Why Solar Should Care About Sustainability

Solar power is a poster child of sustainability, at least from the standpoint of energy users. It provides a clean alternative to GHG-emitting fossil fuels and runs indefinitely on free energy from the sun. What more, then, is there to the sustainability of solar energy? Plenty, and the industry’s largest gathering, Intersolar, which I attendedContinue reading “Why Solar Should Care About Sustainability”

Helping Business Adapt to Climate Change

As climate change sets in, its impacts — increasing severity of storms and weather disasters, receding snow and rivers, advancing deserts, and more frequent landslides and floods — will test companies’ ability to effectively deliver high-quality products and services. In response, BSR is launching a series of briefs to illustrate how these changes will affectContinue reading “Helping Business Adapt to Climate Change”

A Sneak Peek at the New Rules for Supply Chain Footprinting

The art and science of carbon footprinting is about to take a step forward: The long-awaited launch of guidance for managing network and product lifecycle impacts is just around the corner. If that’s news to you — and you have anything to do with managing a business with a significant supply chain — here’s yourContinue reading “A Sneak Peek at the New Rules for Supply Chain Footprinting”

Why Russia is the Land of Opportunity for Climate Action

Managers who want to lead on climate and energy should be looking carefully at Russia, where President Dmitry Medvedev has decreed a 40 percent reduction in energy intensity over the next decade. The potential for scale is immense: Russia is one of the most inefficient countries in the world, the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gasesContinue reading “Why Russia is the Land of Opportunity for Climate Action”

Making Customers Behave: Download from the Behavior, Energy, & Climate Change Conference

I just returned from the sold-out Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference, a three-day event examining ways to understand decision making on climate and energy. Here are a few ideas I took away: There’s opportunity in teaching climate awareness. Gallup’s Anita Pugliese and George Mason University’s (GMU) Ed Maibach and Connie Roser-Renouf all pointed toContinue reading “Making Customers Behave: Download from the Behavior, Energy, & Climate Change Conference”

Understanding the Benefits of CSR

This week, I spoke on the panel “ROI and the Triple Bottom Line: Can Companies Do Well by Doing Good?,” the first webinar in a series by Social Media Today. I shared thoughts on how to understand the benefits of CSR, and here’s what I covered. First, the basics: What is CSR? CSR is theContinue reading “Understanding the Benefits of CSR”

The Latest CDP Results Reveal the Rise of Scope 3 Reporting

Last month’s release of the Global 500 Report, Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) annual summary of climate reporting by the world’s 500 largest companies, gives the most insight to date on corporations’ reporting about climate change and their supply chains. What does it tell us? First, the number of companies reporting on their supply chains continuesContinue reading “The Latest CDP Results Reveal the Rise of Scope 3 Reporting”

FTC’s New Anti-Greenwashing, Good-for-Business Green Guides

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released its long-awaited draft guidance on environmental marketing. The so-called “Green Guides” tell companies how to prevent misleading customers—and avoid FTC actions against them. Why now? The FTC says consumers are confused about environmental claims such as “sustainable” or “offset,” which lack consistent rules for usage. In response,Continue reading “FTC’s New Anti-Greenwashing, Good-for-Business Green Guides”

3 Surefire Steps to Bring Climate Transparency to Your Supply Chain

With the release of guidance on supply chain reporting by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol just around the corner, companies will soon have more clarity on how to manage “Scope 3” emissions.  At the same time, companies such as HP and others in BSR’s Energy Efficiency Partnership are working with a growing number of suppliers onContinue reading “3 Surefire Steps to Bring Climate Transparency to Your Supply Chain”

BSR Kicks Off New Energy Management Collaboration…and Just in Time

I’ve just returned from China where I attended the launch of BSR’s Energy Efficiency Partnership (EEP), a working group of 11 member companies working with 80 of their suppliers on energy management. Participants discussed the many reasons why this is an important—and urgent—issue for their companies. Starbucks’ Director of Ethical Sourcing Kelly Goodejohn explained inContinue reading “BSR Kicks Off New Energy Management Collaboration…and Just in Time”

