Day: January 9, 2018

Inside Caterpillar’s culture of transformation

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The following is an edited excerpt of “Headwinds of Opportunity: A Compass for Sustainable Innovation” by Tim Lindsey (Routledge, Taylor & Francis, 2017). 

As an innovative business strategy, sustainability tends to present challenges for many organizations with respect to its compatibility and complexity characteristics. Given that many organizations are driven predominantly by short-term financial performance, changing their priorities to give equal emphasis to environmental and social aspects can be problematic. While they may recognize the importance of these aspects, giving them equal emphasis to short-term financial performance is not compatible with the culture of most organizations. Fortunately, many organizations already assign paramount importance to some nonfinancial aspects that can be leveraged to make the case for elevating the status of sustainability performance.

Even leaders of the most conservative organizations regularly make decisions for the good of the enterprise that do not demonstrate strong short-term financial benefits. They recognize that certain decisions are in the organization’s best interest in the long term even if it is not possible to justify them through the calculation of a short-term return on investment (ROI). Safety and quality are good examples of performance aspects that require long-term focus and commitment. Even though they are difficult to connect with short-term financial performance, most organizations recognize their importance for achieving enduring success. No responsible leader would disregard their organization’s safety or quality performance. The same rationale can be used with respect to other dimensions of sustainability.

The DIY Girls

Read the full story in Mashable.

How 12 teens invented a solar-powered tent for the homeless

Hurricanes blew away Puerto Rico’s power grid. Now solar power is rising to fill the void.

Read the full story from Public Radio International.

More than three months after Hurricanes Maria and Irma slammed their island, over a million Puerto Ricans are still without reliable power. But one recent day, Rosa López and José Quiñones finally left those ranks.

Trending: Local Solutions Could Hold the Key to Reducing Global Food Waste

Read the full story in Sustainable Brands.

While food industry giants and software companies have played an important role in creating solutions for reducing food waste, local community members are proving to be just as critical in driving the movement forward.

Ancient building material, terra cotta, could help address modern global challenge: the climate crisis

Read the full story from the University of Buffalo.

Architects have turned to terra cotta for millennia. The clay-based ceramic is durable, lasting hundreds of years; it breathes, providing a natural system to transfer heat and water; and its sculptural qualities turn buildings into intricate and colorful works of art.

University at Buffalo researchers are exploring how to combine these age-old properties into design solutions for one of today’s most pressing global challenges: the climate crisis.

Plastic Pollution Is ‘Low Priority’ for Shoppers, Soft Drink Execs Tell Policy Officials

Read the full story at EcoWatch.

Soft drinks executives told government officials most shoppers don’t care much about the environmental impact of the plastic drinks bottles they buy, according to documents seen by Unearthed.

In A New Deal-Era Cannery, Old Meets New

Read the full story from NPR.

These days, cans are everywhere, but the act of canning has vanished inside the walls of huge factories. People don’t do it as much at home anymore, and Allie Hill couldn’t find many local farmers doing it in central Virginia.

Then she discovered Prince Edward County’s public cannery, a place where anybody can walk in with bags of produce from their garden and walk out with preserved food.

A Prescription for Reducing Wasted Health Care Spending

Read the full story at ProPublica.

A ProPublica series has illustrated the many ways the U.S. health care system leaks money. Health care leaders and policymakers suggest ways to plug the holes.

Want to Lower Health Care Costs? Stop Wasting Our Money.

Read the full story in ProPublica.

This year ProPublica documented the many ways waste is baked into our health care system, from destroying perfectly good medication to junking brand new supplies. Eliminating the waste could insure millions of Americans.

EREF Accepting Applications for Sustainable Solid Waste Management Research

Via Philanthropy News Digest.

The Environmental Research and Education Foundation is accepting pre-proposals for its Research in Sustainable Solid Waste Management grants program.

The program supports research projects related to sustainable solid waste management practices, including waste minimization; recycling; waste conversion to energy, biofuels, chemicals, or other useful products; strategies to promote diversion to higher and better uses (e.g., organics diversion, market analysis, optimized material management, logistics, etc.); and landfilling.

Previously awarded grants have ranged from $15,000 to more than $500,000, with the average grant amount about $160,000.

Any U.S. or non-U.S. academic institution is eligible to apply.

Pre-proposals must be received no later than June 1, 2017. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.

See the EREF website for complete program guidelines, information about past grantees, and application procedures.

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