February 21, 2013
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SmartBrief on Sustainability

Setting the Example
Unilever is a green leader where BP wasn't
BP's "Beyond Petroleum" slogan flopped because it never graduated beyond a catchphrase, writes Natalya Sverjensky. By contrast, companies such as Unilever are baking sustainability into their business models and allowing eco-messaging to evolve from their actions and achievements. "Unilever CEO Paul Polman is staking his company's growth on sustainability to make sure the market eventually agrees," Sverjensky writes. GreenBiz.com (2/18)
Chicago kicks off third round of Green Office Challenge
The competition that seeks to reduce waste and the consumption of energy and water by 10% in the Chicago area will kick off its third round this year. The program is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Sustainable Chicago 2015, and this year the initiative aims to double its impact and the number of participants. ICLEI developed the model in 2008. Since then, 11 U.S. cities have adopted it. Environmental Leader (2/19)
Creating Accountability
Oysters could melt away as climate changes
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is making seawater more acidic, and that's literally dissolving the shells of oysters and other shellfish. Without a fix, half of seawater will be unsuitable for oysters by 2050, scientists say. "What can we possibly do? Even a big shellfish company like ours can't fix that problem," says Bill Dewey of Taylor Shellfish. Slate (2/18)
Green Marketing
Don't claim your products are good for the environment
Brands should be careful not to claim their products are actually good for the environment, as opposed to simply less bad than rival products, says Robin Taylor, Global Ecolabelling Network chairman. "If you start claiming things are good for the environment, it's greenwash," he says. Stuff (New Zealand) (2/17)
The Responsible Leader
Middle Eastern firms need more strategic CSR, experts say
In the West, CSR has been driven by a sense of the strategic advantages it confers upon businesses, but in the Middle East, social responsibility is seen as a moral or religious duty. That has led to companies simply giving away money and sponsorships without trying more sophisticated or strategically advantageous approaches, says Leena Al Olaimy of 3BL Associates. Knowledge@Wharton (2/19)
Powering Tomorrow
FERC: Wind accounted for most of new U.S. capacity in January
Wind power and other renewables accounted for all 1,231 megawatts of new capacity installed in the U.S. last month, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Wind power accounted for 958 MW of new capacity, while solar and biomass contributed 267 MW and 6 MW, respectively, FERC said. In January 2012, coal accounted for most new capacity, with 808 MW, followed by natural gas and wind power. The Hill/E2 Wire blog (2/20)
Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
3 signs you're too passionate for your own good
Passion is a good thing, but it's important not to let things get out of hand, Mary Jo Asmus writes. If you're moving too quickly or getting frustrated when your workers want more details about your vision, then you might need to take a deep breath and dial back the passion, Asmus argues. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/20)
Featured Press Releases
CSR is not cause marketing. You can do it because as an institution you care about society."
-- Rama Chakaki, founder of Baraka Ventures, as quoted at Knowledge@Wharton
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