February 14, 2013
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SmartBrief on Sustainability

Setting the Example
Happy Valentine's Day -- but how green are your flowers?
Your Valentine's Day bouquet may not be particularly eco-friendly, environmentalists warn. Imported flowers that lack Fair Trade certification or an equivalent eco-label might have been produced by poorly paid laborers exposed to pesticides or by producers that fail to consider their facilities' impact on communities. ABC News (2/14)
Coca-Cola empowers Indian women with solar-powered coolers
Coca-Cola is handing out solar-powered drink coolers to its Indian saleswomen, helping them earn a livelihood by selling cold beverages while also offering phone- and lamp-charging services to their customers. "People call it CSR; we have just done it as good business," says regional CEO Atul Singh. The Hindu Business Line (India) (2/14)
Creating Accountability
Bloomberg aims to end plastic-foam packaging
Mayor Michael Bloomberg will propose a ban on plastic-foam packaging in New York City, one of several sustainability initiatives he'll propose in his final State of the City address Thursday. His other proposals include a curbside food-composting pilot program and a push for more electric vehicles. Bloomberg (2/14)
Green Marketing
E-vehicle marketers should stop preaching to the choir
If e-vehicle manufacturers want their products to go mainstream, they need to stop selling exclusively to diehards, writes Richard Rosen. It's important to reach out to consumers who care about the environment only in a general sense. "These middle-ground customers may have their doubts today ... but building that dialogue will allow the car companies to overcome today's objections and capture tomorrow's sales," Rosen writes. SustainableBusinessOregon.com (2/13)
The Responsible Leader
Study: CSR hiring continues despite shrinking budgets
Almost one-quarter of large companies say they plan to increase their green-business headcount in 2013, a threefold increase from 2009, according to a GreenBiz report. That's a positive sign, despite indications that fewer companies are looking to increase CSR spending, writes John Davies. GreenBiz.com (2/14)
Powering Tomorrow
Obama wants $2B in oil revenue invested in alt-fuels program
President Barack Obama is urging Congress to steer $2 billion from oil and natural gas revenues into a new fund aimed at promoting cleaner vehicle technologies, according to a White House memo that adds details to a proposal in Tuesday's State of the Union address. "This $2 billion investment will support research into a range of cost-effective technologies -- like advanced vehicles that run on electricity, homegrown biofuels and domestically produced natural gas -- [and] will be funded by revenue generated from federal oil and gas development," the memo said. Reuters (2/13)
Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
What's the secret of your success? Do you even know?
Before leaders can help their employees, they must discover and embrace their own inner genius, says Bob Rothman, co-chief operating officer at Gap International. The truth is that everyone is truly great at something, Rothman says, and acknowledging their gift in one area can help them improve in others. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/13)
[R]etailers are recognizing that consumers are gravely concerned about conditions under which their products are made."
-- Stephen Coats, director of the U.S. Labor Education in the Americas Project, as quoted by ABC News
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