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News Round Up: Things this week that got my attention

October 30, 2017

 

Check out all that is happening in sustainability around Penn State

 

Do we believe women yet? The battle to end sexual harassment (New York Times)

The issue is not new and but more and more women are coming forward to bring workplace sexual harassment into the daylight. This article provides historical context from Lin Farley who coined the term "sexual harassment" to Anita Hill to Harvey Weinstein.  I am reminded of serving on a panel on Sustainability and Diversity with the late Terrell Jones, Penn State's then-Vice Provost of Educational Equity, and him stating rightly that: "You cannot be a leader in sustainability without being a leader in diversity." And I would add to that "You cannot be a leader in sustainability without being a leader in gender equity, workplace safety and ethics."

 

Successful women finish the phrase "If only..." (New York Times)

Last week's Women's Forum for the Economy and Society in Paris

provided an opportunity for several prominent leaders--from the World Food Program to Nissan to L'Oreal--to share their wisdom on what they would do differently.  

 

Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producer, says that transformation is happening (New York Times)

At an interview during the recent Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, Aramco's chief executive Amin Nasser spoke about their upcoming IPO and their goal to produce 9.5 to 10 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023. "We are going to be a major player in renewables," Nasser said. Interesting to hear what the view from the top of the oil kingdom has to say about the future.  

 

4 Signs to Watch for at the Climate Talks - COP 23 starts Nov 6 in Bonn, Germany (Triple Pundit)

23rd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known informally as COP23, starts November 6. It has been two years since the famed Paris Climate Agreement. A major focus will be on operationalizing the agreement and preparing for 2018, the first year of stocktaking on how countries are progressing--called "Facilitative Dialogues" which in 2018 is being referred to as the Talanoa Dialogue. Talanoa is a Pacific island term describing a process of building empathy, sharing stories, and making informed decisions for the common good.

 

MBA Programs for a Better World: 2017 Rankings (Corporate Knights)

The Canada-based Corporate Knights put out their 2017 rankings of MBA programs focused on sustainability, CSR and social impact. Penn State Smeal doesn't make it into the top 40 yet...but we are heading in that direction. Top five business schools according to their methodology are:

  1. University of Exeter Business School

  2. York University - Schulich School of Business

  3. Warwick Business School

  4. Copenhagen Business School

  5. Duquesne University - Palumbo Donahue School of Business

Turning flattened mountains into farms (YES Magazine)

Imagine re-skilling workers while reclaiming the land for beneficial use that provides local, nutritious food for the community.  This is the story of Refresh Appalachia, a social enterprise converting post-mine lands into profitable agriculture and forestry enterprises. In Mingo County, West Virginia, former coal miner Wilburn Jude is learning on the job: “I’m living the dream. The ground’s a little bit harder than what I anticipated, but we’ll figure it out.”

 

New findings on acidification of oceans and the impact on species and humans

A new meta-analysis shows we have increased ocean acidification by 30% and finds that "most if not all marine species will be affected by the rising acidity in the oceans from CO2 emissions. And that could have dramatic consequences for species like corals and cod as well as the 1 billion people who depend on the sea for food."

 

A long time observer at Triple Pundit on the organizations and companies he most admires 

Leon Kaye of Triple Pundit has been writing thousands of articles and following the sustainable business movement for many years. A good read from a thoughtful observer. He recently reflected on his top companies and his list might surprise you:

  • Campbell's Soup because of their sincere engagement with customers and stakeholders and thought leadership

  • Costco because of how they treat their employees (he claims they pay their employees better than almost any retailer)

  • Environmental Defense Fund because of years of working effectively with industry and their Climate Corps initiative

  • Marks and Spencer, the UK department store chain, because of their early involvement in human and worker rights, clothing recycling initiative and sustainable sourcing

  • Method, the green cleaning products brand now owned by SC Johnson, because their product just works and looks cool thus breaking old stereotypes about ineffective, ugly green products

  • Others he mentions:  WalMart, Nike, Adidas, General Motors, Ford, and Ikea

 

Fairphone takes Greenpeace's electronics award 

If you don't know about Fairphone and their ambitious goal to reinvent

how smart phones are made, you really need to check them out.