How cheap fashions and green business can coexist | P&G offers free access to sustainability analysis tool | Can green improvements boost quickservice sales?

April 11, 2012
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SmartBrief on Sustainability

Setting the Example
How cheap fashions and green business can coexist
H&M is a global leader in fashions that are produced on the cheap, but that doesn't mean it fails at corporate responsibility, writes Leon Kaye. The retailer has reduced water usage, has a strong record on human rights, charity and women in management, and will release a sustainability report this week that is expected to show more. "It may be too early to give H&M a free pass and applaud them for sustainability. But the company has taken many huge steps quickly," Kaye argues. (4/10)
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P&G offers free access to sustainability analysis tool
Procter & Gamble is making available to other companies at no charge an Excel-based tool for measuring sustainability throughout the supply chain. The company estimates the scorecard has led to almost $1 billion in operational savings due to cutbacks in energy, water, waste and carbon dioxide over the past decade. Environmental Leader (4/5)
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Green Marketing
Can green improvements boost quickservice sales?
Reducing packaging, installing energy efficient grass roofs and promoting nonbeef burgers with a smaller carbon footprint helped Sweden's Max Burgers become the country's top burger chain. Despite efforts by a few chains, sustainability efforts on a large scale haven't yet caught on with U.S. chains, but growing interest among younger consumers is likely to spur green changes, analysts say. (4/9)
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Business Tips and Advice
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The Responsible Leader
What must CSR professionals do to advance their profession?
The CSR field is evolving as corporations and stakeholders pay more attention, writes Stephen Jordan of the Business Civic Leadership Center. As companies grapple with related business problems, they will be looking to CSR professionals for business-oriented solutions. "Handled well, effective CSR involvement in these issues contributes to business success. Handled badly -- or not at all ?- companies might find themselves exposed to huge risks," Jordan writes. CSRwire Talkback blog (4/6)
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Looking for CSR work? Follow these trends:
Companies with sustainability chiefs are going to be hiring, but that will be driven by policy decisions and relationships with suppliers, not consumer pressure, argues search-and-consulting executive Ellen Weinreb. "Now, sustainability professionals are being hired for specific skill sets such as carbon accounting or lifecycle analysis (LCA) as well as more generalists' positions to move the dial within companies and set the wheels in motion on innovation through collaboration," Weinreb writes. (4/11)
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Powering Tomorrow
U.S. military puts focus on better energy use
The U.S. military will develop and test vehicles that help reduce fuel reliance and promote alternative energy sources as part of the Obama administration's energy-efficiency efforts. Pentagon initiatives in the arena have already produced hybrid tank batteries and portable solar power devices. National Journal (4/11), Detroit Free Press (4/11)
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Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
How General Mills communicates its sustainability
General Mills has internal goals for reduced waste, emissions, energy use and more efficient packaging, but it also has an external customer sustainability director to communicate to retailers and consumers. "I think our retailers share all of the same concerns, from way upstream on the sustainability value chain to all of the way downstream, to food waste and waste management overall, including packaging," says Bob Branham. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (4/9)
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Editor's Note
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There's a great financial benefit to becoming a more sustainable food company. There's no downside in this space; you can only improve. There's no risk, per se."
-- Bob Branham, customer sustainability director at General Mills, as quoted at SmartBrief's SmartBlog on Food & Beverage
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Editor:  Jim Berard
Contributing Editor:  Ben Whitford
Advertising:  Chris Warne
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