Taking Care of Business
By Joel Makower
Mindy Lubber hits the nail on the head this week with her power-of-many essay. Lubber — president of the nonprofit group Ceres, which is holding its annual conference this week in our hometown of Oakland, Calif. — looks at how companies like Timberland and Levis are leveraging partnerships with employees, competitors, and stakeholders to achieve their sustainability goals.
This isn’t new, of course. Companies have been partnering for decades, dating, most famously, to McDonald’s partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund in the early 1990s, which remains the gold standard of corporate-NGO interactions. But, as Lubber points out, some of the most impactful partnerships are internal. Levi Strauss proved that with its challenge to employees to reduce the water footprint of its iconic jeans.
And, as we report nearly every week, including this one, industry partnerships have become a potent means of driving change, from renewable energy to sustainable seafood to alternatives to conflict minerals.
The VERGE of Info Tech: I highly recommend Chris Mines’ piece on the next wave of innovation in computing, and its “very positive implications for vendors and practitioners of corporate sustainability.” Writes Mines: “New workloads and new opportunities for IT systems will come from connecting the digital realm to the physical, allowing companies a higher degree of control and optimization over assets like buildings, vehicles, transport infrastructure, and the like.” What Mines writes about is at the heart of VERGE, our forthcoming virtual event on the convergence of energy, information, buildings, and vehicles. More on that next week.
The New Energy Standard: If you’re not yet tuned into the forthcoming ISO standard for energy management, this week’s webcast should be of interest. ISO 50001 will establish a framework for industrial plants, LEED buildings, commercial facilities, and utilities to manage energy. Tune in on Tuesday to hear three experts talk about what the standard means and what you need to do to be ready. As always, it’s free but registration is required.
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