Search Results for: sustainability

Government should engage suppliers to address green supply failings

Green chainThe UK’s National Audit Office has published a new report on the Government’s record on sustainable procurement which suggests that policy has focussed on cost savings and budget cuts at the expense of sustainability. The briefing document on sustainable procurement is a response to a request from  the Environmental Audit Committee and paints a clear picture of the conflict between two key areas of economic policy which many experts argue should go hand in hand when managed intelligently. However a sign of the Government’s priorities may have been clear when the Cabinet Office abolished the post of Chief Sustainability Officer and close the Green Government Unit in 2011.

More →

Homeworkers happier but more at risk from poor ergonomics

Flexible workingAmidst all the controversy over flexible working raised by the infamous Yahoo homeworking ban comes US research revealing homeworking policies lead to happier employers and employees. 93 percent of employees surveyed by Staples Advantage agree that telecommuting programs are mutually beneficial, and more than half 53 percent of business decision makers said telecommuting leads to more productive employees. However, the survey also reveals that 48 per cent of telecommuters use furniture or technology that is not ergonomically adjusted for them, which can lead to discomfort, loss of productivity or injury. More →

Economic benefits of green buildings highlighted

worldInHands

Green buildings can be delivered at a price comparable to conventional buildings, with investments recouped through operational cost savings and, with the right design features, create a more productive workplace, says the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). A new report, which looked at the benefits from green buildings received by different stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a building, “synthesizes credible evidence from around the world on green buildings into one collective resource, and the evidence presented highlights that sustainable buildings provide tangible benefits and make clear business sense,” said Jane Henley, CEO of WorldGBC. More →

Buying green products should involve a closer look at the supply chain

Green chainLast year’s unrest in the Chinese factory that is a principal manufacturer of the iPhone5 shone a light into one of the usually dark corners of modern life. Namely that beneath the sleek facades of the products we buy lies the story of their production, transportation, marketing and eventual demise. Look further back than the factory and it usually starts with a hole in the ground; and, in the case of the iPhone, an open-cast rare earth mine in the Nevada desert which produces the raw materials for the cutting edge technologies that make our lives tick.

More →

Green issues still a core business concern for managers

Green biz

Green issues have become a core business concern amongst managers responsible for the built environment, says the chair of the Green Building Council Andrew Gould in his introduction to a series of essays which highlight the benefits of a sustainable built environment as a driver for growth. Senior executives from 15 major companies, including Atkins, Balfour Beatty and E.ON, have written the pieces which outline the business case for green buildings and infrastructure. Added Gould: “At the start of 2013, with the short-medium term economic forecast only a little improved, the sustainability agenda is actually in rude health.”

More →

Challenge for Ecobuild is reducing greenwash and white noise

White noiseToday is the first day of Ecobuild, which claims to be the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to sustainable construction and fit-out. Some 1,500 organisations are taking part in the event in East London which last year attracted 58,000 visitors from around the world. While undoubtedly successful, influential, with great intellectual content and a showcase for some truly innovative and effective products, the approach of Ecobuild invariably begs the question: in a world in which every supplier claims to be environmentally friendly, how are their customers expected to make the right choices?

More →

Companies must develop a social purpose to survive

Research-and-Futures-231x170

Company reputations could collapse in minutes and more firms will develop an explicit ‘social purpose’ according to a new report from Global corporate responsibility consultancy Corporate Citizenship. “Future Business: the four mega trends that every company needs to prepare for” identifies four mega-trends that it says are likely to shape the nature of business over the coming decade. According to the consultancy, over the last year the proportion of S&P 500 companies that report on sustainability performance has grown from one in five to over half and the over the coming decades, it expects at least as much change again.

More →

“Groundbreaking” guidance on drivers for social change

Network for business sustainability

Businesses can play a key role in driving social change according to a groundbreaking new report. Whether through product labelling, supply chain management, employee volunteerism and partnerships with non-government organisations (NGOs), companies have the power to help people get active, eat healthy foods, use less energy and live more sustainable lives. Now a new guide based on a review of 123 studies from the last 20 years, released by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) provides the evidence for any business interested in cause marketing, social innovation or responsible consumption. More →

EU commission launches low-carbon contest

City hall

The EU Commissioner for Climate Action has today launched a low-carbon contest, calling on creative and innovative ideas from across the EU. The World You Like Challenge is part of the European Commission’s climate action campaign: A world you like, launched at London City Hall [pictured] in October 2012. Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: “The Challenge is a great opportunity to move beyond mere talking about climate change. By submitting your project, you help us show that building a world we like with a climate we like is both feasible and affordable.” More →

Cautious welcome for Prime Minister’s green speech

Green economy

Environmental experts have given Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech on Monday, when he reiterated his commitment to a green economy, a cautious welcome. The PM, who has come under some criticism for failing to follow up on his promise to make “this the greenest government ever” gave a short speech at the launch of the Energy Efficiency Mission at the Royal Society in London, where he underlined the Government’s commitment to energy efficiency and said that only the greenest and most energy efficient countries would win the global race. More →

Better Buildings challenge for sustainable innovation

BPP

A competition to find green solutions that help to improve the performance of commercial buildings has been launched by the Institute for Sustainability, in partnership with the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate-KIC) and the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) – a collaboration of leading London commercial property owners and investors. Because energy efficiency improvement works have focused primarily on mechanical and electrical control upgrades and plant replacement, the competition focuses on innovations which could help improve the environmental performance of the building envelope. More →

Guide argues positive green message for sustainable gains

sustainia-world

Fear, despair and resignation do not motivate people to change their practices; they should instead be inspired by the positive messages of sustainable living. In Guide to Sustainia international sustainability initiative Sustainia argues innovation has made such impressive leaps over the last decade it’s now possible to break with the perception of a sustainable society as one of limitations. With cities and developers already assembling the nuts, bolts and designs of a more sustainable future, the guide presents a compilation of real initiatives and technologies from around the world, in a blueprint for a sustainable future. More →