Sustainability

Building a Greener World

Building  a Greener World

Four best practices leading companies can implement to improve their sustainable construction strategy. Four best practices leading companies can implement to improve their sustainable construction strategy. By Marta Chmielowicz In a society that is increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability, “green” building is quickly becoming a top priority. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings are the largest consumers of energy worldwide, accounting for nearly 40 percent of total U.S. energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. Given this vast impact, it is no surprise that responsible building practices have seen such rapid growth, with a 2016 Dodge Data & Analytics study reporting that demand for green buildings continues to double every three years. “Green building is evolving to become the new normal,” says Curt Radkin, senior vice president and sustainability strategist at Wells Fargo Corporate Properties Group. “It is becoming a part of consumers’ baseline expectations and will eventually not be seen as a differentiator, but a requirement.

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Responsible Construction

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A business’ commitment to CR starts within its own walls. Here are the top sustainable headquarters serving as prime examples of green construction.

By The Editors

Companies today are looking to improve their sustainability track records in every way possible, including the structures in which they operate. Building in accordance with specific environmental standards allows corporations to position themselves as CR leaders. The following is a list of organizations that best represent responsible construction. This list was compiled from editorial research and nominations that were vetted by CR Magazine staff.

Click here to view the 2017 Most Sustainable Corporate Headquarters list.

Embedding Sustainability

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 1.37.23 PM How companies can create a strategic advantage by implementing CR with key stakeholders. By Suhas Apte And Jagdish N. Sheth Achieving a lasting, sustainable, competitive advantage through sustainability itself requires both consistent and persistent efforts on the part of every business and industry. As its respective market performance bars are constantly raised, an organization’s efforts will need to go far beyond just upgrading to energy-efficient light bulbs or recycling office paper, for example. To fully embrace sustainability as a competitive advantage, businesses must create transformative change in traditional approaches and practices. A business must embed sustainability into its corporate culture—its own DNA—and strategically invest in new and innovative processes, practices, and systems. Only those company leaders that embrace sustainability in a holistic, transformative, and balanced way—so as to engage and energize stakeholders—will be able to deliver triple-bottom-line benefits to the businesses.

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The Sustainable Future Looks Bright

shutterstock_424743475 Schneider Electric’s SVP of energy and sustainability services talks responsible reporting and the importance of transparency. By Steve Wilhite As a company that specializes in global energy management and automation—offering building and energy management systems, security controls, analytics, electrical utilities and renewables, industrial automation solutions, and data centers—Schneider Electric knows the importance of having a sustainable energy supply. One of its current goals is to build an ecosystem that helps customers reduce their own energy consumption by 30 percent through active energy efficiency and sustainability solutions. The company also helps its clients navigate their entire reporting process by determining the right framework to meet their goals, implementing productivity tools, and analyzing and verifying sustainability data—and 64 percent of their clients received an A or A- in this year’s CDP scores as a result.

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Liquid Laws

Liquid Laws
America's New Clean Water Rule affects business—what companies can do to mitigate the legislation successfully. By Marta Chmielowicz America's New Clean Water Rule affects business—what companies can do to mitigate the legislation successfully. Clean water is in abundance in the U.S. today, but that was not always the case. As recently as 45 years ago, U. S. rivers were so polluted that they were catching fire, Lake Erie was deemed "dead," and only 60 percent of drinking water met safety standards. The Clean Water Act (CWA) dramatically improved this situation, reducing the number of polluted waterways in the U.S. from more than 60 percent in 1972 to 35 percent in 2012. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) most recent National Water Quality Inventory, the work is far from over. Of the total miles of water formally assessed, 55 percent of rivers, 71 percent of lakes, and 78 percent of shorelines were reported to be in poor condition—unfit for swimming, drinking, or fishing. Enter the Clean Water Rule, or Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. By reaffirming the connected nature of waterways and reducing ambiguity around the extent of the EPA's jurisdiction, the rule seeks to address some of the main limitations of the CWA.

