Day: August 26, 2011

Should Nike be Applauded for Beating Adidas on the Greenpeace Detox Challenge?

Read the full post at Triple Pundit.

Last Wednesday was a red letter day for Nike. First, the company accepted the Greenpeace Detox challenge, beating Adidas in a race Greenpeace instigated between the two on who would be the first to commit to “a toxic free future.”  That evening, FC Barcelona, sponsored by Nike, beat Real Madrid, sponsored by Adidas 3:2 in the Spanish Supercup. Could it get any better?

Well, it actually did when Greenpeace decided to make sure the almost 100,000 fans attending the Spanish Super Cup match knew that Adidas was lagging behind. Greenpeace activists projected messages on buildings next to Nou Camp Stadium where the match took place such as, “Water Pollution Is Not Fair Play” and “The World Needs More Champions. Is Adidas All In?”

Cognitive Dissonance in Luxury Brand CSR

Read the full post at Triple Pundit.

A forthcoming Journal of Consumer Research study claims that when brands exhibit inconsistencies, consumers find it hard to swallow proclamations of social responsibility. According to coauthor Carlos Torelli, “Marketers use messages of  CSR under the expectation that consumers reward brands with a favorable CSR image.” A McKinsey global survey stated that 76 % of executives said CSR efforts add to long-term shareholder value.

Documentary Review: Economics of Happiness

Read the full post at Triple Pundit.

TriplePundit has covered the subject of how economic growth correlates (or doesn’t) with happiness and genuine progress before. A new documentary called the Economics of Happiness showcases the downfall of a rural community in India as globalization turned them from a happy, thriving, community-centric, fully employed, fully-fed and cohesive unit into people who describe themselves as destitute and who have become depressed and unhealthy.

Coffee’s Grande Water Footprint

Read the full post at Triple Pundit.

In a world of depleting resources, the onus to think about consumption is not just on the manufacturer but also the consumer. There are many everyday items that take up natural resources that you might not think about. Take for example your morning coffee – have you ever wondered about the footprint of this little drink we all take for granted? Every sip translates to land, water, labour, food miles and carbon emissions. Water is probably the most important component of food production.

According to a recent article in The Guardian by Jason Clay from WWF, it takes only 0.05 litres to brew a cup of coffee, for example. But it takes a lot more to make the plastic lid (2.5 litres) as well as the paper cup and sleeve (5.6 litres) it comes in. It takes water to process the coffee and grow the sugar (7.6 litres). But it takes the most water to produce the milk (49.4 litres) and actually grow the coffee beans (142.8 litres) needed to make that single drink. Most of the water that goes into the drink is invisible i.e., the consumer doesn’t actually get to see it because it belongs to the back processes of the final product that they hold in their hands. In sum total, it takes more than 200 litres of water to make the average grande latte.

What Drives Cities’ Runaway Growth?

Read the full post at NYT Green.

Urban areas are growing even faster than urban population is, and by 2030 urbanized land around the globe will expand by 590,000 square miles — an amount almost equal to the land mass of Mongolia, according to a new study.

The rapid urbanization occurring around the world, particularly in China and India, is the product not just of population growth or economic growth. Other factors, including land-use policies, government agricultural subsidies and the cost of transportation, are also driving the trend, according to a new analysis of about 300 studies on cities around the world conducted from 1970 to 2000.

And, in a finding surprising to anyone who knows the history of cities like Los Angeles, the authors write that “urban growth is driven, at least in part, by the economic incentives of local officials to increase their revenue by obtaining rural land and transferring land use rights to developers.”

How She Leads: Gap’s Kindley Walsh Lawlor

Read the full post at GreenBiz.

How She Leads is a regular feature on GreenBiz.com that spotlights the career paths of women who have moved into influential roles in sustainable business. In tandem with the release of Gap Inc.‘s fifth Social and Environmental Responsibility (SER) report today, Maya Albanese interviews Kindley Walsh Lawlor, VP of Social and Environmental Responsibility.

Gap Inc. operates about 3,100 stores worldwide with more than 134,000 employees, and is the company behind such iconic brands as GapKids, BabyGap, GapBody, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Piperlime. The company was founded in 1969 with just a single store in San Francisco. Gap monitors factories in about 50 countries each year and has established a Water Quality Program to monitor the denim laundries’ wastewater discharge.

The company has a comprehensive approach to environmental responsibility by focusing on three areas where the greatest positive impact can be made: reducing energy use, shifting to more sustainable design, and reducing waste.

Lawlor highlights key announcements in the company’s new report including Gap’s commitment to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent throughout its U.S. operations by 2015, compared to 2008 levels. Lawlor explains why the apparel industry is positioned to make a significant social and environmental impact on business operations at a global scale.

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