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No Ducking Responsibility (says Aflac), New Business Models for Global Goals and Brewery Feeds Fish

April 9, 2018

As the Director of Sustainability at the Smeal College of Business, it is my responsibility to keep my mind constantly steeping in a solution of:  1 part business, 1 part technology, and 1 part each of environmental and social impact, including emerging science, news and events.  (Stir together and steep for years until it reaches desired level of understanding).  

 

In "That's News to Me" I share what I am reading with the growing Triple Bottom Lion community.

How Aflac, Astellas and Carnival Balance Social Action With Their Core Business Messages (3BL Media and PR News)

"Not long ago, companies were counseled to stay out of politics and social causes; 'stick to business and you won’t offend customers or potential customers,' was thought to be the best route. Things have changed."

 

"In an effort to better understand brands’ motivation behind their CSR positions—and with PR News’ CSR and Nonprofit Awards coming March 20 in Washington, D.C.— PR News, in collaboration with 3BL Media, a CSR news distribution and content marketing firm, convened a roundtable with a number of brands to find out why some companies are moving beyond the traditional Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) positions, what’s the best way to communicate CSR efforts without overdoing it, how to measure success and other best practices."

WATCH:  Breakthrough business models (Project Breakthrough

What if we regarded the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a purchase order from the future?  And we needed to create new business models in order to fill the order?

Features interviews with Marcus Shingles, XPRIZE; Rachel Botsman, Collaborative Economy; Andrew McAfee, MIT; Darlene Damm, Singularity University; Herman Narula, Improbable; Taavet Hinrikus, TransferWise; Marie Kyle, BIMA; Daniel Becerra, BuffaloGrid; Francesco Starace, Enel Group; Josh Tetrick, JUST; Patrick Thomas, Covestro; Jessi Baker, Provenance; and John Elkington, Volans. Project Breakthrough site offers a free Pitch Deck download and User Guide for your executive team, colleagues or students.

 

 

The CEO Guide to Water (World Business Council for Sustainable Development)
 

In the next three decades, the demand for water will increase by 40-50% for the global food system, by 50-70% for the municipal/industrial sector, and by 85% for the energy sector. Increasing competition for water demands immediate action, and a steep change in the way that companies manage water. The CEO Guide lays out the business case for water, outlining physical and non-physical water-related risks and presents significant business opportunities connected to water, including increased resilience and market growth.

WATCH: HOW AN INDIAN PROFESSOR IS TURNING PLASTIC TRASH INTO HIGHWAYS (Ensia)

 

Lessons in servant leadership for business managers (Daily News-Miner)

In about 600 B.C., the Chinese sage Lao Tzu wrote The Tao Te Ching, a strategic treatise on servant leadership: “The greatest leader forgets herselfAnd attends to the development of others.”  As I write this column, my mind is pondering the parallels between Christian lessons from Easter and my business school’s lessons on servant leadership. The servant leadership philosophy flips the organizational chart upside down, placing the leader at the bottom who serves successive layers of employees all the way up to those at the top who are serving the customer.

POLL SHOWS MOST PA VOTERS SAY CLIMATE CHANGE CAUSING PROBLEMS NOW (Allegheny Front)

A majority of Pennsylvania voters agree with the scientific consensus that climate change is causing problems right now, and more than two-thirds say the state should be doing more to address it, according to a Franklin & Marshall College/StateImpact Pennsylvania poll released last Thursday.

New Report Finds Industrial Pollution Flowing Illegally into PA Rivers (Allegheny Front)

According to the report, industrial facilities across the country exceeded federal water pollution levels 8,100 times between January 2016 and September 2017.


“Approximately 40 percent of all major industrial facilities–more than 1,100 in total–reported exceeding their pollution limits at least once,” the report reads. PennEnvironment prepared their findings based on compliance data from the Environmental Protection Agency.


The group’s regional director, Ashleigh Deemer, said Pennsylvania companies top the list.  “We’ve found that industrial facilities dumped excessive pollution into Pennsylvania waterways 633 times,” she explained. “That is the second highest number of exceedances in the country, second only to Texas.”

WATCH: Brewery makes beer and fish food (Allegheny Front)

Out on farmland in western New York, near the shore of Lake Erie, is Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing. Here, they make more than just booze. They also raise fish. The brewery has the capacity to produce about 20 thousand pounds of fish every year. They’re raising three different species: speckled trout, Arctic char and Atlantic salmon.

 

Europe's $38 Billion Carbon Market Finally Starting to Work (Bloomberg)