Green business

Walmart is quietly going on a massive building spree

Read the full story from Grist.

The business press has seized on the Neighborhood Market as a sign that Walmart, the pioneer of the big box, has decided that small is the new big. But, in fact, Walmart’s pace of building supercenters has slowed only slightly. It’s still moving to build about 175 of the colossal stores in the U.S. over the next two years. Neighborhood Markets are designed not to supplant superstores, but to operate in tandem with them, creating a more convenient shopping option to fill in the gaps and suck up more market share. The company is even testing the idea of using supercenters as distribution hubs for the Neighborhood Markets. It’s a completely integrated vision for doing business, and one designed to enable Walmart to dominate our food system, and our landscape, well into the future.

How VWR has built a successful employee engagement program

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Sustainability manager Megan Maltenfort at the pharmaceutical supply company VWR knew her sustainability engagement programs were taking a turn for the better when a senior vice president in the company came running up to her, waving his arms.

“I got 100 percent!… I got 100 percent!,” the executive shouted. He had just completed a short assessment in an interactive online learning program about how sustainability impacts VWR’s business and how employees can help shape future initiatives at the company.

Earlier, Maltenfort and her colleagues had used a variety of methods to reach out and encourage greater participation and support for sustainability initiatives, but found they were facing an uphill battle. Now the tide had turned, and employees, managers and executives across the organization were coming to them.

IBM, Honeywell, CH2M Hill join White House on emissions cuts

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The notion of confronting environmental risks embedded in complex global supply chains got a big endorsement last week; President Barack Obama made a pledge that the federal government will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent within a decade, simultaneously wresting related pledges from 14 major federal suppliers.

How Much Water Do You Use? Help ProPublica Investigate Water Use in the U.S.

Thirty-one states have water supplies dipping below normal. Droughts have formally been declared in 22 of them. How we use water has never been more important, especially in the American Southwest, where drought conditions are the most severe in a generation — and could last another 1,000 years.

The vast majority of the water we use goes toward generating power (41 percent) and nourishing agriculture (37 percent). But one in 12 gallons of water is consumed at home.

That’s a small but critically important slice of the water used to make the nation tick. And it’s a slice that every single person in the United States can directly control.

As part of a two-year project examining America’s water crisis, ProPublica is teaming up with CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism to gather data on how Americans use and consume water at home. We’d like to know what you use. Grab your water bill. Complete the ProPublica survey. We’ll tell you how you stack up to your neighbors.

Water vs. climate: How to prioritize sustainability risk

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

For all the progress on climate change still left to be desired, the issue has managed to evolve into something of a poster child for corporate sustainability efforts.

Sure, sustainability strategies progressively have integrated a wider range of related issues — deforestation, air pollution, waste — and water in particular is starting to attract some much-needed attention. The problem: There’s a long way left to go, and not much time to adjust course when it comes to impending shortages.

The impacts of water scarcity already are starting to chip away at profit margins and look likely to wreak more havoc as we continue to increase water use. Water crises already top the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk report (see WEF Risks-Trends Interconnections Map).

While interconnected climate and water issues both provide big opportunities for savvy businesses to shift strategies in a way that bolsters both sustainability efforts and the bottom line, the reality is that companies often must evaluate the benefits of tackling disparate environmental risks.

So, when making a decision on where to invest your environmental bucks, where should businesses concentrate their efforts — on climate change or on water?

Free OCAPP Webinar- Encouraging Environmental Excellence: Examples of Environmental Excellence

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 9:00 am
Register here.

Hosted and presented by Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP). This webinar will discuss Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence Program and highlight the efforts of three Ohio businesses who have achieved environmental excellence. A brief overview of the Encouraging Environmental Excellence Program will be followed by a description of the pollution prevention and sustainability efforts of three Ohio businesses that have been recognized at the Bronze, Silver and Gold Level. A description of each company’s efforts to achieve environmental excellence will be used to demonstrate how other Ohio companies can be recognized for their environmental achievements. The webinar will identify how Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP) can assist businesses interested in participating in the Encouraging Environmental Excellence Program. We will be using the audio broadcast feature in WebEx to improve the sound quality of the webinar. You will need speakers on your computer or headphones connected to your computer to hear the audio portion of the webinar. You will be able to ask questions during the webinar using the chat feature in WebEx.