Year in Review 2012
Secti o n na m e
for Global Sustainable Enterprise
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The Erb Institute
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The Erb Institute
for Global Sustainable Enterprise
Secti o n na m e
Social Enterprise 4 Local Impact 7 Energy 10 Conservation & Policy 17 Green Markets 20 Entrepreneurship 24 Corporate Sustainability & Public Policy 27 Education 31 Climate Change & Communication 34
Erb Inst itut e Y e ar in Re vie w 2012 Director Andrew J. Hoffman Managing Director Rick Bunch Editorial, Creative and Project Lead H. Dominique Abed Designer Savitski Design
Deans Alison Davis-Blake Edward J. Frey Dean, Stephen M. Ross School of Business Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business Marie Lynn Miranda Professor and Dean School of Natural Resources and Environment
Writers Claudia Capos Mary Jo Frank Ben Hamm Principle Photographers Mike Gould Cynthia Koenig
Cover photograph by Noel Wilson / Cynthia Koenig at community meeting in Rajasthan.
s my first year as Director of the Erb Institute comes to a close I’d like to begin by thanking my predecessor, Tom Lyon, for his service in managing this Institute over the past five years. Among many things, I want to acknowledge Tom’s work in increasing the research vitality of the Institute while also maintaining educational quality. As I take over the reins, I look forward to building on what Tom has started and helping the Institute to continue to grow in very important ways. I would like to focus on just two of these ways now: our community and thought leadership.
Our community is a passionate, dedicated and growing group of people that form the lifeblood of who we are. In the 2011-2012 academic year, the entire Erb student community numbered 108, averaging 36 per graduating year. In this past academic year, we also reached an impressive 320 alumni, the largest alumni base of any sustainability dual degree program in the country. We are working to establish the structures and processes to better integrate, engage and coordinate this powerful network. When all is said and done, the Institute’s impact is realized most powerfully through this vibrant global network of students and alumni who are the transformative change agents in business, government and the non-profit worlds. As I look at this community of students and alumni, I see thought-leaders, people who have something important to say about pressing issues at the juncture of business and sustainability. My goal has been to create as many opportunities as I can to help them say it. As they engage in real world debates, they become “players,” not just students. They are connecting to networks that will serve their careers and developing leading ideas which they are testing in the world of action. This year, we launched new program initiatives, forged valuable partnerships, and pursued collaborative research that expanded our scope and impact at the University of Michigan and beyond. For example, students helped to co-organize and write the summary report for a three-day workshop on Climate Change Communication, which we ran in collaboration with the Union of Concerned Scientists in January. Erb students helped to write a report with KPMG that was extremely well received at the recent Rio+ 20 Sustainability Conference. Our students have written teaching case studies with a focus on leading companies like BP, Clorox, SherwinWilliams, Coca-Cola and Patagonia. These cases are “Erb branded” and sold by GlobaLens throughout the country (several having won case competition prizes). In fact, we have reached a critical mass such that GlobaLens is now marketing an Erb-branded course on Strategies for Sustainable Development based on this material. We unveiled a new Institute Report series that highlights the important research being done by students and faculty at the Institute. We are now publishing each year’s best masters’ opus as a book under the Erb masthead. Erb students are providing direct review and feedback to Fortune 100 companies on their sustainability annual reports, and they are blogging in high profile outlets. We are making our presence known and will
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[ From the Director ]
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continue to do so with the help of Tom Catania, our first Executive-in-Residence and Kim Wolske, our first Research Management Fellow, both of whom came on board this year. Before I close, I would like to thank the staff that make this Institute run. The tireless hours of dedication that each and every one of them put into serving this Institute are something to be envied by others and prized within our community. The future is bright for the Erb Institute, one which presents significant opportunities to meaningfully advance the next conception of business sustainability education, research and outreach. We will continue to build our culture and capability to provide innovative and highly relevant education and experience for our students to prepare them for key leadership roles. Together with our academic partners, the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ross School of Business, we will advance our visionary program to redefine and implement “Sustainability 2.0,” the next frontier of sustainable enterprise. Best regards,
A ndy Ho ffman Holcim (U.S.) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, Ross School of Business
hen President Coleman established “sustainability” as a University of Michigan priority in 2009, the Erb Institute was celebrating its 15th year of producing highly-qualified MBA/MS graduates with expertise at the intersection of business and the environment. Along with a handful of other initiatives on campus, the Erb Institute helped lay the foundation for U-M’s strong emphasis on sustainability, which now spans education, research, outreach, and campus operations. Through my dual role as Special Counsel to President Coleman for sustainability and Director of the Graham Institute, I am honored with the responsibility of spearheading broad-based sustainability collaborations that bring to bear the tremendous strengths across our 19 Schools & Colleges and myriad institutes and centers with sustainability-related missions. The Erb Institute has been a strong partner in this effort and we are currently engaged in several exciting collaborations. On the education front, I am sure the Erb students will be represented strongly in the new Dow Sustainability Fellows program that fosters high-impact sustainability collaborations among masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral scholars from across the University. In research, we are partnering (along with U-M’s Energy Institute and Risk Science Center) on an ambitious Integrated Assessment engaging U-M faculty with a broad range of stakeholders to define pathways for responsible natural gas extraction in the State of Michigan. In outreach, Erb and Graham collaborated on the Exploring Sustainability on Planet Blue discussion series to explore deep intellectual content with U-M’s sustainability thought-leaders in relaxed conversational formats. In campus operations, Erb students were among the nearly 100 students who worked on U-M’s Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment that led to a set of bold operational goals President Coleman announced last September. Across the board, the Erb Institute is a strong partner in U-M’s broad-based sustainability initiative, and we look forward to continued collaboration to make U-M the Leaders and Best in sustainability scholarship and practice.
D on S ca v ia Director, Graham Sustainability Institute Special Counsel to the U-M President for Sustainability
The issues of our time aren’t confined to business, science, or society alone. They’re at the convergence of each of these sectors, and finding the solutions that will advance our world will only come through the collaboration of them. The Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources and Environment launched the Erb Institute on the philosophy that innovation is best realized through interdisciplinary thinking and building bridges between academia and practice. Today, the faculty, students, industry partners, and researchers of Erb are fueling progress on key issues around the globe. Amidst a growing number of sustainability programs at business schools, Erb remains one of the premiere centers for thought leadership on the role of business and markets in shaping a sustainable future. This year, for example, the Institute’s conference on climate change, in collaboration with the Union of Concerned Scientists, brought together more than 90 researchers, corporate leaders, policy makers, and students to advance solutions on this topic. The Institute’s Planet Blue speaker series, in collaboration with the Graham Institute, brought together leading researchers across the University of Michigan to drive novel ways of thinking. And our project for KPMG’s CEO conference in association with the Rio+20 Earth Summit brought the insight of our students, alumni, and faculty to global prominence. Across the University of Michigan, sustainability initiatives are expanding, and we are proud that the Erb Institute is a driving force of these significant efforts. In the coming years, we look forward to expanded collaborations across the University and further extension of the impact of our efforts. At Ross, SNRE and the Erb Institute, our distinctive community of scholars, students, industry partners, and alumni around the world think differently. They have the imagination, passion, insight, and grounding that are driving solutions for a more sustainable future. We look forward to the continued success of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise and our engagement with your mission. With regards,
A lis on Da v is- Blake Edward J. Frey Dean, Stephen M. Ross School of Business Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business
M arie Ly nn M iranda Professor and Dean School of Natural Resources and Environment
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inding answers to some of the world’s most critical environmental and social challenges is what drives the research, thinking, and collaborations of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.
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[ Social Enterprise ] Through field-based research projects, published works and innovative start-up ventures, Erb Institute faculty and students heightened the impact of social enterprise at home and abroad. Social-enterprise organizations directly address social and environmental needs through their products and services or through the number of disadvantaged people they employ. By applying business strategies, these organizations generate both social returns, which seek to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being, and financial returns, which help to ensure the long-term sustainability of their operations.
Research Creative Solutions for Addressing RO Brine in India Caitlin Harren, Erb ’13, and her five teammates researched, developed, tested and analyzed economically and socially acceptable methods for using non-potable liquid brine, a by-product of reverse-osmosis (RO) water purification in India. The brine contains salts and other contaminants that must be managed carefully to avoid pollution and health impacts. The team ran on-the-ground pilots at RO-water purification sites operated by franchisees of the Piramal Foundation, which provides clean, affordable Sarvajal brand drinking water to 64,000 people in rural India. Given the water scarcity and contamination in India, the team’s efforts to expand the use of scarce water resources for social good was critical, particularly in light of global climate change and development pressures. Creative Solutions for Addressing RO Brine in India: http://bit.ly/PQXOc1
Stephanie Cutts-Cheney, left and Miguel Sossa, right.
Financing Strategies and Lessons for Municipal Energy Efficiency Michael Elchinger, Erb ’12, Ryan Flynn, Erb ’12, and Graham Brown, Erb ’12, partnered with the Clean Energy Coalition to develop a self-sustaining funding mechanism for energyefficiency projects in eight of Michigan’s poorest cities, as part of a $4.4 million grant for Michigan’s Cities of Promise. The project team’s goal was to maximize the energy savings achieved by every dollar of investment while lowering energy costs for cash-strapped cities and reducing environmental impacts. Municipal Energy Efficiency Financing for Clean Energy Coalition: http://bit.ly/VFhfHv
Sustainable Enterprise: Plastic Waste Recycling in Jakarta As part of a collaborative research project with PepsiCo International in Jakarta, Indonesia, Erb team members Miguel Sossa, Erb ’13, Stephanie Cutts-Cheney, Erb ’12, Yih-Wei Chien, Erb ’12, and Patrick Lord, Erb ’13, developed two initiatives to clean up the environment and improve conditions for the “pemulung,” a community of three million waste-gatherers who make their living by collecting, reusing or reselling discarded plastic and other items from waste streams. The team proposed a peer-to-peer mobility application, called P-Mobile, to provide the “pemulung” with health, educational, legal and financial information. The students also outlined a business plan competition designed to engage Jakarta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in creating business strategies aimed at reducing waste generation, dumping and burning. Plastic Waste Recycling in Jakarta: http://bit.ly/RDxPBp
Brian Min, assistant professor of political science and faculty associate with the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan, appeared at an Oct. 24, 2011, Erb Colloquium Brown Bag event where he spoke on the topic of “Electricity for the Poor: Distributing Power in India.” His current research focuses on how governments provide basic public services when budget constraints necessitate rationing. Electricity for the Poor: Distributing Power in India: http://bit.ly/QYhIwJ
A 2011 gift from the Coultrap family established a special fund to support international project opportunities for Erb students. The Coultrap Family International Experience, honoring Charlotte Coultrap-Bagg, Erb ’11, and Paul W. Coultrap, MBA ’41, provides funding for master’s projects, internships and independent study abroad.
