors and traffic sensors, among others — and information submitted by citizens and businesses.

How to Work with Academic Research Centers: Funding & Commitment
How to Work with Academic Research Centers: Funding & Commitment

COLLABORATION - I held a roundtable discussion with the directors of sustainability centers and institutes at six top business schools to learn more about how they engage with industry. One of the questions was: What are your expectations for funding or engagement time when working with industry?For curriculum-based projects, we don’t lead the discussions with anything that involves a fee for services.

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Moving Pieces: UNC's Big-Business Approach to Sustainability Consulting
Moving Pieces: UNC's Big-Business Approach to Sustainability Consulting

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - At the University of North Carolina, sustainability consulting projects have an unique way of taking shape.A marketplace type of approach to teaming up with industry partners has helped UNC’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise take aim at large-scale projects with multiple clients.

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