Monday, May 25, 2009

Win $20,000 to Put Your Green Idea Into Action

Press Release

SunChips and National Geographic have joined forces to create the Green Effect, an initiative to inspire individuals to spark a green movement in their communities.

YOU could be the one to make a difference in your community—for the planet! Submit a description of your Green Effect idea by June 8, 2009. Ten finalists will be announced July 7, 2009. Online viewers and a distinguished panel of judges will review these inspiring ideas.

We'll award $20,000 each to five people or groups that have the best ideas for green change. The five winners will also be profiled in National Geographic, and the winners will travel to Washington, D.C., to share their projects with environmental leaders.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Students Show How University Could Reduce Paper & Ink Costs by 39% or More

Students in the Sustainable Business class at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock completed a research project to identify ways the university could become more "green" and environmentally-friendly in printing practices and paper purchases while also saving money. The College of Business was used as the students' case example.

The students explored several green printing practices and ultimately made the recommendation that the College switch to 30% recycled paper, change default printer margins to 0.75" on all College computers, install PaperCut printer management software on all College computers, change default settings on all printers and copiers to duplex (double-sided copies), and install EcoFont as the default font on all computers.

The combined impact of these recommendations implemented in unison would reduce the College's paper and ink purchases and result in at least a 39% cost savings over current methods; this would require the purchase of 151 cases of paper (instead of the current 251 cases) and 26 laser ink cartridges and toner (instead of the current 30 cartridges). The environmental benefits of implementing these recommendations would be

  • 87.3 trees saved,

  • 11.3 tons of wood saved,

  • 16,659 pounds of CO2 emissions prevented,

  • 57,753.6 gallons of water saved,

  • 33,449.9 kilowatts of electricity saved, and

  • 6,985.7 pounds of solid waste prevented.

This project was completed by Amila Barakovic, Brigitte Armato, Chris Watson, Erica Griffin, William Tarter, and Anita Ojeda under the direction of Dr. N. Landrum.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Online Business Degrees in Sustainability

The list of colleges and universities offering degrees, majors, or certificates in sustainable business continues to grow (see a complete list in the right sidebar of this blog). I often receive emails asking if I know where to get an online degree in sustainable business. For those asking this question, last week, two new programs were announced.

The University of Wisconsin has launched an online Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Management. Students must complete the first two years of undergraduate general education studies before being admitted to the Sustainable Management program. The program includes courses in environmental studies, triple bottom line accounting, natural resource management, information systems, logistics, supply chain management, and sustainability.

For those seeking a graduate degree, Marylhurst University has launched an online MBA with curriculum in sustainability. The program includes courses in Program topics to include:
Ethical Issues and Environmental Law, Green and Social Marketing, Ecological Economics,Managerial and Environmental Accounting, and Management: A Triple Bottom Line Approach.

Update July 22, 2009: University of Southern Maine offers an online graduate certificate in sustainable business.
Update August 17, 2009: Antioch University offers an online MBA in Organizational and Environmental Sustainability

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Coca-Cola Company Introduces Innovative Bottle Made From Renewable, Recyclable, Plant-Based Plastic

Press Release


ATLANTA, May 14, 2009 - The Coca-Cola Company unveiled today a new plastic bottle made partially from plants. The "PlantBottle™" is fully recyclable, has a lower reliance on a non-renewable resource, and reduces carbon emissions, compared with petroleum-based PET plastic bottles.

"The 'PlantBottle™' is a significant development in sustainable packaging innovation," said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. "It builds on our legacy of environmental ingenuity and sets the course for us to realize our vision to eventually introduce bottles made with materials that are 100 percent recyclable and renewable."

Traditional PET bottles are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. The new bottle is made from a blend of petroleum-based materials and up to 30 percent plant-based materials.

"The Coca-Cola Company is a company with the power to transform the marketplace, and the introduction of the "PlantBottle™" is yet another great example of their leadership on environmental issues," said Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund, U.S. "We are pleased to be working with Coke to tackle sustainability issues and drive innovations like this through their supply chain, the broader industry and the world."

The "PlantBottle™" is currently made through an innovative process that turns sugar cane and molasses, a by-product of sugar production, into a key component for PET plastic. Coca-Cola is also exploring the use of other plant materials for future generations of the "PlantBottle™."

Manufacturing the new plastic bottle is more environmentally efficient as well. A life-cycle analysis conducted by Imperial College London indicates the "PlantBottle™" with 30 percent plant-base material reduces carbon emissions by up to 25 percent, compared with petroleum-based PET.

Another advantage to the "PlantBottle™" is that, unlike other plant-based plastics, it can be processed through existing manufacturing and recycling facilities without contaminating traditional PET. So, the material in the "PlantBottle™" can be used, recycled and reused again and again.

Coca-Cola North America will pilot the "PlantBottle™" with Dasani and sparkling brands in select markets later this year and with vitaminwater in 2010. The innovative bottles will be identified through on-package messages and in-store point of sale displays. Web-based communications will also highlight the bottles' environmental benefits.

"The 'PlantBottle™' represents the next step in evolving our system toward the bottle of the future," said Scott Vitters, Director of Sustainable Packaging of The Coca-Cola Company. "This innovation is a real win because it moves us closer to our vision of zero waste with a material that lessens our carbon footprint and is also recyclable."

The Coca-Cola Company -- the first company to introduce a beverage bottle made with recycled plastic -- has been focused on ensuring the sustainability of its packaging for decades. It has put resources behind creating packaging that is recyclable and investing in recycling infrastructure to ensure that its packages are collected, recycled and re-used. Earlier this year, the Company opened the world's largest plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C. The plant will produce approximately 100 million pounds of recycled PET plastic for reuse each year -- the equivalent of nearly 2 billion 20-ounce Coca-Cola bottles. These efforts are all focused on helping "close the loop" on packaging use and produce truly sustainable packages for consumers.

About The Coca-Cola Company The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with nearly 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero®, vitaminwater, POWERADE®, Minute Maid® and Georgia® Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at

Monday, May 18, 2009

Making Your Impact at Work: A Practical Guide to Changing the World From Inside Any Company

Making Your Impact at Work: A Practical Guide to Changing the World From Inside Any Company, is designed to empower current and aspiring social intrapreneurs to find ways to integrate sustainability into their day jobs.

Building on the grassroot efforts started by its own employees, eBay partnered with Net Impact to develop this report as a way to empower current and aspiring social intrapreneurs to change their organizations one department or project at a time to ultimately influence the definition of sustainability jobs and business.

Making Your Impact at Work summarizes key themes identified in the experiences of social intrapreneurs and provides a model for future changemakers to follow as they create a positive impact in their own corporate positions.

The accompanying In-Depth Case Studies, which are available to Net Impact members, profile 15 social intrapreneurs representing a range of functions and industries, and provides details on the planning and execution of their corporate change projects. The 13 companies represented include Accenture, Best Buy, Clorox, McDonald's, Google, among others.

Net Impact and eBay hope that these new publications will inspire the next generation of social intrapreneurs and provide the guidance necessary to make their projects successful.

Please visit Net Impact for more information.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Apply for the Student Sustainability Leadership Award

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is now accepting applications for its annual Student Sustainability Leadership Award. The award will be given to an undergraduate student attending an AASHE-member school who has played a leadership role in implementing campus sustainability. The $750 award will be given to the winning student in September.

Deadline for applications is July 1, 2009.

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