Tech firms plan ultra-green Silicon Valley offices | Survey: Organic shoppers want to know where their food comes from | Bloomberg's failed soda ban shows power of consensus
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March 15, 2013
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SmartBrief on Sustainability

Setting the Example
Tech firms plan ultra-green Silicon Valley offices
Facebook, Google, Samsung Electronics and Nvidia are following in Apple's footsteps with plans for ultra-green sustainable campuses in California's Silicon Valley. Apple's Cupertino headquarters is expected to be self-sufficient through solar panels and fuel cells, while Facebook wants its Menlo Park campus extension to have a park-like roof dotted with mature oak trees. All the plans "share an eco-consciousness that could become the most distinctive feature of this new West Coast aesthetic," writes Peter Burrows. Bloomberg Businessweek (3/14)
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Creating Accountability
Retailers, wholesalers band together on chemical safety in products
Companies such as Staples, Wal-Mart and the British drug firm Boots are working with wholesalers to identify and eliminate potentially hazardous chemicals from products before facing the prospect of a recall. More than 100 companies are members of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council, founded eight years ago to encourage cooperation in making products with safer chemicals and materials. (3/13)
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Survey: Organic shoppers want to know where their food comes from
Environmentally conscious shoppers are increasingly demanding "farm to table" products and wanting transparency on food sourcing, according to a survey. Other influences include taste, ingredients, labels and certifications. Environmental Leader (3/11)
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Green Marketing
Bloomberg's failed soda ban shows power of consensus
The unilateral nature of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on large sugary beverages appears to have led to its invalidation by a state court. The court cited other factors, but there are lessons to learn, Deena Shanker writes. "Healthy food advocates need to recognize that in a democracy, for better or for worse, facts and science cannot do the job alone. We need to build consensus on these issues, participate in the democratic process, and yes, sometimes even compromise," Shanker writes. Grist (3/14)
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The Responsible Leader
CSO: Sustainability now integrated into daily business
Many of the environmental initiatives that EMC sustainability chief Kathrin Winkler launched in 2009 have matured and become part of the company's core business operations. Winkler describes her work on greenhouse-gas emissions, waste electrical and electronic equipment, conflict minerals, green packaging and carbon pricing. One thing that hasn't changed, she adds, is the "email deluge." (3/14)
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Powering Tomorrow
Scientists propose ways to make N.Y. fully on renewables by 2050
A group of scientists and energy analysts has charted a pathway in which New York could eliminate fossil fuels and nuclear power from its energy mix and become totally reliant on renewable sources of energy by 2050. New York's power requirement by 2030 could be met by 4,020 land-based 5-megawatt wind turbines or 12,770 offshore 5-MW wind turbines, according to the analysis, which is slated for publication in the journal Energy Policy. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Dot Earth blog (3/12)
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Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
Getting the greatest effort from your employees
Many employees will acknowledge that they aren't fully dedicated to their jobs, Julie Winkle Giulioni writes. Fixing that requires a different approach to increasing productivity, including prioritizing the tasks of human resources and the need for persistent training. "Supply the equipment, tools, and resources to support excellence," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (3/14)
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Whether we want to stop the Keystone Pipeline, label our GMO-filled foods, or end our reliance on coal, we need more than just good data."
-- Deena Shanker, writing for Grist
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