Erb Institute students Colm Fay, Erb ’12, and Amrita Kumar, Erb ’11, were editorial contributors to Evolutions in Sustainable Investing: Strategies, Funds and Thought Leadership, released as part of the Wiley Finance series in December 2011. The book contains interviews with leading practitioners of socially responsible investing and examines best practices in the sustainable-investment arena.
he recent success of Wello—an award-winning social venture launched in 2010 by Cynthia Koenig, Erb ’11, with assistance from Colm Fay, Erb ’12, and Christopher Mueller, MBA/MPP ’11—illustrates the power of social enterprise to improve the social and environmental conditions of needy populations. Wello manufactures and distributes the WaterWheel, a 50-liter (13-gallon) drum that enables community members, usually women and girls, to transport four to five times the amount of clean drinking water they normally carry using traditional water containers. This fall, Wello is partnering with the nongovernmental organization Jal Bhagirathi Foundation to pilot its newly redesigned WaterWheel in six to eight villages in the Jalore and Barmer districts of India’s Rajasthan state. In coming months, the Wello team will quantify the social impact of the WaterWheel and refine its business model.
So ci a l enterpri s e
The social-entrepreneurial start-up @FingerTips won the Erb Environmental and Social Sustainability Award at the 2012 Michigan Business Challenge. The company’s product line fills a critical gap in accessibility by enabling visually impaired individuals to use physical tactile controls to manipulate mainstream apps on mass-market portable computers and smartphones.
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Miguel Sossa, Erb ’13
Miguel Sossa, Erb ’13, has circled the globe several times in his role as an Erb Institute student envoy to more than 15 high-level international gatherings focused on economic, environmental and social sustainability. Over the past two years, he has attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico (2010), and Durban, South Africa (2011); the World Forum on Sustainability in Manaus, Brazil (2011); and the U.S. Green Building Council conference in Toronto, Canada (2011). “Through my international travels, I have gained a better understanding of the needs of communities around the world and the approaches they are using to address climate change and to promote green building and social entrepreneurship,” says Sossa, who left an advancing career with an East Coast HR/benefits outsourcing firm to pursue a dual degree at the University of Michigan. “I also have enjoyed creating a greater awareness of the Erb Institute globally and bringing a deeper understanding of these global sustainability opportunities to other students.” In summer 2011, Sossa traveled 20,000 miles round-trip from Ann Arbor to Jakarta, Indonesia, as part of a six-student master’s project team tasked with helping PepsiCo International assess its post-consumer plastic waste and recycling opportunities. “Soon after starting our research, we discovered that not much plastic was going into Indonesia’s waste stream, because the “pemulung,” a sub-economy of three million waste-gatherers, were eking out a living by collecting plastic bottles from toxic landfills, city streets and trash cans and then selling them to recyclers,” he says. “So, we shifted our project focus from waste reduction to social enterprise.”
“If a company wants to succeed and add value, it must look beyond the borders of its financial hierarchy and consider the communities where it operates its business and procures its resources” The team brainstormed about strategies for leveraging the resources of PepsiCo, other multinationals, local telecommunications providers and Indonesian entrepreneurship-development programs to help the “pemulung” and clean up the environment. They outlined two initiatives: P-Mobile, a peer-to-peer mobility app to increase pricing, social opportunity and educational advancement transparency for the “pemulung.” An entrepreneurial business-plan competition, developed in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Program in Indonesia, to engage young entrepreneurs in creating innovative business strategies for reducing waste generation, illegal dumping and trash burning. The team’s proposals provided PepsiCo with a triple bottom line solution that would enable the company to build loyalty among three million potential new customers, to protect the planet by reducing the amount of waste going into landfills and to help people by connecting the “pemulung” with social, economic and educational resources. “If a company wants to succeed and add value, it must look beyond the borders of its financial hierarchy and consider the communities where it operates its business and procures its resources,” (like this for a call out quote) says Sossa. “To me, it’s creative, fun and intriguing to take the social-enterprise model and apply it to distinctly different things.” Last summer, Sossa interned at Accenture, developing energy-efficiency solutions for a health-services client. This fall, Sossa plans to attend the 2012 U.N. climate change conference in Doha, Qatar. Long term, he hopes to parlay his Erb experience into an opportunity to co-develop and champion unique solutions to help organizations mitigate their social and environmental impact on the world. He also looks forward to sharing the Institute’s exemplary work around the globe and inspiring the next generation of Erb students.
[ Local Impact ] Erb students and faculty champion sustainability on campus and throughout Michigan with research, conferences, lectures, workshops and innovative ideas.
Leadership Academy: http://bit.ly/UN81re
The Erb Speaker Series sponsored a panel discussion titled “Detroit Dirt: Sustainable Urban Entrepreneurism in Detroit” in November. Among the panelists were Greg Willerer and Pashon Murray, founders of Detroit Dirt, an innovative social enterprise that recycles food waste and supports community agriculture. Another speaker was John Bradburn, Staff Environmental
Engineer with General Motors’ Worldwide Facilities Group, Global Environmental Programs. He is responsible for implementing process and product technology improvements globally to reduce GM’s environmental impacts and costs. The program has eliminated manufacturing waste going to landfills in more than half of GM’s global manufacturing operations. Erb Post-Doctoral Fellow Laurie Kaye Nijaki presented a lecture titled “Evergreen Economies: Institutions, Industries and Issues in the Green Economy” in February as part of the Erb Brown Bag Colloquium Series. Through her research, Nijaki seeks to explain regional differences in sustainable economic opportunities, including green jobs and industries. Antonia Chan, Erb ’13, also worked on a master’s project with Michigan Green Communities, a network formed in 2010 to connect localities throughout the state and increase sustainability efforts through information sharing and teamwork. The network has grown to more than 100 members. Its activities include the Green Communities Challenge activity reporting program, an annual conference, monthly newsletters and bi-weekly conference calls. Assistant Professor of Natural Resources and Environment Josh Newell advised Chan and the other students working on the project titled “Michigan Green Communities: Strengthening Municipal Sustainability Practices through Statewide Network Building.” Michigan Green Communities: Strengthening Municipal Sustainability Practices through Statewide Network Building (pdf): http://bit.ly/TKQUjZ
In another master’s project, “Financing Strategies and Lessons for Municipal Energy Efficiency,” Graham Brown, Michael Elchinger and Ryan Flynn, all Erb ’12, worked with the Ypsilanti-based nonprofit Clean Energy Coalition to leverage a $4.4 million grant from the Michigan Public Services Commission to develop a self-sustaining
lo ca l i m pa ct
In July, the Erb Institute partnered with Michigan Green Communities and the Institute for Sustainable Communities to host the Michigan Green Communities Leadership Academy. Eighteen teams of senior officials and key stakeholders from cities across Michigan gathered for two days to advance and accelerate local sustainable development solutions. Teams focused on making the case for sustainability, improving health and quality of life, developing and financing new markets, and collaborating across sectors and jurisdictions. Erb Director Andrew Hoffman and Erb Managing Director Rick Bunch were among workshop presenters. Michigan Green Communities
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Local Impact Partners The E rb In s tit ut e
» Huron River Watershed Council » Institute for Sustainable Communities » Michigan Green Communities » U-M University Club » Planet Blue » Cisco Systems » SNRE » MI Sustainable Leadership Academy » Clean Energy Coalition, Ypsilanti
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funding mechanism for energy efficiency projects in eight of Michigan’s poorest cities. Their goal was to maximize energy savings achieved for each dollar invested to cut energy costs for cash-strapped cities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. WorldView Consulting President and CEO Scott Noesen advised the students. Financing Strategies for Municipal Energy Efficiency (pdf): http://bit.ly/RnROoq
proposal by Rich Grousset, Phel Meyer and David Yang, all Erb ‘13, was one of four chosen to pilot. They proposed a reusable alternative to disposable takeout containers at the Michigan Union U-Club. The reusable containers would be dropped off and washed at the Michigan Union, cutting down significantly on the waste produced from takeout containers. New Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund backs four student-driven campus sustainability projects: http://bit.ly/SFGfZs
Hunt Briggs and Bryan Hogle, both Erb ’11, and Sarah Howie, Erb ’12, were part of a master’s project team that worked with Cisco Systems to investigate technology-based energy management technologies at the University of Michigan. SNRE Assistant Research Scientist Jarod Kelly advised the students on the project, titled “Campus Energy Management via the IP Network: A Feasibility Study for Achieving Energy Efficiency via EnergyWise”. MA’s Campus Energy Management via the IP Network: A Feasibility Study for Achieving Energy Efficiency via EnergyWise (pdf): http://bit.ly/RkKGdS
Student-led sustainability projects are gaining momentum on U-M’s campus, thanks to financial support from the new Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund. In fall 2011, President Mary Sue Coleman pledged $50,000 per year for three years for the fund to encourage ideas to reduce the university’s environmental footprint and promote a culture of sustainability. Students submitted 22 concept proposals in the first round.
