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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.

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.

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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.

New Collaborative Futures Platform Helps Decision-Makers Plan for Tomorrow Based on Our Choices Today
New Collaborative Futures Platform Helps Decision-Makers Plan for Tomorrow Based on Our Choices Today

STAKEHOLDER TRENDS AND INSIGHTS - UK sustainable development consultancy Forum for the Future has launched The Futures Centre — a platform for decision-makers to track trends, share resources and spot windows of opportunities for sustainable innovation and collaboration.Launched last week at an event in Singapore, the goal of the tool is to provide business leaders access to "a vast online bank of futures knowledge" to help them consider the business impacts of environmental risks such as climate change, ecosystem health and resource scarcity, and opportunities to respond to them.

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.

CH2M Hill, Tetra Tech Top Environmental Consulting Firms Ranking
CH2M Hill, Tetra Tech Top Environmental Consulting Firms Ranking

LEADERSHIP - CH2M Hill and Tetra Tech lead the global environmental consultancy market for the second consecutive year, which saw a 0.8 percent decrease to stand at $28.7 billion in 2013, according to new research by Environment Analyst.

Measuring Sustainability, Part II: Constructing a Sustainability Index
Measuring Sustainability, Part II: Constructing a Sustainability Index

NEW METRICS - In Part I of this series, we explored the basics of why a company would use a sustainability index to help guide decision-making. Here, we go into further depth on the steps to create such an index.Step 1: Determining what’s importantThe first step in defining a sustainability index is to determine what factors need to be considered for inclusion in the system. What is important to your company, your customers and your stakeholders?

Tradeshift Waiving Fees for Companies Building Circular Economy Apps
Tradeshift Waiving Fees for Companies Building Circular Economy Apps

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Tradeshift, which digitally connects enterprises with their suppliers via a cloud-based platform, announced on Tuesday that it will waive the 30 percent revenue share it receives, for organizations that use its platform to build apps that help to support the circular economy. Organizations that build apps supporting the circular economy will receive all profit from their app.

Report: Global Environmental Industry Grew in 2013
Report: Global Environmental Industry Grew in 2013

MARKETING AND COMMS - The global environmental industry grew 3.6 percent in 2013, generating revenues of $1.047 trillion, while the U.S. environmental industry grew only 0.7 percent in 2013 compared to 4.5 percent in 2012, according to new research from Environmental Business International.In 2013, the U.S. environmental industry’s total of $344.84 billion in annual revenues represented 2.81 percent of the gross domestic product, while the environmental industry employment reached 1.75 million.

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Measuring Sustainability, Part I: The Basics of a Sustainability Index
Measuring Sustainability, Part I: The Basics of a Sustainability Index

NEW METRICS - When we work with a company that is just starting its sustainability journey, we try to focus on one central framing question: What does sustainability mean to your organisation? Sustainability has evolved way beyond merely measuring carbon emissions, which means it requires management of many factors. There are a multitude of impacts to consider: impacts on water use and water supply; impacts on human health; and even social impacts on workers and communities.What Does Sustainability Mean to You?

Report: Chief Sustainability Officers Expanding from Tactical Executors to Strategic Lynchpins
Report: Chief Sustainability Officers Expanding from Tactical Executors to Strategic Lynchpins

LEADERSHIP - Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs) have expanded their responsibilities from internal program managers to strategic lynchpins who guide corporate strategy, identify product innovation opportunities, and orchestrate sustainability initiatives both inside and outside the company, according to a new report by The Weinreb Group.

5 Misconceptions About Sustainability Reporting Assurance
5 Misconceptions About Sustainability Reporting Assurance

STAKEHOLDER TRENDS AND INSIGHTS - First, let’s clarify what assurance is.In this context, assurance is a third-party review of the reliability of a sustainability or corporate responsibility report. It often includes the checking of the data and claims in these reports. Best practice also includes confirming the report focuses on the right things (material issues).The intention is to increase the clarity and trustworthiness of information, while improving the robustness of the methods used to gather it.Assurance is what we are seeking to achieve, building stakeholder confidence and internal engagement by helping confirm that a report appropriately and reliably describes what’s happening within an organization.

2-Part #NewMetrics '14 Panel Shines Light on Sustainability Context in Practice
2-Part #NewMetrics '14 Panel Shines Light on Sustainability Context in Practice

NEW METRICS - A two-part session on Thursday afternoon explored sustainability context through examining the evolution of corporate sustainability goals, and case studies from leading companies proactively applying it to their goal-setting processes.First, Sustainability Context Group co-founder Bill Baue — moderator of both parts — led a discussion on the state of corporate sustainability goals and equipping companies with practical advice on how to incorporate context.

What Is Holonomic Thinking and Why Should You Care?
What Is Holonomic Thinking and Why Should You Care?

STAKEHOLDER TRENDS AND INSIGHTS - It is no secret that the private sector, for the most part, is failing to tackle today’s evolving social and environmental challenges, caused in large part by the nature of current standard business processes. It is getting more and more overwhelming for people to relate to businesses and their old-school practices. The main reason, some would argue, is that we fail to radically think and step out of the proverbial box we have been taught to exist in for generations. We seem to be collectively lacking either an agreed-upon vision of what to look for outside of that box, or the courage to pursue it, or both.

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Arizona State University and STAR Communities Announce Partnership
Arizona State University and STAR Communities Announce Partnership

PRESS RELEASE - Washington, DC (April 10, 2014) – This week STAR Communities and Arizona State University’s Sustainability Solutions Services announced an official partnership to support local governments who are interested in benchmarking and tracking sustainability performance.

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