February 15, 2013
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SmartBrief on Sustainability

Setting the Example
New glass would turn buildings into solar cells
A special glass that generates electricity from the sun and can be made most colors is closer to commercial use for construction, effectively turning buildings into photovoltaics. The glass would add about 10% to the costs above the price of traditional construction materials. The Guardian (London) (2/12)
Apple is going green, CEO says
Apple may not have the best reputation with greens, but the tech giant is going above and beyond to be a more responsible company, says CEO Tim Cook. That means reducing direct impacts, improving worker conditions at suppliers' factories and trying to ignore naysayers, Cook says. "I don't care if people are lobbing grenades from the sidelines. We're going to do what's right and just and move the ball forward," he says. Wired.co.uk (U.K.) (2/13)
Creating Accountability
Can eateries take a bigger role in reducing food waste?
Restaurants can play a key role in helping consumers stop wasting food, starting with reducing portion sizes and encouraging patrons to take home leftovers, writes sustainability consultant Nancy Himmelfarb. Eateries are also in a position to create regular dialogues to educate customers about the negative impact of wasting food. GreenBiz.com (2/14)
More companies see profits in environmentally friendly innovations
More companies are reporting financial benefits from implementing environmentally friendly business practices, according to a recent report. The research also showed that 48% had changed their business model as a result of sustainability, a shift driven by factors such as customer preferences, scarce resources, legislative pressure and competitors' commitment to sustainability. CGMA Magazine (2/13)
Green Marketing
Brands are seeing value in "purpose" campaigns
More companies are highlighting their charitable and environmental efforts in a bid to win brand loyalty through so-called purpose marketing, according to this article. Panera, for example, donates unsold baked goods to anti-hunger organizations, and through agency Cramer-Krasselt has launched a $70 million campaign with the tagline "Live consciously. Eat deliciously." "When people who like the company for the food hear about the kind of company it is, it changes how they feel; they like it even more, for more emotional, more potent, more loyalty-driving reasons," said Marshall Ross, chief creative officer at Cramer-Krasselt. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/13)
Powering Tomorrow
White House: Obama doesn't want PTC to expire
President Barack Obama wants to make the wind-energy Production Tax Credit permanent as a means to help double U.S. renewable-energy production by 2020, according to a policy framework issued by the White House. The American Wind Energy Association would be willing to accept a phase-out of the PTC over a six-year period, said spokeswoman Ellen Carey. "Right now, we are thankful that Congress extended the PTC for a year," Carey said. North American Windpower online (2/14)
Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
5 keys to building a front-line-focused organization
Senior leaders who are committed to a front-line-focused organization must establish a vision that puts customers first, respect and encourage insight from front-line employees, and "obsess over talent," among other steps, write Noel M. Tichy and Chris DeRose in this book excerpt. Executives "must imagine what the ideal customer interaction will look like and ask where breakdowns may occur throughout the process, from generating customer awareness to building post-sale relationships," they write. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/12)
I'm proud we're doing heavy lifting for the environment."
-- Tim Cook, Apple CEO, as quoted at Wired.co.uk
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