Neesha Modi, Erb ’12
Inter- [ Views
Neesha Modi, Erb ’12, grew up in Michigan, but had little first-hand knowledge of Detroit before joining the Erb Institute. Since getting to know the city through the Ross School’s Revitalization and Business Club, and as co-leader of the club’s Detroit Impact program, she has become one of the city’s biggest fans. The Revitalization and Business Club founders’ goals include raising awareness of and engaging students in critical business issues affecting Detroit. Among the club’s activities are an annual conference, Detroit SHIFT, and Detroit Impact, which offers students opportunities to collaborate with Detroit-based organizations on business-related projects. “This year we worked with the Chicago-based gravitytank to train students so they could run design thinking sessions for Whole Foods Market, the Detroit Institute of Arts and six other clients,” Modi says. Students on the Whole Foods team led a brainstorming session with community leaders to understand the links between business, food and the city. They combined the information gathered with research and employee interviews, and recommended ways Whole Foods and the city could work together productively. The Detroit Institute of Arts team worked on strategies to support the city’s urban revitalization and economic development efforts.
“People all over the world are talking about Detroit, so it makes sense for a nationally recognized school like the University of Michigan to be involved with the city.” “People all over the world are talking about Detroit, so it makes sense for a nationally recognized school like the University of Michigan to be involved with the city. The reception we received was phenomenal,” Modi says. “More Detroit-based organizations are expressing interest in working with Detroit Impact.” Prior to enrolling at Erb, Modi was a supply chain management consultant at Accenture from 2005 to 2009. While at Accenture, she took a three-month leave to work on a microfinance project with the Fountain of Sustainable Livelihoods in Ghana. “I was able to help the international development organization run more efficiently and process more small-scale loans,” Modi says. Excited by what they accomplished, Modi enrolled at Erb to gain more knowledge about social and environmental sustainability and organizational strategy. At Erb, Modi worked with Jane Dutton, the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Business Administration and Psychology, Ross Research Specialist Melissa Peet and Nick Fassler, Erb ’12, to create a new course titled “Generative Coaching for Personal, Organizational and Social Change.” “We wanted to introduce to the broader community what we had learned at Erb about coaching peers and people at higher and lower levels in an organization,” Modi explains. In September, Modi joined Deloitte LLP, where she works with Michigan clients on organizational strategy. She also moved into the recently renovated Broderick Tower, a residential skyscraper built in downtown Detroit in the late 1920s. “Detroit is attracting lots of young professionals eager to work on something bigger than themselves. I am excited to be part of it,” Modi says.
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[ Energy ]
Challenging questions on topics as diverse as the environmental impact of bioenergy systems, the Smart Grid’s future, investment opportunities in renewable sources and the viability of solar developments on public land engage Erb scholars and stimulate discussion by the public, which looks to the Institute for thoughtful answers. To share its findings in a concise, timely way, Erb published two summary reports highlighting renewable energy research and innovations this year. Institute faculty and students also published case studies, white papers and journal articles and shared their knowledge through lectures, internships, competitions and popular media. Erb affiliate faculty and School of Natural Resources and Environment Professor Ming Xu worked with co-principal investigator Xiaojun Hu from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) Energy Research Institute on a model to simulate and evaluate the impact of renewable energy policy on the economy and environment and to develop policy suggestions for cleanvehicle deployment in China. The project, which grew from a workshop Erb organized with SJTU faculty, is part of the U-M/SJTU Collaborative Research Program in Renewable Energy Science and Technology. Working as consultants with Claremont Creek Ventures, Emilia Sibley and Sam Stevenson, both Erb ’14, and Andrew Chow, MBA ’13, developed a cost-benefit model to reduce U.S. energy imports to zero within 10 years. Hanns Anders, Erb ’11, a Claremont Creek Ventures associate specializing in energy technology, oversaw the project. Declines in imports are anticipated due to increased domestic oil and gas production and the improvement of biofuel technologies. The team’s cost-benefit model includes aggressive implementation of electric
and compressed natural gas vehicles and changes in electricity generation, in addition to increased domestic oil and gas production. Benefits include improvements in public health and the environment, as well as job creation.
Case Studies Erb students and faculty members share their expertise with the U-M community and academe through the case studies they author. Erb Director Andrew Hoffman recently served as the advisor for two new energy focused case studies. Jenna Agins and Rajat Bhatia, both Erb ’13, and Daniel Gonzalez-Kreisberg, Erb ’14, worked with a team under the direction of Erb Director Andrew Hoffman on a case study titled “NextEra’s EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust: Marketing America’s Renewable Energy Future.” The case focuses on NextEra’s marketing strategy to increase demand for renewable energy certificates (RECs) on the voluntary market and to expand its EarthEra REC program and brand in the face of economic challenges. NextEra also funds construction of renewable energy products. NextEra’s EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust: Marketing America’s Renewable Energy Future: http://bit.ly/VEW4W6
“Google Energy Shifts into Renewables,” a case study written by Guarang Sethi, Erb ’13, and a team of graduate students, focuses on Google’s response to criticism regarding what some Continued on page 12
Read more about Erb’s path-breaking energy research: Energy Innovation Research at the Erb Institute (pdf) http://bit.ly/LvMu05 Renewable Energy Research (pdf): http://bit.ly/WiZ1uq
Master’s student team projects provide valuable information to client sponsors and the public. Recent projects include:
“Campus Energy Management via the IP Network: A Feasibility Study for Achieving Energy Efficiency via EnergyWise” for Cisco Systems. Hunt Briggs and Bryan Hogle, both Erb ’11, and Sarah Howie, Erb ’12, were part of a team that investigated energy-management technologies at the University of Michigan. Jarod Kelly, assistant research scientist at the School of Natural Resources and Environment, advised the students. Campus Energy Management for UM Cisco Systems: http://bit.ly/OFkBWQ “Ancillary Service Revenue Opportunities from Electric Vehicles via Demand Response” for Better Place. Hanns Anders and Kripal Kavi, both Erb ’11, and Brian Moss, Erb ’12, worked on a team that analyzed opportunities for using electrical vehicle (EV) networks to provide supplemental services that could keep the U.S. electrical grid operating reliably while intermittent renewable (solar and wind) energy is integrated into the transmission system. Electrical energy storage (EES) devices, such as flywheels and advanced batteries, store and release electric energy on demand, but have not been
deployed at a meaningful scale due to high operating costs. The large-scale adoption of electric vehicles, which use EES technologies, presents an opportunity to overcome this pricing barrier. Over a Smart Grid, EVs can facilitate both power inflow, by storing power in the vehicle’s battery, and power outflow, by feeding power into the traditional power grid whenever the vehicle is plugged into a charging station. In the future, large aggregated EV networks may provide EESbased storage and support services to grid operators at a more competitive price, according to the students, who were advised by John DeCicco, clinical professor of Natural Resources and Environment. Renewable Energy Integration for Better Place: http://bit.ly/XjsQJw
“The Potential for Micro-Algae and other “Micro-Crops” to Produce Sustainable Biofuels” for the National Wildlife Federation. Anthony Lei, Erb ’11, worked on a team that modeled two large-scale cultivation systems to quantify the impacts to ecology, estimate mitigation costs and determine the influence of existing policies on biofuel production. Because of high water use for algae cultivation, limited greenhouse gas benefits over corn ethanol and the potential for considerable amounts of waste, the team concluded that more research is needed to define what strains and cultivation techniques would be most environmentally benign. School of Natural Resources and Environment Clinical Professor and Erb faculty affiliate John DeCicco advised the students. Algae Biofuel Systems for National Wildlife Federation: http://bit.ly/SZmkma
“The Case for New Transmission in the United States: Meeting the Need for Large-scale Renewable Energy” for the American Wind Energy Association. Laura Bruce, David Cieminis, Siobhan Doherty and Theo Ludwick, all Erb 10, analyzed data from transmission planning efforts to create a simplified model for policy makers to identify at what point remote wind power plus transmission becomes cost competitive with natural gas plants. Dow Professor of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce Thomas Lyon advised the team. The Case for New Transmission in the United States: Meeting the Need for Large-Scale Renewable Energy: http://bit.ly/JkWObl
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Energy: Research Projects
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consider its excessive energy usage. Google’s data center draws almost 260 million watts per year, about a quarter of the output of a nuclear power plant. Erb Director Andrew Hoffman served as advisor for the case study. Google Energy Shifts into Renewables: http://bit.ly/P2SUHN
Erb faculty affiliate Nigel Melville, assistant professor of Information Systems at the Ross School, and Ryan Whisnant, Erb ’10, director of sustainability at SunGard Data Systems Inc., wrote a case study about environmental sustainability processes and practices, including wireless sensors for real-time energy monitoring and mobile applications for carbon footprinting at SunGard. Environmental Sustainability 2.0: Empirical
Analysis of Environmental ERP Implementation (pdf): http://bit.ly/L3sD7h
“Equilibrium Capital Group: Investing in Energy Efficiency” is the title of a case study by Professor Thomas Lyon and Michael “Kipp” Baratoff. In the study, Baratoff and his Equilibrium Capital Group partner Bill Campbell must decide whether to invest in one of two energy efficiency companies or create their own company to tackle energy efficiency market barriers in a novel way. Case study: Lyon and Baratoff: Equilibrium Capital Group: Investing in Energy Efficiency: http://bit.ly/RVLVgQ
White papers, journal articles and reports Smart home appliances built to communicate directly with the Smart Grid would reduce peak electrical demand and the need for utilities to generate power known as “spinning reserves,” writes Erb Executive-in-Residence Thomas Catania in an article in the ASHRAE Journal, published by the America Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Utilities use spinning reserves to restore power quickly when the grid runs short. Standards and Codes (pdf ): http://bit.ly/MlhNHy
Erb Partners in Energy » U-M Energy Institute » Ann Arbor Spark » Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies » Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps » Jon Koch, Erb ’96, and U.S. Renewables Group » Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China » IBM Smarter Planet Blog
