Since President Obama’s November 2008 election victory, CRO Magazine publisher Jay Whitehead and Amit Chatterjee, CEO of environmental and energy management software company Hara, have agreed that the U.S. is moving quickly toward pricing a ton of CO2 emissions, creating an urgent need for a how-to-compete guide for corporate leaders. So the pair collaborated on the first CO2-centric corporate competitive roadmap, The Post-Carbon Economy, the First Edition of which appears in August (SOFICO Books, www.postcarboneconomybook.com).
To accelerate practitioner learning on this hot topic, CRO Magazine gives you an excerpt here. Disclosure 1: Co-author Whitehead is CRO’s publisher. Disclosure 2: Co-author Chatterjee is the Lunch Keynote at the CRO Summit Oct. 6-7 in Chicago, where he will reveal new findings in the war against carbon costs, and where attendees will receive a free copy of the book with their conference materials.
For three reasons, this 2nd-annual CRO’s Responsible CEO of the Year Award is different than any other business honor. First, it recognizes individual CEO expertise in articulating the common good and then convincing thousands of others to make a good business out of it. Second, it’s a trophy for leadership in progress, because perfection in Corporate Responsibility is a goal that’s always moving just beyond our grasp. And third, it reflects the professional chauvinism of the corporate responsibility-
obsessed editorial team at CRO Magazine, the only publication solely focused on the four professional domains in Corporate Responsibility—GRC, sustainability, CSR and philanthropy.
Last year’s CRO Responsible CEO of the Year Awards only featured seven categories, but this year we added an eighth, Private Companies. We’re adding the Privates because the 2008-2009 stock market swoon is forcing a number of CR-savvy public companies to go private, a phenomenon that is permanently raising the bar for private company CR practices.
Report shows progress in adopting sustainable campus and endowment practices
By James Hyatt
The College Sustainability Report Card, now in its third year, found that 66% of the 191 schools it evaluated over the last two years improved their overall sustainability grade, “in part reflecting concern about climate change and the realities of rising oil and gas prices.”
The report, produced by the nonprofit Sustainable Endowments Institute in Cambridge, Mass., this year looks at 300 colleges that together hold more than 90 percent of all university endowments.
Colleges are evaluated on six categories for campus activities—ranging from local food sourcing, recycling and green building to student involvement and alternative transportation—and at three categories for endowment practices— transparency, priorities and shareholder engagement. School-by-school details may be found on the new website, GreenReportCard.org, launched in September.
Embedding eco-consciousness starts with measuring environmental impact and following market trends, regulations
By Chris Park
Like it or not, the carbon-constrained economy is coming. It’s an economy where marketplace forces will demand that companies minimize their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in response to the global climate change issue. It’s an economy where a company’s carbon footprint and GHG emissions profile will have a significant impact on its bottom line. And it’s an economy where companies that apply carbon-savvy thinking to their business decisions will have a clear competitive advantage over those that don’t.
Many of the risks of the carbon-constrained economy have already materialized. A growing number of regulations and policies around GHGs are posing new compliance challenges across industries around the globe. Stakeholders and investors, realizing the significance of these emerging regulations, are actively pushing for transparent, accurate reporting of carbon-related risks though consortiums like Ceres and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
Looking ‘Upstream,’ Waste Management bulks up on materials management
By Dennis Schaal
Every corporate board is—or should be—focused on how to minimize its environmental footprint, and waste-solutions provider Waste Management, the largest recycling outfit in North America, is in the mix when it comes to many of those discussions and consultations.
A public company with $13.3 billion in revenue last year, Waste Management is a power in waste-to-energy production, materials management, recycling and trash hauling.
Jim Cramer, the sometimes-trash-talking host of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” recently termed Waste Management CEO David Steiner, who has led the company since 2004, “the most pro-shareholder guy I know” among CEOs outside the oil and gas industry, adding that Waste Management is “a really good company” with lots of financial clout.
The Houston-based company, with about 47,400 employees and annual collections of almost 74 million tons of solid waste in the U.
Product supplier offers small businesses, consumers gift cards for old equipment
By Danielle Lee
Office Depot recently launched an electronics trade-in system that pays customers to recycle their old small to medium-size electronics.
The project is powered by services and product-support provider NEW Customer Service Cos. and is intended to both help the environment and people and businesses affected by the economic downturn, the company said.
In exchange for their trade-ins, customers receive an Office Depot gift card equivalent to the value of the item, of any brand, determined by the website www.officedepot.com/techtradein.
“In the wake of a tough economy, Office Depot is excited to help customers clean out their old technology, and provide them with a store credit in the process,” said Randy Wick, Vice President of Merchandising for Office Depot, in a statement. “This is also a great opportunity for small business customers to upgrade their outdated office equipment without breaking the bank.
Sustainable website management part of technology company’s larger green program
By Danielle Lee
As millions of tennis fans visit the U.S. Open tennis tournament website in the next two weeks to check on the fates of Venus Williams or Rafael Nadal, IBM is operating the site with 54 fewer servers than it did two years ago, in an efficiency push reflected in the company’s larger green initiatives.
In a room in the bowels of a stadium on the Flushing Meadows, Queens, N.Y., tournament site, IBM and United States Tennis Association (USTA) employees use a virtual dashboard to manage the six servers positioned in three U.S. time zones that power usopen.org, which saw 7.3 million visitors last year.
Through this P6 system, they can manage workloads by ramping down processor speeds at less-trafficked times, such as in between matches, to hit efficient “IT optimization points,” said John Kent, IBM’s Program Manager of Worldwide Sponsorship Marketing.
New index tracks alternative energy, water, waste-management businesses
By Dennis Schaal
Institutional and retail investors tracking the performance of the global environmental technologies market can access a new tool to benchmark that sector.
FTSE Group introduced its Environmental Opportunities All-Share Index, which includes 450 companies involved in alternative energy, water and waste-management businesses.
To get into the index, the companies must be part of the FTSE Global Equity Index Series and garner at least 20 percent of their revenue from environmental markets or technologies.
The FTSE Environmental Opportunities All-Share Index is available through data distributors including, Bloomberg.
In Corporate Responsibility briefing, tech firm also says it focuses on energy efficiency
By Dennis Schaal
IBM considers the “say on pay” trend “very interesting,” but feels “very comfortable” with its current performance-based system, an official said.
However, speaking at an IBM briefing for analysts about its Corporate Responsibility (CR) efforts June 13, Rich Calo, the company’s Vice President, Human Resources, said IBM still supports its decades-long practice of executive compensation based on performance.
In response to an analyst’s question, Calo said IBM wants to learn more about “say on pay” and whether it is delivering on its objectives before mulling an embrace of the practice.
FTC should provide clear sustainability definitions for marketers and consumers
By Mike Lawrence and Liz Gorman
A routine trip to the store today may leave an unsuspecting consumer more confused than ever. Not only are consumers faced with multiple choices in each product category, but they now have to make sense of ambiguous environmental claims associated with individual brands. In fact, Consumer Reports has identified 149 such product claims, labels or certifications in the marketplace, ranging from non-polluting and ozone-friendly, to Leaping Bunny, an animal welfare label. It’s enough to make even the most environmentally savvy shoppers head back to their hybrids.
The move by companies to market their products’ green attributes is far from slowing. Last year, 300,000 eco-related trademark applications were filed, up 10 percent from 2006. The rapid proliferation in green marketing finally got the attention of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the governing body in the United States that has jurisdiction over consumer protection, which encompasses truth in advertising.
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