Energy-efficient retrofits arise among churches | U.S. embassies increasingly turn to sustainable construction | Companies must build trust to change consumer behavior
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March 7, 2013
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SmartBrief on Sustainability

Setting the Example
Energy-efficient retrofits arise among churches
Churches are going green for social and cost reasons, as structures are often aged and not built to handle energy efficiently. "It's human-induced climate change. We are part of it. And we have to take responsibility for that," said Peter Pavlovic of the Conference of European Churches. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/6)
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U.S. embassies increasingly turn to sustainable construction
Sustainable and energy-efficient construction is increasingly being adopted by U.S. embassies because it saves costs, according to this article. Renewable sources of energy help embassies be self reliant. However, security demands don't always allow for turning off lights to reduce further energy use. "We are always trying to find a way to strike a balance between security requirements and smart energy use," says Bill Miner, director of design and engineering at the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. (3/6)
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Green Marketing
Companies must build trust to change consumer behavior
Businesses have a key role to play in nudging consumers to behave and spend more sustainably, writes Eric Whan. Firms need to persuade people to move beyond mere consumerism in part by establishing themselves as more trustworthy environmental players. "[C]ompanies need to get serious about building the credibility that they know what needs to be done, and are doing it," Whan writes. (3/7)
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The Responsible Leader
How to make sure your CSR project pays off
Research suggests that, on average, CSR projects don't deliver the bottom-line results hoped for by executives. That suggests that CEOs should be more strategic about how, and how much, they invest in CSR, writes Daniel Diermeier. "To make CSR a value-generating strategy executives must understand the contexts in which responsible practices are more likely to pay off," he argues. Kellogg Insight (3/2013)
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Powering Tomorrow
Scientists study biofuel potential of duckweed
A scientist at Princeton University and his colleagues are looking into the biofuel potential of duckweed, according to a report in the journal Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. The fast-growing aquatic plant can grow in wastewater, isn't used for human consumption and can be collected more easily than algae, the researchers said. A small-scale duckweed facility could yield a cost-competitive fuel if the price of crude oil is $100 per barrel, while a bigger biorefinery could achieve competitiveness at $72-per-barrel crude oil, the researchers stated. (3/6)
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Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
5 ways to put your self-assessment to work
It's important to take a clear-eyed look at yourself from time to time, but it's equally important to actually act on that self-knowledge, writes Mary Jo Asmus. Consider setting specific goals, creating an action plan and measuring your progress through an accountability partner. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (3/6)
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[I]t is not just the thought that counts, but the way CSR efforts are carried out."
-- Daniel Diermeier, business professor, writing at Kellogg Insight
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