Mike Buday, Erb ’11, presented a paper titled “Measuring Irradiance, Temperature and Angle of Incidence Effects on Photovoltaic Modules Using a Source-meterbased Test-bed” at the American Solar Energy Society’s 41st annual conference and World Renewable Energy Forum
in May. The conference is the longest-running educational event for solar energy professionals in North America. Buday’s paper was based on his masters practicum, in which he designed and constructed an array of competitive solar panels for Uni-Solar intended for long-term outdoor testing. American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Presentation: http://bit.ly/RQa3lI
The Journal of Industrial Ecology published an article by Paul Gruber and Pablo Medina, both Erb ’10, in its July 2011 issue. The article addresses the question of whether the global lithium supply is adequate to support a future global fleet of electric vehicles and was based on their SNRE master’s practicum titled “Global Lithium Availability: A Constraint for Electric Vehicles?” Erb Alums Publish Report on Global Lithium Supply: http://bit.ly/TrbWnZ
Events Although most Erb lectures and programs are open to the public, the institute also sponsored a Webinar series exclusively for the Erb community, beginning with a Webinar focused on the utilityscale renewable energy markets. Webinars spur conversations and the sharing of information between Erb alumni, faculty and students. Brown Bag Webinar Series: Utility-Scale Renewables Markets: http://bit.ly/RCeL97
Many local and national energy experts spoke at Erb events this past year. Here are some examples: Wesley Sine, faculty director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute at Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, talked about “The Evolving Influence of Social Movement Organizations on the U.S. Wind Power Industry” in his November Erb Colloquium presentation. Erb Colloquium Brown Bag / Wesley Sine: http://bit.ly/OFog7b
Erb Executive-in-Resident Thomas Catania discussed “Energy Efficiency, Climate Footprint and Shareholder Value Creation: Integrating Public Policy and Corporate Strategy at Whirlpool” in February as part of the Erb Speaker Series. Prior to joining Erb, Catania was the Whirlpool Corporation vice president of government relations. Read his paper on: “Appliances & the Smart Grid.” (pdf) Energy efficiency, climate footprint and shareholder value creation at Whirlpool: http://bit.ly/V4NOZr
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enewable Energy Scholar Award winners Adam Byrnes and Lawrence Han, both Erb ‘14, and Chris Hicks, Erb ‘12, each wrote an essay in conjunction with the award. The Renewable Energy Scholars Award, established by the US Renewables Group (USRG) and the family of Jon Koch, Erb ’96, USRG Managing Director, is a merit-based grant for entrepreneurial Erb students who want to explore a business idea in the field of renewable energy, energy efficiency or carbon mitigation. 3 New Reports from 2012 Erb Renewable Energy Scholars: http://bit.ly/TfO36q
Lawrence Han, in his essay “Green Button Program: Business Opportunities Arising from an Energy Data Standard,” predicts that Green Button, a U.S. utilities industry-led initiative to adopt national energy usage standards, will save energy and boost the U.S. economy. Standardization of energy usage data will send the correct signals to the business community to elicit investments in energy efficiency software, according to Han. Availability of data also will make it easier for consumers to be more proactive about their energy usage and willing to buy energy efficient products. Han pursued Green
Button further in his 2012 summer internship at the Institute for Electric Efficiency in Washington, D.C., where his work was published and picked up by several media outlets. The Green Button: Energy Data Standards and Opportunity: http://bit.ly/Xg0ccZ In Chris Hicks’ report “The Smart Grid: Where We Are Today and What the Future Holds,” he notes that power outages cost U.S. businesses more than $100 billion a year, according to Electric Power Research Institute estimates. Congested transmission systems cause many of these outages. Hicks provides a thoughtful analysis of why the old U.S. electrical grid is inadequate to meet the demands of the 21st century and reports on progress that has been made toward implementing a Smart Grid and the status of venture capital financing for Smart Grid technology. Hicks presented his Smart Grid report in a Ross School lecture in April. The Smart Grid Primer: Where We Are Today and What the Future Holds: http://bit.ly/Sisf9u
GREEN BUTTON PROGRAM
Business Opportunities Arising From an Energy Data Standard By Lawrence Han
MBA/MS 2012 Erb Renewable Energy Scholar
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Adam Brynes, in his essay titled “Solar Crowdsourcing: A New Way to Build Community,” notes that the old model of installing solar panels on individual homes isn’t enough to reach solar energy’s full promise of lower bills and a cleaner, more secure energy source. He envisions Community Solar as a “powerful tool to build strong communal bonds around a common purpose.” In June, Byrnes posted an article based on his solar crowdsourcing essay on the AOL Energy blog. Solar Crowdsourcing: A New Way to Build Community: http://bit.ly/UGKk4D
Emilia Sibley, Erb ’14
Ask Emilia Sibley, Erb ’14, about her defining experiences at Erb, and she cites a long list, including working on the Ross School’s student-managed Frankel Commercialization Fund. Each year student teams evaluate 80 start-up companies and invest approximately $80,000 in the winner. Sibley will lead the team that researches clean technology firms this coming year. This summer, she interned as a financial analyst at SoCore Energy LLC, where she worked with Vice President of Finance Greg Buzzell, Erb ’11. SoCore installs solar panels on commercial buildings. “It was a terrific internship and great to work with an Erber,” Sibley says. “I learned about what it takes to be successful in an industry that is changing rapidly.” Sibley chose U-M’s dual degree graduate program because, “I knew Erb offered a cutting edge education that could take my knowledge to the next level. I had a good foundation but wanted to get first-rate business skills and exposure to the best ideas on how to tackle climate change,” she says. She is making the most of Erb’s action-based learning opportunities. For her master’s team project, Sibley is creating a business plan for Duke Energy to distribute solar lanterns to the developing world through its Global BrightLight Foundation. The goal is to bring safe, cost-effective, renewable and reliable power to people who live off the grid. “Millions of people use kerosene for light. It is expensive, harmful to lungs and can lead to burns,” Sibley says. “Now that solar panels are cheap, solar lanterns can be made for $10. We’re working with utilities and nongovernment organizations globally to distribute the lanterns at cost in Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala and Rwanda.”
“There was a shift in the movement from trying to prove that markets were an enemy to acknowledging that markets could do some good for the environment.” As a first-year Erb student, she and Michael Wohl, Erb ’13, evaluated 90 geothermal plants in North America for potential acquisition. They were part of a student team that worked with Renova Capital Partners and Energy Capital Partners to identify asset targets in wind, biomass, landfill gas, hydropower and geothermal. Renova’s John Rice, Erb ‘09, served as an adviser to the students. In a Claremont Creek Ventures consulting project, Sam Stevenson, Erb ’14, Andrew Chow, MBA ’13, and Sibley worked on a cost-benefit model to reduce U.S. energy imports under the supervision of Claremont Creek Ventures Associate Hanns Anders, Erb ’11. Sibley, who grew up in Portland, Maine, became interested in the environmental movement while attending Middlebury College. Citing the influence of author and climate change thought leader Bill McKibben, Sibley says, “There was a shift in the movement from trying to prove that markets were an enemy to acknowledging that markets could do some good for the environment.” “I’m interested in renewable energy, an industry that has had its ups and downs. It needs great minds to make it a significant part of the U.S. energy mix. I want to be part of the growth.”
Mike Ott, Erb ’12, presented an analysis titled “U.S. Project Finance for Renewable Energy Development under Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Scenarios,” in which he concluded that small-scale projects offer attractive opportunities under FIT scenarios and predicted that “green” asset-backed securities might emerge from a comprehensive FIT system that encourages investment in renewable energy technologies.
Raphael Meyer, Erb ’13, worked as an EDF intern in San Francisco, where he studied opportunities for EDF to diversify the constituents it engages on energy efficiency projects.
Emily Reyna, Erb ’09, a project manager at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), spoke in November about EDF’s successful Climate Corps Program, which embeds trained MBA students in companies. Working as interns, EDF fellows identify energy efficiency improvements that can help host companies cut costs and reduce emissions. Twenty-seven Erb MBA/MS students have served as Climate Corps interns since the program’s inception, more than any other school.
Internships Erb students contribute to our knowledge of energy usage, renewable energy and other energyrelated issues as interns. Here are some recent examples: Richard Grousset, Erb ’13, worked as an EDF Climate Corps fellow at Firmenich, Inc., a global leader in the business-to-business flavor and fragrance industry. At Firmenich, he collected energy usage data and built financial models demonstrating the return on investment of energy efficiency investments. Jonathan Huynh, Erb ’13, interned with Publicis Groupe in Chicago as an EDF Climate Corps fellow. He identified cost-saving energy efficiency projects for the firm’s Leo Burnett North America headquarters.
Michael Ott, Erb ’12, interned with SunRun Inc., a residential solar financing company based in San Francisco, after his first year at Erb. He worked in SunRun’s regulatory and business development groups to identify possible new markets for residential solar development in North America. Between his second and third year at Erb, he interned with the private equity fund U.S. Renewables Group, where he was part of the final due diligence team that worked on an equity investment in a biochemical producer. Emilia Sibley, Erb ’14, worked on solar photovoltaics for commercial rooftops as part of her summer internship with SoCore Energy. The project included modeling various ownership structures for solar projects.
ate Springer, Erb ’11, kicked off a four-part series by Erb students and one alumnus about sustainability on IBM’s Smarter Planet Blog in April with an article titled “Can We Take on the Job of Managing the Planet’s Systems?” Springer wrote about the feasibility of collecting and managing Earth’s ecosystem-level data. Here is a complete list of the blogs in that series:
» Can we take on the job of managing the planet’s systems?: http://bit.ly/R8v4IN » Systems Thinking, Ecosystem Services and the “Environmental Brain”: http://bit.ly/R33K04 » Gen Y to drive information technology to “greener pastures”: http://bit.ly/RQcPHz » Smart Technologies for Sustainable Public Transportation: http://bit.ly/Sa0Sh1
Stephanie Judd, Erb ’13, interned as a Climate Corps fellow at Belk, a regional department store chain based in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she identified a strategy to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 25 percent. For her second internship, with the EDF Corporate Partnerships Program, she focused on supply chain issues in the retail sector.
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U-M Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest discussed U-M’s sustainability efforts at an April presentation titled “The University as the Engine of a New Energy Economy.” Erb and the Graham Institute for Environmental Sustainability co-hosted Forrest as part of their monthly Planet Blue Speaker Series offering interviews with U-M thought leaders.
