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The Two Deficits, Part Two: What's Exceptional About America?

MARKETING AND COMMS - This is the second in a multi-part series of posts that comprise Future 500 founder Bill Shireman's insightful essay, The Two Deficits, from the book Towards a New Agenda for America:

Sustainability: Understand, Adapt, Then Signal

MARKETING AND COMMS - Engagement with sustainability offers many perks to a company: It improves brand reputation, it helps raise prices, it maintains one’s position in the market long term and it can open doors to better investment packages. Signals are one way that companies communicate that sustainability is vital to their corporate strategy and brand development.

How Might We Re:Imagine Consumption? Conditions for Success and a Call for Collaboration

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Consumption (noun); the action of using a resource. We know consumption is a primary driver of the inherent unsustainability of modern living. For those yet to be convinced that our way of life is not sustainable (adjective — able to be maintained at a certain level), reflect on the fact that last Friday, May 10th, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere peaked at 400 ppm. Also reflect on the fact that the desire for a $1 T-shirt has driven the most appalling standards in many apparel supply chains and the recent deaths of over 1000 garment workers in Bangladesh.

DuPont and EOS Climate Commence CFC Buyback Program

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - DuPont Refrigerants and EOS Climate have announced a new buyback program to incentivize the return of recovered chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants by paying contractors and business owners for the safe disposal of polluting substances.

The Long View

LEADERSHIP - I have been reading a ton about all of human history in anticipation of a new book I’m working on. It has provided me with a fresh perspective on life that has been an unexpected and welcome surprise. I notice that in so much of my life I see patterns that appear to be quite clear and meaningful.

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Run Up to SB '13: Neal Gorenflo on the Cultural Shift Around Innovation and the Sharing Economy

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Neal Gorenflo is the co-founder of the non-profit Shareable, whose mission is to empower everyone to share for a more joyous, resilient and equitable world. Shareable is best known for its online magazine covering the sharing economy.At Sustainable Brands ’13 (June 3-6), Gorenflo will be moderating and participating in panel discussions focused on entrepreneurial trends and the importance of connecting innovation with purpose. I asked him a few questions about how sharing fits into the picture.

Shelton Group Hires Brooks Clark as Managing Editor

PRESS RELEASE - KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Shelton Group, the nation’s leading marketing communications firm entirely focused in the sustainability and energy efficiency sectors, announced today that it has added Brooks Clark as Managing Editor of Shelton Insights, the agency’s soon-to-be-launched, web-based news service. “This is an exciting move for us a company because we’re expanding our service offering and exploring more ways to share our insights,” said Suzanne Shelton, founder and CEO of Shelton Group. “With Brooks’ extensive writing and editing experience, I know he will do a great job in pioneering this initiative.”

Shelton Group Study Shows Decline in Energy-Efficient Product Purchases and Home Improvements

PRESS RELEASE - KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Shelton Group, the nation’s leading marketing communications firm entirely focused in the sustainability and energy efficiency sectors, announced today that its latest Utility Pulse study shows that energy-saving habits have declined in the last three years. The national poll shows decreases in many behaviors, including those listed below: • Replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient CFLs or LEDs, down 13 percent • Adding sealing, caulking or weatherstripping, down 17 percent • Purchasing a higher-efficiency/ENERGY STAR qualified appliance, down 6 percent In addition, the survey found: • 50 percent of Americans still don’t unplug chargers and un-used appliances • 40 percent don’t use energy-saving thermostat settings

Solar Conduction Dryer Wins Grand Prize in 2013 Dell Social Innovation Challenge

PRESS RELEASE - •Student team from India addresses the 20 to 30 percent food spoilage rate for poor rural farmers, via cost-effective dehydrators powered by solar conduction •Finalist projects range from new cancer diagnostic tool and nonprofit fundraising platform to solar power crowdsourcing and recycled shoes •Entrepreneurial students and their innovative ventures celebrated at finals event

GE Introduces New Membrane To Purify Tough-to-Treat Water

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - GE has developed a new membrane to purify tough-to-treat water such as wastewater from industrial processes that can reduce time between cleanings by as much as 50 percent.

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Refrigerant Revolution: EOS Climate Turning GHGs from Liabilities to Assets

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Each week leading up to the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) finals on June 5th, where the runner-up will be decided via live online public vote, we will feature articles introducing our semi-finalists. This week, meet EOS Climate.Joe Madden, Todd English and Jeff Cohen met at graduate school in 2009, and created their company EOS Climate with the objective of tackling climate change by managing greenhouse gases with market-based approaches.

Reusable Transport Packaging: Good for the Planet, Operational Efficiency and Brand Protection

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Packaging. The term evokes images of wrappers, tubs, pouches and other types of product encasements we see on store shelves every day. Meanwhile, transport packaging such as pallets, cardboard boxes and plastic stretch wrap remain largely hidden from shoppers’ view.

Bridgestone Americas and Yulex Develop Renewable Alternative to Rubber

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - A little-known perennial shrub called guayule (pronounced why-u-lee), native to the Southwestern United States, has been tapped as a potential alternative natural source for rubber by Bridgestone Americas and agricultural-based biomaterials company, Yulex.

Producing Steel Without GHGs? And That's Not Even the Cool Part

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - In easily my favorite sustainability story of the week, researchers at MIT have developed a process to manufacture steel without any greenhouse gas (GHG) byproducts.

H&M, M&S, Benetton, Zara Commit to Fire and Building Safety Agreement in Bangladesh

SUPPLY CHAIN - H&M announced Monday it has publicly committed to supporting the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which was initiated by IndustryALL Global Union and UNI Global Union in response to last month’s deadly building collapse that has claimed some 1100 lives.

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#BetheStart Campaign – Week 3: More Vibrant Communities

MARKETING AND COMMS - Imagine a world where everyone could truthfully say they lived in a vibrant, trusting local community and global society — where our communities were places where residents felt engaged, supported, appreciated and valued; where the local economy was thriving, and participants feel proud to be part of their community and take an active role in helping to support this.

13 Hot Research Reports on Corporate Sustainability Issues, Tools and Trends

MARKETING AND COMMS - As the fourth and final piece in our 4-part series of ‘hot lists’ (check out our other picks for hot products, books and business model innovations), this week we introduce 13 hot research reports tracking the state of various aspects of corporate sustainability, as well as respective consumer attitudes and behaviors.

EcoShift Launches Enterprise Supply Chain Sustainability Platform

SUPPLY CHAIN - An Ecoshift development team led by three PhD environmental scientists and policy analysts has developed a cloud-based system to help companies engage with their suppliers and use sustainability information to improve supply chain performance and reduce risk.

What Are the Most Effective Ways to Drive Changes in Consumer Behavior?

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Calling all innovators and implementers! Beginning in June, Sustainable Brands will launch a new “Issues in Focus” editorial package examining ways brands are “activating sustainability” — driving behavior change toward sustainable consumption.

BASF Licenses Genomatica Process for Creating BDO from Renewable Feedstock

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Chemical technology company Genomatica has announced a new partnership with BASF. The chemical giant has licensed Genomatica’s patented new manufacturing process for a renewable form of the organic compound 1,4-butanediol, more commonly known as BDO.BDO and its many derivatives are used for the production of plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers.

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