Apple announced on Monday it has closed a deal to annex 100 acres in Claremont, NC for a new 17.5-megawatt solar farm, the construction of which is expected to cost some $55 million, according to Apple Insider. The Hickory Daily Record reports that Apple's latest olar installation will bring 100 acres of land into the city's corporate limits and should generate roughly 75 jobs, which the company agreed to source locally. Construction of the farm is expected to be completed in five years.
IKEA has announced it will raise its average minimum wage in its US stores to $10.76, a 17 percent increase over the current wage, and $3.51 above the current federal minimum wage.The furniture company says the increase will impact approximately half of its US retail workers. Hourly wages will vary based on the cost of living in each store location -- this is a departure from determining wages based on the local competitive situation and is centered on the needs of the employee. The wage increase is based on the MIT Living Wage Calculator, which takes into consideration housing, food, medical and transportation costs plus annual taxes.
Future 500 CEO Bill Shireman moderated two discussions during Sustainable Brands 2014 earlier this month that explored major progress made in the past two years in advancing zero-deforestation supply chains and implications for climate, human rights and transparency.Shireman kicked off the session on day one with an intriguing quote by a famous revolutionary: "There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen."
Increasing efficiency is among the several sustainability moves that will be critical for increasing the world’s food production by an estimated 70 percent to feed a projected global population of 9.6 billion people by 2050, according to the 2013 US Dairy Sustainability Report.The report, published by The Innovation Center for US Dairy®, outlines progress to measure, communicate and improve the social, environmental and economic performance of the dairy industry. This progress has helped strengthen dairy’s role in a sustainable food system, the organization says.
UPS announced today that Rhonda Clark will become the company’s Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) effective immediately. Clark will succeed Scott Wicker, who helped create UPS’s sustainability architecture and implemented numerous successful initiatives during his seven years leading UPS’s Sustainability group.During this period, the company set aggressive sustainability goals, achieved success in key areas by improving efficiencies in operations and expanded its alternative fuel/advanced technology fleet by more than 50 percent.
Jeana Wirtenberg knows sustainability is about people. Living, caring human beings – who get things done.It’s not “green.” Or “eco.” Not goals or dashboards. Not on their own, at any rate. It’s people who make these things actually happen.Sustainability is people at every level of a business making decisions and working with their colleagues, customers and communities, day in and day out. Sustainability is people — not programs or promises — taking actions that move their company towards more sustainable business outcomes. It’s culture.
Leadership has traditionally been positioned as a finite social resource that can only be possessed by a few individuals at any given moment.After all, not everyone can be a leader all the time. Right?Wrong.Leadership is changing — it is no longer a finite pool, but an expanding network of possibly infinite potential. With the rise of the social web and a deeper linkage between global context and our everyday decisions, leadership is flatter, faster and hyper-connected worldwide. Knowing how and when to lead from the top-down, the bottom-up, as an individual and as a collaborative group are all equally critical.
The business world is waking up to the challenge of climate change.Apple CEO Tim Cook recently lashed out at a shareholder who pressed the company to stop investing in carbon reduction and renewable energy. In the most recent World Economic Forum Global Risk survey of CEOs and world leaders, three of the top six issues of “highest concern” were failure to tackle climate change, extreme weather, and water crises.
At an event this morning in Mountain View, Calif., during a visit from President Barack Obama, Walmart announced that it will double the number of on-site solar energy projects at its US stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers by 2020. The commitment is part of Walmart’s global initiative to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy by the end of 2020.
The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) has unveiled a set of five essential principles that it asserts defines leadership in sustainable purchasing. By providing a common reference point for sustainability excellence, the Principles enable greater alignment and benchmarking of sustainable purchasing efforts across all types of organizations operating in the multi-trillion-dollar institutional purchasing marketplace. The SPLC says the Principles also serve as a “moral compass” as it also launches the development of a multi-sector program for guiding, benchmarking and recognizing leadership in sustainable purchasing.
Change agency, as it applies to sustainability, is an increasingly popular subject in prestigious academic institutions, government conversations, NGOs and businesses globally. Permeating the communities and conversations of the sustainability fraternity, we ﬁnd inspiring ideas, language, energy, ambition and commitment. But is there also an increasing sense of frustration, helplessness and a dose of ultimately unhelpful cynicism around our own effectiveness?
There are encouraging pockets of sustainability leadership in the US business community, but far too many companies are only taking small, incremental steps to address pressing sustainability issues that could impact their bottom lines and the future of our planet and economy, according to a new report by Ceres and Sustainalytics. Chief among these sustainability issues are climate change and human rights.
It’s said that the likely success of any company initiative can be gauged by the support and involvement of the senior management. If this is true, then the support demonstrated by the presence of so many of Unilever’s top team at the latest ‘Sustainable Living Plan’ update gives a clear demonstration of the organisation’s commitment to achieve and exceed the goals set.
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, and Gap have topped CR Magazine’s 2014 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, which ranks companies based on disclosure and performance measures covering environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and philanthropy.Now in its 15th year, the list documents 298 data points of disclosure and performance measures acquired from publicly available information in the aforementioned categories. Microsoft, Mattel, Weyerhaeuser, Ecolab, Intel, Coca-Cola, and Walt Disney Company rounded out the top ten.
Park Howell, president of Phoenix-based brand strategy and marketing firm Park&Co, also heads the Communications thread of the Arizona State University School of Sustainability’s Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership (EMSL) program. Under Howell’s direction, the program replaces communications theory with “communications commandos.”
In honor of Arbor Day today, FedEx and the Arbor Day Foundation have launched a new initiative to help connect disaster-stricken communities with the resources needed for sustainable recovery and community healing.The Community Tree Recovery program is designed to be a national resource for communities as they seek to restore their trees in the aftermath of natural disaster, FedEx says. The program provides the structure and capacity to address multiple disasters annually, distributing seedling trees to afflicted communities nationwide.
Patagonia, GoLite, Seventh Generation, New Belgium Brewing Company and 80 other global companies have been named “Best for the Environment” by the nonprofit B Lab.The ‘B Corp Best for the Environment’ list honors businesses that earned an environmental impact score in the top 10 percent of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company's impact on its workers, community and the environment. Honorees were recognized among micro, small and mid-sized businesses.
Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability recently launched the Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership (EMSL), a 13-month program designed for mid-career professionals currently employed in or near sustainability roles. The program features a hybrid curriculum of virtual learning and immersive, in-person experiences at ASU and abroad.
IKEA US announced last week that it is making its first US wind farm investment with the purchase of Hoopeston Wind in Hoopeston, Illinois. The 98-megawatt wind farm is the largest single IKEA Group renewable energy investment globally to date and will make a significant contribution to the company’s goal to generate as much renewable energy as the total energy it consumes by 2020. The project is currently being constructed by Apex Clean Energy and is expected to be fully operational by the first half of 2015.
Diabetes care supplier Novo Nordisk has opened two new clinics in Ghana as part of its Base of the Pyramid program, which creates partnerships to build sustainable access to diabetes care for people with low incomes.The two diabetes clinics serve very different areas of Accra, Ghana’s capital – one suburban and relatively prosperous, and the other populated by people with lower incomes. The clinics are designed to be one-stop, offering screening, access, and a stable and affordable supply of insulin to an area with more than half a million people.