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The Arborlight team, which includes Adam Byrnes and Dan Gerding, both Erb ’14, won the “Most Disruptive Idea” prize at the Clean Energy Venture Challenge in February. Arborlight, a clean energy start-up, develops sophisticated lighting solutions for clients and leverages its patentpending technology to develop a light-emitting diode-based drop-in replacement for linear fluorescent tubes. The replacements are mercuryfree, last more than 50,000 hours and provide a cost-effective source of uniform, bright light. Judges concluded that the concept conceived by U-M Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor P.C. Ku had the most potential “to change the world.” ReGenerate, founded by Hunt Briggs and Paul Davis, both Erb ’11, won multiple business-plan competitions with its patent-pending Compact Organic Waste System, which combines anaerobic digestion and aerobic composting to transform institutional food waste into hot water and compost. Prizes included $10,000 as runner-up for best business in the Michigan Business Challenge and the $7,500 Erb Award for Sustainability. ReGenerate also won: • A Dare to Dream grant • Ann Arbor SPARK Bootcamp scholarship • Top place Michigan Clean Energy Prize competition • Waste Management’s “Think Green” prize at the Rice University Business Plan Competition.
Hunt Briggs (second from left)
ReGenerate was the Wal-Mart Better Living Business Plan Challenge semi-finalist and Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge winner in 2011. Briggs and Davis are raising funds to move their start-up from proof-of-concept stage to commercialization. Visit ReGenerate: http://bit.ly/RgLGQm
Media Michigan Radio’s The Environment Report interviewed Nick Cucinelli, Erb ’05, as part of the Advanced Battery Show, an international trade show held in Novi, Michigan, in October. Cucinelli is CEO of CSquared Innovations Inc., which deploys laser-assisted atmospheric plasma deposition technology to create nanostructural materials and films for large-area lithium-ion battery electrodes, photovoltaic materials and industrial coatings. With 17 Michigan companies either producing or planning to produce advanced batteries, Cucinelli told the National Public Radio affiliate, “We have critical mass here in Michigan around the battery industry. We are globally significant now.” Erb Alum talks batteries on the Environment Report: http://bit.ly/TZGpPe
Jennifer Layke, Erb ‘97, executive director of the Institute for Building Efficiency at Johnson Controls, presented findings from a global study of organizational practices to improve energy efficiency in a Jennifer Layke GreenBiz.com video. Layke, who leads the institute’s global research initiatives in commercial building efficiency, smart buildings, green building design and renewable energy technologies, talked about practices that offer a starting point for organizations to overcome common barriers while capturing the economic and environmental benefits from investing in energy efficiency improvements.
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[ Conservation & Policy ] Over the past year, Erb Institute students, faculty and graduates spearheaded research initiatives that fostered innovative policies and approaches for managing environmental impacts and achieving long-term sustainability of resource systems. Several publications attracted international attention and produced findings that reverberated throughout the profession and in spring 2012 the Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Virginia, implemented one of the sustainability recommendations from a 2010 master’s project team by opening Abbey Rest Natural Cemetery. The conservation burial ground is designed to provide the monastery with a sustainable, long-term revenue stream and demonstrates the real-world impact of Erb research.
To help Yellowstone National Park reduce its energy demand and carbon emissions, Gaurang Sethi, Erb ’13, led a team of U-M students in an 18-month energy audit on 25 park buildings. Based on their findings, the team recommended ways Yellowstone can institutionalize sustainable practices to improve its existing environmentalmanagement strategies and suggested renewableenergy options to increase the park’s supply of electricity while decreasing its carbon footprint. Yellowstone National Park Facilities Energy Management and Audit Recommendations: http://bit.ly/SZoqCA
Value of Natural Resources: Deschutes River Corridor and Its Water Brian Hartmann and Michael Kasameyer, both Erb ’12, and Nathan Springer, Erb ’11, traveled to central Oregon to analyze the ecosystem-services benefits provided by the Deschutes River to regional industries, such as agriculture, tourism, recreation and commercial fishing. Through economic modeling, the team projected the potential tradeoffs and gains within and among industries that would occur under four different water-management scenarios. Value of Natural Resources: Deschutes River
C o n serv ati o n & pol icy
Yellowstone National Park Facilities Energy Management Audit and Recommendations
Building a Sustainable Community in Africa − Mpala Wildlife Conservancy In Laikipia, Kenya, Melissa Gumenick Antokal, Erb ’12, and her U-M team used a systems approach to evaluate the availability and usage of water and energy at the Mpala Wildlife Foundation and Conservancy. After an analysis, they proposed affordable, culturally sensitive methods to develop environmentally sound, self-sustaining and long-lasting resource systems at Mpala and in surrounding communities. Sustainable Community Systems for Mpala Wildlife Conservancy: http://bit.ly/RyOYeA
Scaling Up Payments for Watershed Services: Recommendations for Increasing Participation in Watershed Conservation Among Non-Industrial Private Forest Landowners in the Sebago Lake Watershed Erb students Daniel Cantor, Colm Fay and Chris Zwicke, all Erb ’12, and SNRE teammates examined the system of incentives needed to encourage private forest owners in Southeast Maine to adopt best-management conservation practices that enhance water quality downstream. Their research recommendations have implications for the development of a Payments for Watershed
Corridor and Its Water: http://bit.ly/TaS7AB
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Services (PWS) program in the Sebago Lake watershed and for PWS scaling nationwide. This master’s project was selected as the first winner of the recently launched Erb Best MS Opus Book Award competition and will be published as a book under the Erb masthead. The competition is designed to increase the impact of students’ master’s opuses and to contribute to the body of knowledge in the profession. Scaling up Payments for Watershed Services: http://bit.ly/T8Y1IM
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Upcycling by Crowdsourcing: Leveraging ProEnvironmental Behavior as Corporate Strategy As part of a study of pro-environmental behavior in waste recycling and disposal, Grant Hughes, Elizabeth Matzen, both Erb ’13, and Raina Rahbar, Erb ’12, mapped the motivations and actions of the network of volunteer collectors who send waste streams to X (company name withheld) for upcycling or recycling. Based on their research and a large-scale Grant survey, the team developed Hughes a strategic outline for the company that would protect and ensure its longterm revenue growth. Upcycling by Crowdsourcing: Leveraging Pro-Environmental Behavior as Corporate Strategy: http://bit.ly/SZofXV
Green Growth Innovation: Toward a New Architecture for Developing Countries In a May 2012 Brookings Institution policy report, Allison Shapiro, Erb ’12, and her co-authors concluded that a new international architecture is needed to achieve the ambitious goal of supporting the development and deepening of innovation systems in developing countries, which are critical to meeting the promise of green growth. They proposed an architectural model that uses a three-pronged approach. First, regional science foundations would conduct applied research and development. Second, national business incubators would support technology deployment and enterprise development. Third, dedicated funds that lower investment risk and encourage IP sharing would incentivize private investors and project developers to support new ventures. Shapiro’s work also formed the basis for a chapter, entitled “Green Growth Innovation in Developing Countries,” which was published in the Brookings Institution’s June 2012 publication, “Rio+20: Coalitions Driving Bottom-Up Change,” and shared with representatives attending the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, on June 20-22, 2012. New Brookings Institute Policy Report on Green Growth Innovation: http://bit.ly/S1QSHs
The Role of Certification in Protecting the World’s Forest Emily Dwinnells, Erb ’12, recently contributed a chapter on “The Role of Certification in Protecting the World’s Forests” to a new book entitled Globalization and SelfRegulation: The Crucial Role that Corporate Codes of Conduct Play in Global Business. Dwinnells traces the emergence of certification over the past 30 years and shows it as a powerful tool for meeting the challenges of natural-resource conservation, including large-scale deforestation and ecosystem degradation, while addressing the rights of forest-dwelling indigenous people worldwide. Read More: http://bit.ly/R8Djo7
Range Resources: A Commitment to Transparency In June 2011, Steve Percy, Andrew Hoffman, and Luis Calderon’s case study, “Range Resources: A Commitment to Transparency,” framed the issues around proposed Congressional legislation to regulate companies that use hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to develop shale gas resources. The case examined the policy choices confronting John Pinkerton, who was then the CEO of Range Resources Corp., a Texas-based energy company that is developing the vast Marcellus Shale region of the Appalachian Basin in southwestern Pennsylvania. Supporting the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemical Act, according to the report, could lead to increased industry regulation and impact Range’s ability to drive growth. Opting not to support the bill, on the other hand, could cost Range considerable social and political goodwill. Range Resources: A Commitment to Transparency: http://bit.ly/T9c4ho
Other News In August 2011, Erb affiliate faculty Ming Xu and Shelie A. Miller, both professors in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, received a National Science Foundation grant to create models that can better predict the life-cycle environmental impacts of bioenergy systems. Their three-year project will help to advance the field of environmental sustainability analysis. Dr. James Salo, senior vice president, strategy and research, at Trucost, spoke on the topic “Understanding and Managing Environmental Impacts” at the Erb Speaker Series event in April 2012. Trucost, which has North American operations in Boston, helps companies, investors, governments, academics and thought leaders understand the economic consequences of natural capital dependency.
Kathryn Buckner, Erb ’11
As the new President of the Council of Great Lakes Industries (CGLI), Kathryn Buckner, Erb ’11, is leading strategic planning efforts to chart the future course of CGLI’s sustainable development work in the Great Lakes Basin. “Great Lakes policy involves a complex mosaic of issues,” says Buckner, who was named to her position in April 2012. “In the past, CGLI’s focus has been primarily on water quality, water usage, chemical management and other conventional environmental policy issues. We’re revisiting CGLI’s historic agenda and considering new sustainability issues that are becoming increasingly important to industries with significant assets in the region.” Buckner, who has practiced environmental law for 25 years, says her leadership role at CGLI, an association of major U.S. and Canadian companies and business associations committed to sustainable development in the Great Lakes, offers an opportunity to mobilize industry on Great Lakes sustainability policy. “I have a long history in the environmental arena and a strong interest in promoting the business community as a solution to sustainability challenges,” she says. “This is a great opportunity for me to use those interests and skills to try and make it happen.”Buckner says she learned how to see issues and solutions in a more systemic way that encompasses not only the legal sector, but also the political, social and economic spheres. “A systems approach trains you to think about all the complex considerations that go into sustainability,” she says. “Nothing is black and white. Coming from a narrow focus as a specialist in the practice of environmental law, this was a new way of thinking for me. The (Erb) Institute’s holistic approach toward sustainability was incredibly valuable.”