How Businesses Can Plan for the Unpredictability of Climate Change

With managers across industries under pressure to develop sophisticated views about how climate change will impact their companies, it might seem natural to look to the insurance industry for guidance on how to act and communicate about risks and opportunities. After all, with climate change threatening to increase the severity of humanitarian crises, economic disruptions,Continue reading “How Businesses Can Plan for the Unpredictability of Climate Change”

Five Lessons from Walmart’s Supply Chain Work in China

Late in 2008, following Walmart Vice Chairman (now CEO) Mike Duke’s announcement that the company would improve the energy efficiency of its top 200 China-based suppliers by 20 percent by 2012, Walmart enlisted BSR to help launch its first supply chain energy-efficiency efforts in China. From our post in Walmart’s Shenzhen global procurement headquarters, weContinue reading “Five Lessons from Walmart’s Supply Chain Work in China”

Simple Tools for Effective Climate Reporting

With the fiscal year drawing to a close for many companies, it’s writing season for corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. As usual, reports provide a medium for communicating to investors who want to see companies creating value, customers who want to know which companies and products are leaders versus laggards, and watchdogs looking for inconsistencies.Continue reading “Simple Tools for Effective Climate Reporting”

Information, Please! The Knowledge Crux at Copenhagen

I spent half of my first day at COP15 in line, mostly outside, in the cold. But I was one of the lucky ones to eventually emerge inside the Bella convention center. Others waited for six hours or more only to be turned away at the door (if they even made it that far). IContinue reading “Information, Please! The Knowledge Crux at Copenhagen”

Postcards from the climate negotiations in Copenhagen

I chose Thunderbird for my MBA largely because I knew that it was ahead of the game on two megatrends: globalization and sustainability. As a student, I found that the school delivered, preparing me for a career to take on these issues and the broad, difficult managerial decision making needed for research and innovation inContinue reading “Postcards from the climate negotiations in Copenhagen”

Real Climate Leadership and The Rules of Policy Engagement

As negotiators gather in Copenhagen next month to discuss a global climate policy framework, there has never been a better time for companies to influence policy instruments that could dramatically affect the future of climate change. Business’ management of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is already improving. According to the Carbon Disclosure Project (PDF), more thanContinue reading “Real Climate Leadership and The Rules of Policy Engagement”

Dispatch from Hong Kong: Will We Ever See Big-Picture Climate Accounting?

This week in Hong Kong, ASrIA held a press conference that covered two arenas of business climate action that, disappointingly, have yet to mix. The first was Carbon Disclosure Project’s 2009 Asia report, which announced that the number of companies reporting on emissions has doubled from the previous year, up to 127. This study, muchContinue reading “Dispatch from Hong Kong: Will We Ever See Big-Picture Climate Accounting?”

Three Ways Climate Action Offers a Business Advantage

Building on BSR’s article last month on why climate change matters for every company, managers should be aware of some important, and very specific, opportunities for creating business value while promoting climate stability. First, the good news: It’s not mechanically hard to manage greenhouse gases (GHG), the key ingredient to climate change. There’s a sayingContinue reading “Three Ways Climate Action Offers a Business Advantage”

Why Climate Change Will Matter to Every Company

BSR has recently fielded inquiries from a range of member companies asking how climate change is relevant to their business. The timing of these questions is obvious: With prospective climate change legislation and policy discussions in the United States and elsewhere, intensive international negotiations culminating later this year, and ongoing stakeholder interest, companies are scramblingContinue reading “Why Climate Change Will Matter to Every Company”

The Difference Between Product and Supply Chain Footprinting

As more companies gain carbon management experience, they are expanding work from their scope of direct operations to a broader sphere of influence. Expansion is happening through two main efforts — product footprinting and supply chain footprinting, both of which are based on broadening from the organization to the inter-organizational value chain system. Each hasContinue reading “The Difference Between Product and Supply Chain Footprinting”