Business

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Aircraft are often associated with air pollution and fuel consumption, but the aerospace industry is more sustainable than many realize. Behind-the-scenes nondestructive aerospace testing (NDT) makes the industry more sustainable every day. These techniques are helping engineers create safer, more efficient planes while reducing waste from design through maintenance and repair.  Dig deeper -> 4 min
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  5. Thinking

Hot take music festivals need sustainability now more than ever.

What’s the matter The music industry is an integral part of society, but it has some catching up to do in the world of sustainability. With constant traveling, waste production and energy demands, tours and festivals carry a heavy environmental impact.

By the numbers

  • A UK study found that in 2015, five artists collectively generated 19,314 kilograms of CO2 emissions between April and September (the equivalent of 1 million people’s CO2 emission per year)
  • Tours can go through 18,720 plastic bottles a year

Bottom line While touring and festivals may be environmentally harmful now, there are many potential solutions for eliminating single-use plastics, utilizing biodiesel in transportation, recycling batteries, sourcing merchandise made from organic materials, promoting carpooling to the event, and educating fans.

Dig deeper → 2 min

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The scoop: Food takeout and delivery accounts for considerable waste. About 29% of all greenhouse emissions come from packaging. And food takeout uses a lot of packaging.

The problem w/ takeout packaging: *orders burrito* Let me wrap that in foil for you. Here are plastic utensils and paper napkins wrapped in plastic. Oh, and three packs of ketchup + hot sauce. And a paper bag was placed in a plastic bag. Salt and pepper packets no one's eaten since the 90s? Take it. *eats with hand*

Facts and figures:

  • Finding the best material is complicated. One study found that Polystyrene/EPS Foam had a 7-28% lower environmental impact than aluminum and a 25% to six times lower impact than Polypropylene.
  • Plastic waste impacts over 700 marine species

Sustainable packaging solutions: Reduce and reuse. Recycling (in this context) is kinda BS. Buy in bulk. Use creative alternatives on the go. Shop at restaurants that use sustainable plant fibers or limited packaging. If you have a good relationship with your local food business, talk to them about affordable options.

Dig deeper → 3 min

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The scoop: You can’t improve what you can’t measure. An organization must accurately measure GHG emissions and carbon footprint to improve its environmental sustainability outlook. 

Here’s an interesting set of stats:

99% of F500 companies report being “sustainability-conscious” or mention it as a priority in their goal statements.

A little over 60% made commitments to reduce emissions with varying degrees of comprehensiveness. A common goal is to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, yet most companies don’t have decarbonization roadmaps or intermediary reduction targets.

And less than 15% set long-term and short-term reduction targets in line with corporate standards derived from the latest climate science.

These numbers tell a straightforward story. Sustainability gets a lot of lip service, but most businesses haven’t invested time and money into this objective. Creating a carbon footprint baseline is a high-impact first step in any organization’s sustainability journey, and this exercise achieves diverse goals within profitability and risk management.

Emissions accounting terminology may seem complex, but by the end of this article, we’ll find that the foundations of GHG emissions accounting are relatively intuitive. It’s just a matter of breaking up different impact areas of an organization into smaller, digestible bites.

Dig deeper → 5 min

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  2. Better Markets
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The scoop: New construction needs to prioritize sustainable practices to prevent an energy crisis in the future. Real estate investors are starting to take notice.

Facts and figures:

Bottom line: Investors are and will always be driven by returns. But the private sector is starting to realize the necessary risk assessment and tax burdens associated with energy-sucking real estate. Green building is the future.

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Better Brands
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Busy? Try the speed read.

The scoop: Lululemon is a cultural staple in the world of athleisure. Sustainability is not a core aspect of their brand strategy.

Some talking points:

  • Lululemon uses polybags (plastic) for finished products sent to distribution centers.
  • Most of their materials are not eco-friendly. They are working on that.
  • Four of five global distribution centers are zero-waste.
  • Lululemon is pretty transparent about their carbon footprint and accountability.

Bottom line: They are taking some steps toward sustainability, but I have to hold Lululemon to a higher standard than that. They have an opportunity to lead the athleisure industry, and they don't even come close.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Better Brands
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The scoop: Patagonia is a forward-thinking billion-dollar brand. But there is always work to be done. Let's see how they chalk up. Is Patagonia sustainable? Patagonia uses primarily recycled materials.They have a lifetime return and repair program for all of their products.Patagonia still uses animals in its supply chain, but they try to do it responsibly. I'd rather see no animal use.They are slightly above average when it comes to labor conditions.Patagonia looks to go carbon neutral by 2025.In September 2022, their founder donated non-voting shares of the company, amounting to $3 billion, toward a climate pledge trust. All Patagonia profits are now dedicated to climate change causes. Zoom out: Patagonia hits on the environmental side, but they have some work to do operationally, especially regarding transparency & ethics surrounding suppliers and animal welfare. No corporation is perfect; Patagonia is one of the best. Dig deeper → 3 min
  1. Better Brands
  2. Business
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Busy? Try the speed read.

The scoop: Starbucks does a lot of reacting instead of acting. In that light, I do not consider Starbucks to be a cultural nor sustainable leader in the food & beverage space.

Sooo is Starbucks sustainable? No. Especially in today's climate, you're better off making your own cup, or supporting a local indie coffee shop. It's worth the extra few cents to help a business owner put food on their family dinner table.

Dig deeper → 3 min.

  1. Better Business
  2. Business
  3. Profit

Climate mitigation is a multi-lateral issue. There is no one-size fits all band-aid solution to solve Earth's problems. But corporations in particular wield considerable influence over the state of global affairs. Can corporations lead the charge on climate?

Dig deeper → 7 min

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