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Special Delivery

Special Delivery

FedEx and UPS on why CR is so important to their business—here is a look at their sustainable initiatives by the numbers. By The Editors FedEx and UPS on why CR is so important to their business—here is a look at their sustainable initiatives by the numbers. Sustainability is extremely important in the shipping industry. Millions of packages are delivered every day in the U.S.—and logistics and transportation industry spending totaled $1.48 trillion in 2015, representing eight percent of the annual gross domestic product. Maintaining sustainable shipping practices benefits not only the environment, but the bottom line of the delivery service corporations themselves. CR Magazine spoke with Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability at FedEx, and Tamara Barker, chief sustainability officer at UPS, about their sustainability efforts —and we compare their answers head-to-head in this look at shipping practices. History of the Company Corporate Responsibility Program FedEx and UPS discuss how each of the companies have supported their communities, improved their impact on the environment, and created sustainability initiatives.

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Getting Involved

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-1-41-17-pm Five steps to engage employees in company sustainability programs. Liz Lowe Since its grassroots inception, Adobe's sustainability program has created opportunities for all employees to be environmental advocates. The program started in 2009, when a group of employees in San Jose, Calif., wanted to encourage co-workers to live more sustainably, so they planted a rooftop garden and launched a brown-bag lunch series featuring guest speakers who were experts on environmental topics. This first employee-led sustainability group offered opportunities to build knowledge and competence, empowering employees to implement sustainability solutions at work and home. Today, there are 22 global employee-led teams that focus on programs offering co-workers quick, easy ways to engage on key environmental issues. Adobe's corporate responsibility team provides resources, encouragement, and support for the teams and for sustainability events. At a recent event, more than 200 employees lined up over lunch to purchase discounted energy and water saving kits.

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Raise a Glass

red-wine-2-1326941 Sustainability with regards to water, energy, and people at Jackson Family Wines. By The Editors According to the National Wine Institute, Americans drink over 800 million gallons of wine per year. With this high rate of consumption, it's important to ensure that wine is produced sustainably in the U.S. Family-owned Jackson Family Wines was started in 1982 by lawyer-turned-farmer Jess S. Jackson. It produces well-known brands like Kendall Jackson and La Crema, as well as smaller labels such as Cambria and Stonestreet. In addition to its focus on wine, responsibility and environmental stewardship have always been at the heart of the business. Three of the core areas of focus are water, energy, and people, according to Katie Jackson, Jackson Family Wines representative of government relations and community outreach. The company described these three core areas, and explained why they are so important in sustainable wine-making—for them and for all other beverage companies across the U.

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Better Together

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How organizations can align sustainability efforts with employer brand in order to attract the right talent.
By Debbie Bolla
With 63 percent of full-time employees looking for new employment, according to recent research from talent solutions provider iCIMS, a company's reputation is now more important than ever. The pressure to be seen as an employer of choice has increased organizational focus on employer brand, which is how a company is viewed by its workers and potential employees. "Individuals want to work for organizations with a positive reputation and ethical c-suite leadership," says Jill Schwieters, president of Cielo Healthcare. CR Magazine's 2015 Corporate Reputation Survey found that if unemployed, 86 percent of American females said they would not join a company with a bad reputation.

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Building a Better World

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.10.24 AM Saint-Gobain North America CEO John Crowe Speaks on how the company leads in sustainability By Elliot Clark Spending nearly your entire career at one company is a rarity in today's day and age. CR Magazine recently spoke with John Crowe, president and CEO of Saint-Gobain Corporation and CertainTeed Corporation, who has been at the company for 38 years total. He offers some insight into how and why sustainability is so important at Saint-Gobain and what it means to be a "lifer." CR: You have worked for Saint-Gobain almost your entire career. JC: That's correct. I'm in my 38th year of Saint-Gobain service; you don't find too many people anymore who are 'lifers.' I was part of a major acquisition Saint-Gobain made back in 1990, Norton Company, in Worcester, Mass. And that was the acquisition that brought abrasives, ceramics, the genesis of our performance plastics business. So I'm a lifer and it's one big huge global family I feel part of today.

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