“Nothing is black and white. Coming from a narrow focus as a specialist in the practice of environmental law, this was a new way of thinking for me.” One highlight of Buckner’s experience at Erb was her 2010 master’s project with Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Virginia. She and her team were asked to apply a systems perspective to the monastery community’s land use, energy, water, solid waste, toxics, economies, food and buildings, and then formulate recommendations to make the community more sustainable. “This was a fantastic 16-month experience,” Buckner says. In the spring of 2012, the monks implemented one of the team’s key recommendations by opening Abbey Rest Natural Cemetery, a conservation burial ground that will contribute to the monastery’s long-term economic sustainability. “It has been very gratifying to see them implementing our suggestions,” she says. “We put sustainability to work in an organization that is very different from those I’m working with now, but many of the same systemsthinking principles applied.” In her new leadership role at CGLI, Buckner will make daily use of the systematic training she received at Erb to help create a sustainable future for the industries of the Great Lakes Basin.
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[ Green Markets ]
g reen m a rk et s
In 2011 and 2012, the Erb Institute spearheaded efforts to unlock the potential of green markets worldwide by supporting cutting-edge research and public forums, including its second Informing Green Markets conference, centered on this emerging field of sustainability.
Research An Evaluation of Ecolabels, Standards & Certifications in the Chemical Industry Kara Davidson and Deb Heed, both Erb ’13, led a four-student team that assisted a multinational chemical company in determining what kind of environmentalsustainability information to compile and make available to its customers in the home and personal-care products industry. Based on their extensive survey of product manufacturers and oneDeb Heed on-one interviews with ecolabel experts, the team recommended that the chemical company adopt a policy of transparency in communicating information about its environmental footprint and become more engaged with oversight organizations. An Evaluation of Ecolabels, Standards & Certifications in the Chemical Industry: http://bit.ly/RbuU3r
Toward Sustainability: The Roles and Limitations of Certification Former Erb Director Thomas Lyon was a member of a prestigious 12-person steering committee that released a major consensus report in June 201, based on two years of research on the performance and potential of voluntary sustainability standards and certification. In the document, “Toward Sustainability: The Roles and Limitations of
Certification,” the steering committee reported “substantial evidence of improvements in social, environmental and economic practices resulting from certification at the site level, as well as instances of unintended effects, positive and negative.” The findings indicate that voluntary standards and certification may be most effective as part of a suite of integrated public and private sustainability tools. “Standards and certification are useful complements to regulatory policies and other private voluntary sustainability initiatives, filling gaps, and to introducing incentives for supply chain innovation,” the report said. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and Mars Inc., initiated and funded the consensus-based process that led to this report. Toward Sustainability: The Roles and Limitations of Certifications: http://bit.ly/TyDt6V
Disclosure: Evidence from Newsweek’s Green Companies Rankings The Daily Beast’s October 2011 article “How Going Green Can Make You Rich”—which discussed the outperformance of environmentally friendly companies that placed in the top 100 of Newsweek’s 2009 Green Rankings of the 500 largest U.S. firms—cited a 2011 research paper authored by former Erb Director Thomas Lyon and Jay Shimshack, an Erb Visiting Scholar. Their paper, “Disclosure: Evidence from Newsweek’s Continued on page 23
ith Erb Institute sponsorship, Erb faculty affiliate Ravi Anupindi convened a periodic Operations Management Science faculty discussion group to share ideas, findings, proposals and activities in the green supply-chain-management and sustainable-operations space. The effort is aimed at increasing applied research, industry outreach and engagement, curriculum innovation and peer-reviewed research at the University. The discussions have already led to the launch of a collaborative research project with Erb External Advisory Board member Jim Frey, of Resource Recycling Systems, and the development of a new teaching case on toxics in the supply chain of outdoor-goods retailer REI, which will be used in the Ross MBA operations core course. Ravi Anupindi
Kara Davidson, Erb ’13
Can businesses and consumers shift their awareness, attitudes and behaviors to become more pro-environment and to embrace products that are eco-friendly? Kara Davidson, Erb ’13, believes they can. “I’m interested in a career where I’ll be able to communicate the value of the environment to consumers through business, a medium they find credible,” she says. “It’s clear that business has an opportunity to drive positive change.” Davidson put her convictions to the test at the Erb Institute, where she led a master’s project team that collaborated with a major chemical supplier. The team’s research objective was to identify and evaluate the type of environmental sustainability information that product manufacturers find most valuable for ecolabels, standards and certifications (ESCs) on home and personal-care goods. ESCs can cover a broad, often bewildering, range of sustainabilityrelated factors, such as energy usage, carbon emissions, organic composition and environmental compatibility. Manufacturers use ESCs on finished products to differentiate their brands, increase market penetration and raise perceptions of product quality. “These days, consumers are demanding more information about the environmental footprint of the products they buy, so manufacturers in turn are asking their suppliers for qualitative and quantitative data on the environmental sustainability of raw materials and other ingredients,” Davidson says. “Our corporate partner asked us to determine which types of ecolabels were most likely to become commonplace on home and personal-care products in the future. With this knowledge, the company could compile the necessary sustainability information in advance and make it available to its customers on its ecolabels.” The results of the team’s survey of several thousand industry stakeholders indicated that in the next five years, home and personal-care manufacturers expect to double the percentage (to 30% from the current 15%) of products labeled with an ESC.
“It’s clear that business has an opportunity to drive positive change.”
Davidson cultivated her interest in merging natural science with business while working for three years at ecoAmerica, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the environmental movement and growing the base of public support for environment and climate solutions among mainstream Americans. “I recognized an urgent need to inform and communicate with ordinary people about environmental issues, but the challenge was how to do that,” she says. “Most environmental groups are speaking to people who already ‘drink their Kool-Aid.’” At the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute, Kara found what she was looking for. “Erb does an amazing job of giving you the support, network, enrichment and extracurricular activities that you need to be successful,” she says. “I have a community of people behind me who are bridging two worlds, business and environment, and demonstrating credibility and authority in engaging with both audiences.” After graduation, Kara plans to pursue sustainability communications or consulting work at a large company or private consulting firm. “Businesses will continue to face environmental issues, and the soft, ‘people,’ skills I have nurtured at Erb will be essential,” she says. “I feel confident there will be a lot of opportunities for me in the future.”
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Green Markets: Featured Speakers Through its Colloquium, Speakers Series and Alumni Webinars, the Institute featured green market thought leaders from academe and industry, who shared their ideas and prompted dialog on advancing sustainability in the marketplace. These speakers and events included:
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An August 2011 Webinar led by a 2011 master’s project team, who had worked with two Erb alumni at Ford Motor Co.’s Supply Chain Sustainability group, zeroed in on the topic of “Greenhouse Gas Management in the Supply Chain” and highlighted the opportunities and challenges related to measuring, managing and reporting greenhouse gas emissions in the vehicle supply chain. Team members Lisa Ingmarsson and Jamie Mikkelsen, both Erb ’11, played a prominent role in anchoring the presentation. Aug 24 Erb Webinar: Greenhouse Gas Management in the Supply Chain: http://bit.ly/PEAtdB Magali Delmas, Professor of Management at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, has written extensively on business and the natural environment. She spoke at an October 2011 Erb Colloquium Brown Bag event on “Saving Power to Conserve Your Reputation? The Effectiveness of Private Versus Public Information.” During her talk, Delmas shared her findings from a study of California college students that showed reputational concerns are effective in motivating electricity users to reduce their consumption. Erb Colloquium Brown Bag / Magali Delmas: http://bit.ly/Uap2eJ
Author and educator Dan Ariely, Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, spoke at an October 2011 Erb Speakers Series event about “The Irrationality of Sustainability” and reported the results of his studies, which indicate consumers behave somewhat irrationally in the marketplace. The Irrationality of Sustainability: http://bit.ly/T3m61F Sustainability consultant Robert W. Kuhn addressed the topic of “Value Chain GHG Emissions Accounting” at a February 2012 Erb Speaker Series lecture and discussed a new standard for accounting and reporting greenhouse gas emissions that allows companies to improve their valuechain processes and their products to lessen environmental impacts. Value Chain GHG Emissions Accounting: http://bit.ly/RXXB3a Sheri Flies, assistant general merchandising manager of Costco Corporate Foods, talked about “Costco’s Evolving Sourcing Practices: Market-based Solutions to Addressing Poverty and Malnutrition” at an April 2012 Erb Speakers Series event and shared details of her involvement with domestic and international sustainability projects that leverage the market to ameliorate these pressing social problems. Costco’s Evolving Sourcing Practices: Market based solutions to addressing poverty and malnutrition: http://bit.ly/Wtl15P
Green Companies Rankings,” found strong evidence that Newsweek’s business-sustainability rankings had a significant impact on rated firms’ capital-market performance. Specifically, the top 100 green firms experienced returns that were 0.6 percent to 1.0 percent higher than the returns of those in the bottom 400, according to Lyon and Shimshack. Disclosure: Evidence from Newsweek’s Green Companies Rankings: http://bit.ly/Ual7OW
A 2012 case study created by a team of U-M students, who were advised by Erb Institute Director Andy Hoffman, examined outdoor outfitter Patagonia Inc.’s decision to launch a revolutionary program in partnership with eBay that encourages its customers to buy and sell used Patagonia gear online instead of buying it new. Patagonia’s 2011 Common Threads initiative was a logical extension of the company’s commitment to the environment and reflected its belief that a sustainable society must consume less. In the case study, the team parses the trade-offs of promoting secondhand purchases that could either undermine corporate revenues or revolutionize the entire consumer industry. Patagonia: Encouraging Customers to Buy Used Clothing (A) and (B): http://bit.ly/T3kyF4
In addition, the Institute welcomed to its professional staff Laurie Nijaki, who will be a post-doctoral fellow at Erb for the next two years. She brings a strong research focus on green jobs and policies to create a green economy. This September, Nijaki will begin cultivating opportunities for new partnerships with SNRE and pursuing strategies to expand collaborative work on the revitalization of Detroit. Green markets help to broaden the sustainability footprint by offering the marketplace and the consumer opportunities to behave in more sustainable ways. Among the leading green market initiatives already underway are green certification, or “ecolabeling,” programs intended to provide buyers with environmentally friendly goods and services. Many governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and industries now promote green markets as a strategy to encourage businesses and their supply chains to procure materials and manufacture and distribute brands that have environmental or social benefits.
