sustainability

A Night at Hamlet's Castle: Much Ado about . . . What?

Saturday night brought one of the plum events of Copenhagen, at least for the business crowd assembled in this city: a conference held at Kronborg, also known as Hamlet's Castle, in Elsinore, about 50 kilometers from Copenhagen's city centre. The 250 or so well-coiffed business executives who made the trek here did so in large part by the efforts of Danish media magnate Erik Rasmussen, a Michael Bloomberg sort whose business publication, Monday Morning, is the hub of a influential think tank that has placed Rasmussen at the center of the Danish business world.

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Form Follows Assumption?

McDonald's is going to change its logo in Germany, casting its iconographic golden arches against a green background to envoke its respect for the environment. I can't decide if the idea is irrelevant or insane. Or both.

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Four Studies That Ponder the Road from Here

Our world these days seems to be a succession of forks in the road, points at which decisions need to be made about which pathway we collectively must take. In nearly every case, there's an unsustainable "business as usual" scenario (often shortened, unappealingly, to BAU) along with one or more alternatives.

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The Sustainability Challenge Is Complex. Is Ecolabelling the Answer or Just Another Greenwashing Tool?

No one will disagree that today’s customer is empowered like never before. With social media and other connectivity, they are able to acquire more detailed information about brands, products and services in order to make smarter decisions; everything is just a few clicks away. Any green-washing or eco-washing can last only for a few clicks. Customers can access new knowledge about the behavior of companies and can more readily question and challenge this behavior.

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Slow Design: 13 Years to Get This Wooden Radio Right

Edit: An irate Design Sojourn reader has highlighted to me that this is Green Washing at its best. Mahogany trees takes 10 years to mature before it can be cut down. I have responded directly to her, but I also would like to hear your feedback on this?

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Sustainability: What Matters Most?

I’m a big fan of analogies; one of my favorites is equating customer relationships with personal, romantic relationships. If you ask a woman about the kind of guy she wants to marry, she might say, “handsome, rich, successful and exciting.” Fast-forward a few years and we see whom she actually marries: maybe a nice, average, middle-class bald guy who happens to be the best listener and makes her feel special. Perhaps these attributes that tipped the scale were ones that she didn’t anticipate or know how to value until she experienced them.

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Building the Business Case

Your company has been progressing nicely up the sustainability curve from compliance to cost savings. The next logical step is reputation and revenue generation, and it’s here that many sustainability pros hit a roadblock.

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The Reports of Summer: Five Easy Pieces

The normally dry days of August have been fertile when it comes to research and reports on green business topics. Recent weeks have seen a flurry of publications from corporate, nongovernmental, and other organizations. Whatever happened to slow summer days?

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Role of Retail in Sustainability

Recently I was in the market for a new laptop, so I headed over to Best Buy and a few other places to check out their selections. And of course since I’m in the business of sustainability, I was looking for a bit of education on “green” electronics: which manufacturers were leading and lagging in this area, and which PCs I should be considering for energy savings, recycled materials and recycling programs, and reduced or eliminated toxic material like PCBs?

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Why Doesn't Green = Better?

So many green products, so little progress. At least, that's how it seems most days. As we report in GreenBiz.com — and have for the past decade — the progress is undeniable: Companies are embracing green practices as never before, and doing so at a deeper, more holistic level. It's no longer just about "greening up." It's about doing better.

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