February 12, 2013
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SmartBrief on Sustainability

Setting the Example
Bioengineering tackles erosion
Biotechnical engineering is beginning to be used instead of merely laying down concrete in some communities as they tackle erosion and other environmental challenges, Sena Christian writes. It's part of a change in flood-control strategy toward the idea that working with nature can prove more effective than working against it. Earth Island Journal online (2/5)
Creating Accountability
Wis. study: Recycling plastic is good for jobs, environment
Improved diversion of plastics from Wisconsin landfills to recycling could save landfill space and add up to $64 million in economic value each year, according to a state-commissioned report. Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) (2/6)
Railroads prepare for potential new environmental rules
CSX is among U.S. companies preparing for possible regulations related to climate change. While restrictions on greenhouse gases may affect coal shipments, the railroad said, the rules could also persuade companies to shift freight from long-haul trucks to rail. The Wall Street Journal (2/11)
Green Marketing
The problem with emotional marketing messages
Advertisers typically use rational, informational messaging along with intuitive appeals to consumers' emotions, writes Lee Ahern. That's of concern to environmental advocates because emotional appeals, though ethically dubious, are so effective that they will inevitably be applied to eco-messaging, Ahern writes. GreenBiz.com (2/11)
The Responsible Leader
Why smart bosses tell their workers to stay home
Encouraging workers to telecommute rather than trekking to a central office is better for the planet, better for workers and better for your company's bottom line, writes Maynard Webb. "Successful companies of tomorrow will evolve their office plan into a no-office plan. ... The long-term environmental cost is too great not to try," he writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (2/11)
Powering Tomorrow
Colo. wind-power output sets record
Colorado's wind farms generated a record 1,960 megawatts of power for one hour on Jan. 16, the biggest wind-power output in the state's history, according to Xcel Energy. The wind-generated power, which was enough to supply the needs of about 490,000 households, accounted for 51% of the total power in Xcel's system at the time, said spokesman Mark Stutz. American City Business Journals/Denver/From Earth to Power blog (2/11)
Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
Young people are ethanol producers' secret weapon, Vilsack says
The ethanol industry is winning the public debate over biofuels, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a speech at the National Ethanol Conference. Keeping that momentum going will mean reaching out to young Americans, especially those who might one day seek work in the alt-fuels sector. "You may not have as much money as the petroleum industry, you may not have all the slick consultants that they have, but you have an army of young people," Vilsack said. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/8)
I'm asking you to think differently about how we work so that we all can enjoy a much smoother ride into the future."
-- Maynard Webb, founder of the Webb Investment Network, writing at Harvard Business Review online
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