2011 “Informing Green Markets” Conference Building on the momentum of its first Green Markets conference in 2010, the Erb Institute collaborated with the Sustainability Consortium in 2011 to present “Informing Green Markets: What Makes a Difference and Why?” The three-day capstone event, under the direction of Professor Tom Lyon, was held last June at the Ross School of Business. It drew representatives from leading corporations, such as WalMart and Dow Chemical Co., and government organizations, including the Federal Trade Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and ISEAL Alliance. Members of nonprofits, NGOs, environmental consultancies—among them The CarbonNeutral Company and Resources for the Future—and scholars from universities and research centers from several countries also attended. These experts weighed in on how green markets are likely to evolve within the context of government regulation, NGO certification and corporate environmental claims. They also examined best practices for assessing the credibility of ecolabels. Informing Green Markets: What Makes a Difference and Why?: http://bit.ly/OLOIMe
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[ Entrepreneurship ] Over the past decade, the University of Michigan has built a campus-wide entrepreneurial ecosystem, energized by its visionary president, Mary Sue Coleman.
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President Coleman recently stated: “We believe in our inventors, our technologies, our state and our collective future. We are eager to show off this state’s most promising businesses, and we are enthusiastic about supporting our students, faculty and staff who are committed to being entrepreneurs.” The Erb Institute has leveraged this multidisciplinary entrepreneurial ecosystem to give Erb students the knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to develop innovative ideas for sustainable enterprises, design and operationalize businesses around those ideas, and launch successful start-up ventures, and bring them to scale. Through a matrix of coursework, grant awards, competitions and support for master’s projects, Erb has helped to shape the next generation of socially and environmentally aware business entrepreneurs and ensure their long-term success.
Curriculum The University’s first course in Social Intrapreneurship—launched in 2011 by Ross School Professor and Erb Faculty Affiliate Jerry Davis, and Chris White, Managing Director of the U-M Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship—prepares students to develop and champion socially focused entrepreneurial ideas within a corporation. Using the framework they learn in class, students help companies—ranging from multinational firms to small businesses— address intrapreneurial challenges in their organizations. Nathan Springer, Erb ’11, who audited the course from Los Angeles, posted a seven-week series of articles about key takeaways from the class on GreenBiz.com to raise awareness of the important role social intrapreneurs play inside business enterprises. Nigel Melville, Erb Faculty Affiliate and Associate Professor of Information Systems at the Ross School, introduced “Service Innovation Management”, a course focused on
applying design thinking to the development of new services in environmental sustainability, education, health care and other areas. In this course, sustainabilityoriented Erb and Ross Nigel students learn how to use Melville human-centered tools and techniques as well as traditional business practices to identify problems and to create technologically and economically viable solutions that meet people’s needs.
Grant Awards The new Mayleben Family Venture Shaping Grant program offers funding to teams of entrepreneurial Erb students to help them transform good ideas for sustainable enterprises into great businesses. Tim M. Mayleben, BBA ’84, and Dawn Evans, Erb’s administrative and financial affairs manager, made their family gift to fund the grant program in fall 2011, and the first round of grants were awarded in September 2012. The initiative helps students at the earliest stage of idea conception, and serves as a pipeline to the Dare to Dream grant program operated by the Zell Lurie Institute at the Ross School. “We’ve had some financial success, but we also remember how difficult it was to get started earlier in our lives,” said Mayleben, the CEO and president of Aastrom Biosciences in Tim M. Mayleben and Dawn Evans
Adam Carver, Erb ’12
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Adam Carver’s resume radiates success. The Erb ’12 grad: • Founded two award-winning clean-tech start-up companies, Enertia and Impact Everyday, based on an idea to source investment capital for rooftop solar from $100 billion in outstanding credit card reward points. • Took action after the BP oil spill with classmate Rosemary Lapka, Erb ’12. They founded Ross Responds, which sent 30 students to nonprofit service projects in New Orleans. • Led Ross’ first MTrek to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, with Honore Louie and Lucky Abraham, both Erb ’13. Every teammate summited the 19,000 ft. peak. • Won the 2011 U.S. Renewables Group Renewable Energy Scholar Award. • Created Beast-To-Belly, bringing 40 Erbers to upstate Michigan to learn about sustainable farming and network with Amish farmers. • Raised $10,000 for the first-ever Erb Graduating Class Gift and led a campaign to launch the Erb Student Sustainability Lab. “What you don’t see are all the ideas that didn’t work,” Carver says. “Two-thirds were failures; less than one-third succeeded. It is devastating and painful to lose, yet it is critical to develop perspective and learn. So the real story is about being resilient.” Carver worked as a bond trader for Morgan Stanley and Greenwich Capital before enrolling at Erb. Interested in sustainability, he figured a Master of Science degree would set him apart from other MBAs. He discovered entrepreneurship while at
”An entrepreneur’s mission is to question assumptions and disrupt the status quo, sometimes unapologetically. That’s what sustainability requires.” U-M. “An entrepreneur’s mission is to question assumptions and disrupt the status quo, sometimes unapologetically. That’s what sustainability requires,” Carver says. “The irony is that Erb’s other strengths, which I was unaware of when I applied, turned out to be the most potent. I wasn’t aware of the value of the Erb community,” Carver says. “I’m in debt to my peers, Erb staff and faculty, and alumni. Many have gone to great lengths to make sure I was supported and received what I needed to succeed. They also provided the moral support and encouragement that are vital to develop leaders.” Working with two engineering doctoral students on Enertia was one of Carver’s most pivotal experiences. The College of Engineering developed the technology for Enertia’s prototype, an energy-harvesting device to harness vibrations in order to power small electronics. “The team came from different disciplines and spoke three different languages. We had business and interpersonal challenges to overcome.” The trio raised $85,000 in several business plan competitions. “It was my first big win at Michigan. After that, I knew anything was possible,” Carver says. Currently looking for an entrepreneurial position or a job in management consulting, Carver has high sights for the future, “Mostly, I want to chase endeavors that create multiplier effects of good.”
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Ann Arbor and a guest lecturer at the Ross School. “This additional grant funding allows student entrepreneurs with limited resources to develop their ideas more fully. As a result, the start-ups they launch will be much stronger, well-reasoned and well-tested.” Evans, who joined Erb in 2011, said, “I am so impressed with our students. They’re dedicated to sustainability, and they’re in the field to make a difference.” The couple added that they will continue to support the Institute’s mission and its students.
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To engage Michigan students in creating solutions to campus-wide sustainability problems, such as waste generation, the University launched the Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund in fall 2011. Over the next three years, the fund will award a total of $50,000 annually to students who propose innovative ideas for campus sustainability projects. Richard Grousset, Erb ’13, Raphael Meyer, Erb ’13, and David Yang, Erb ’13, received a first-year grant to pilot their Reusable Takeout Container Program at the University Club café in the Michigan Union. Customers will have the option of using a reusable, BPA-free, takeout container—rather than a compostable or Styrofoam clam-shell container—at the U-Club buffet. The team projects that their pilot program will not only reduce waste but also produce cost savings. New Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund backs four student-driven campus sustainability projects: http://bit.ly/SFGfZs
New Erb Sustainability Awards The social-entrepreneurial start-up @FingerTips won the Erb Environmental and Social Sustainability Award at the 2012 Michigan Business Challenge. The company’s product line fills a critical gap in accessibility by enabling visually impaired individuals to use physical tactile controls to manipulate mainstream apps on massmarket portable computers and smartphones. Recently, @FingerTips became a limited-liability company with four co-founders and began working on a beta prototype. Maximus, a student start-up focused on converting food waste into organic fertilizer, received the Erb Environmental Innovation Award at the first China Business Challenge, held at the Ross School in November 2011. The $1,000 award recognizes the best business model for solving current environmental problems in China. The Erb Institute was a sponsor of the event, which was organized by the Chinese Entrepreneurship Network. The competition is intended to promote U.S.-China collaboration in identifying and resolving environmental concerns in both countries.
Corporate Sustainability & Public Policy
Building on 16 years of pioneering work in global sustainability, the Erb Institute set the foundation for a prescient model of business that more closely aligns corporate leaders with policy makers, consumers and investors in creating sustainable strategies to manage the risks and harness the opportunities of a rapidly changing world ecosystem. Over the course of many months, a team of 20 master’s students led by Erb faculty members Tom Lyon and Tom Gladwin and Managing Director Rick Bunch explored critical issues, such as climate change, energy and fuel volatility, water availability and cost and resource availability, as well as population growth spawning new urban centers. They analyzed how these global forces may impact business and industry over time and calculated the environmental costs to business. Finally, the Erb team called for business leaders and policy makers to work more closely to mitigate future business risk and act on opportunities. Their capstone findings were showcased in a groundbreaking 134-page report on impending sustainability megatrends, “Expect the Unexpected: Building Business Value in a Changing World,” which was co-authored by KPMG International. The signature work was released in February 2012 on the opening day of KPMG’s global “Business Perspective on Sustainable Growth: Preparing for Rio+20” summit in New York City, which attracted more than 400 top CEOs and senior business leaders from major global corporations, along with key policy makers. The report laid out 10 megaforces that will significantly affect corporate growth world-wide over the next two decades. In its foreword, it delivered a strong, resounding message about the vital role of sustainability, saying: “The bold, the visionary and the innovative recognize that what is good for people and the planet will also be good for the long-term bottom line and shareholder value.” Months later, “Expect the Unexpected” provided a pivotal framework for global discussion at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in mid-June. Expect the Unexpected: Building business value in a changing world: http://bit.ly/RyJWis
Research Coke in the Cross Hairs: Water, India and the University of Michigan This case study by Erb Director Andy Hoffman and co-authors Sara Howie, Erb ’12, and Grace Augustine centers around events in 2006 when the University of Michigan decided to cut its contract with Coca-Cola Co. because of the company’s environmental issues in India and labor issues in Colombia. The Erb researchers examine the systemic aspects of change, the dynamics between student activists and corporate decision makers and the power of information technology to mobilize grassroots action. The case won first place in the 2011 Oikos Global Case Writing Competition. Coke in the Cross Hairs: Water, India and the University of Michigan: http://bit.ly/Rz4JSL
Charting the Course for Sustainability at Aurora Organic Dairy – Phase III: Developing a Prototype Corporate Sustainability Report In the third of a three-project series to help Aurora Organic Dairy achieve greater sustainability, Rosemary Lapka, Neesha Modi and Lauren Start, all Erb ’12, and David Weinglass, Erb ’11, drafted a prototype corporate sustainability report (CSR) after updating information on the dairy’s energy, greenhouse-gas and water footprints, as well as research indicators, metrics and industry benchmarks. The dairy plans to use the students’ preliminary results to complete its first CSR, which will link results of ongoing operations with short-term and long-term sustainability goals. Corporate Sustainability Report for Aurora Organic Dairy: http://bit.ly/V6NNdh
Hybrid Organizations: The Next Chapter of Sustainable Business A recent article in Organizational Dynamics (Vol. 41, Issue 2), authored by Erb Director Andy Hoffman and former Erb postdoctoral fellow Nardia Haigh, examined a newly emerging type
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of organization called a hybrid. These crossovers straddle the nonprofit/for-profit boundary line by adopting social and environmental missions, similar to nonprofits, and generating income to accomplish those missions, similar to for-profits. Hybrid organizations are underpinned, according to the authors, by a growing number of socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs and managers who value healthy living, environmental and social justice and ecological sustainability in their products and services, employers and investments, politicians and policies and, ultimately, lifestyles. Earlier, in a December 2011 interview in The Atlantic, entitled “A Conversation with Andrew J. Hoffman, Professor of Sustainable Enterprise,” Hoffman championed hybrid organizations as “innovators in business design that are testing new experiments in merging business strategy and sustainability concerns.” He said that hybrids are changing the notion of what a corporation is and does, since their goals are oriented toward both market and mission. He ranked them foremost among the ideas and innovations producing a significant impact on the sustainability world today.
Speakers David Walker, senior director of sustainability at PepsiCo, appeared at the September 2011 Erb Speaker Series, where his talk on “PepsiCo’s Integrated Business Model: Competitive, Sustainable, Profitable” focused on how the
current model of sustainability objectives needs to change to ensure that businesses can stay the course when unfavorable conditions arise. At a December 2011 Erb Colloquium Brown Bag, Kathryn Heinze, U-M assistant professor and research scientist in the U-M School of Kinesiology’s Sport Management program, spoke on “Field Work: The Construction of an Insurgent Logic in Alternative Agriculture,” and presented her study findings that suggest grass-fed animal husbandry offers a viable alternative to the dominant feedlot system in the United States.
Events The October 2011 Ross Net Impact fall conference engaged attendees in co-creating solutions to society’s greatest challenges in five key areas: natural resources, energy, models of sustainability in business, emerging markets and impact investing. The two-day event, “Purpose Driven Profits: Creating Change through Action,” also examined how social entrepreneurs are transforming corporations and industries for the better and drew representatives from Patagonia, BASF, Dow Chemical, Waste Management and other leading companies. Ross Net Impact is a 350-member network of U-M graduate students, alumni and professionals who use the power of business to improve society and the environment.
Allison Shapiro, Erb ’12
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Working as a consultant at the Brookings Institution, Allison Shapiro, Erb ’12, created a new model for green growth that is receiving international attention. She also contributed to several Brookings reports, including “Green Growth Innovation: Toward a New Architecture for Developing Countries,” which she shared at the Global Innovation Summit in Palo Alto, California, in July. In “Green Growth Innovation,” Shapiro and her colleagues at the public policy think tank call for a new global model for international development. It involves the creation of national business incubators, regional science foundations and novel financial products to encourage deployment of risk capital to high-impact projects. Coursework in finance and participation in business plan competitions while at Erb helped Shapiro create the new green growth model. “Business plan competitions for clean technology introduced me to the world of entrepreneurship,” says Shapiro. “I had not written or pitched a business plan before graduate school.” Prior to enrolling at U-M, Shapiro worked as an environmental impact consultant at ICF International, a technology, policy and management consultancy, and as a carbon market analyst at Ecosystem Marketplace. While at Erb, she consulted to Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation on smart grid venture capital opportunities and interned two summers at Johnson Controls Inc. and JPMorgan Chase.
“Corporate America has an opportunity to address the void by creating products and services that respond to a growing green consumer base.” In August, Shapiro started JPMorgan Chase’s Finance Associate Leadership Program. “My career to date has been about marrying financial incentives with environmental protection. I am excited to have the chance to supplement my environmental markets background with exposure to all types of financial products at JPMorgan.” Shapiro cites the stagnation of U.S. federal sustainability policy as the impetus to strengthen her corporate skills before returning to a position that more directly interacts with issues of social and environmental sustainability. “The United States has fallen behind in addressing many aspects of system sustainability. Corporate America has an opportunity to address the void by creating products and services that respond to a growing green consumer base and by shaping consumer and government behavior,” says Shapiro, who earned a B.S. degree in science, technology and international affairs from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Shapiro chose Erb because she was impressed by its success in placing graduates and the size and strength of its student and alumni communities. “Anyone who looks into management programs in sustainable enterprise should consider Erb,” says Shapiro, who was selected by classmates to receive one of the Institute’s 2011 Percy Service Awards. “One of the first things you’ll realize about Erb is that, in addition to benefiting from two of the nation’s best business and natural resources schools, this is a community that is committed to living sustainably, not just working for and launching our own green businesses.”
“Sustainable enterprise is more than climate change and the environment,” says David Berdish, Ford Motor Company Manager of Social Sustainability and Erb External Advisory Board member. “It includes human rights and social innovation and entrepreneurs. To me, it is important not to exploit people.” Berdish regularly shares that message wherever he can, with colleagues at Ford, where he makes sure the automaker and its suppliers comply with the firm’s human rights code, and with the Erb community. He has taught “Badlands: The Social Dimensions of Sustainability” at Erb once a year since 2002. “I like spending three hours a week with 20 or so people who are a helluva of a lot smarter than I am,” Berdish says. “It is a very interactive class.” Berdish also appreciates Erb interns. “They are fantastic. It is a running joke with my boss that when I set my yearly objectives, I list the low-hanging fruit for January to May and September to December. Come summer, I pile the hard work on the interns. They work on important assignments that impact our department’s strategy and the company.” When it’s time to graduate, Berdish says, “I tell students ‘you have an MBA from a great school and are smart. Instead of going into consulting or working for someone else, start your own company, run a company or be a plant manager.’”
“Sustainable enterprise is more than climate change and the environment. To me, it is important not to exploit people.” Berdish, who joined Ford in 1983, has worked on production, program management, finance, quality, business planning and organizational learning. For the past 13 years, he has shaped Ford’s strategy for how it engages with stakeholders, nongovernmental organizations and others to work on human rights and sustainability issues, including development of the Ford Motor Company Business Principles and Ford Human Rights Code of Basic Working Conditions. “Ford Motor has been reporting on its human rights activities for 10 years. In our annual reports you’ll see everything from the company’s business principles to plant evaluations. We’re fully transparent,” Berdish says. “When I started this job, there was little data on sustainability, especially human rights. It was a new field for multinationals,” says Berdish, who earned a BA degree from University of Michigan and an MS degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. “Bill Ford found me because of articles I had written about human rights in the workplace. I have been a member of Amnesty International since 1975 and am passionate about human rights and working on the plant floor with the UAW.” Currently, Berdish is working on alternative, sustainable transportation systems, beyond cars and trucks, for people who can’t afford Ford products or who live in large cities so congested they wouldn’t want a car. What would Henry Ford say about moving from everyone owning a car to a multi-modal transportation model? “In 1903, Henry Ford was all about transportation for the masses. I think he would be all for anything we can do now for the masses and to promote sustainability,” Berdish says. “His grandson Bill Ford certainly is.”
[ Education ] Magazine and online articles about outstanding MBA sustainability programs often cite Erb’s dual degree program as a model.
An October Corporate Responsibility Magazine article titled “The Future of Business: Responsible MBAs” said of Erbers: “Students are knowledgeable about issues like sustainable agriculture and alternative energy, and they have the management skills to complement their passion for sustainable business.” Bloomberg Businessweek highlights Erb Program: http://bit.ly/Ug4tNX Erb Program Strength cited in Sustainable Business Education Review: http://bit.ly/TCYY6J
In May, author Andrea Learned wrote about the potential impact of free online courses on sustainability education in an article titled “Coursera and edX: Game-Changers for Sustainable Business” in the Huffpost Green. “For example,” she wrote, “one Coursera partner, the University of Michigan (full disclosure: I’m an alumnus) could draw immediately from its Erb Institute, which focuses on global sustainable enterprise.” In fact, Gautam Kaul, the John C. and Sally S. Morley Professor of Finance and Erb Faculty Affiliate, who teaches a sustainable finance course at U-M, is already teaching a finance course through Coursera. Call for Erb Institute Expertise on Scalable Web-based Education: http://bit.ly/Tkbdur
In May, a GreenBiz.com article titled “Cool Corporate Career Paths for Green MBA Grads” profiled Elizabeth Uhlhorn, Erb ’10, Associate Finance Manager at Dow Chemicals with the Dow Advanced Materials Division, and Alex Keros, Erb ’06, Manager and Senior Project Engineer at General Motors. Cool Corporate Careers for Green MBA Grads: http://bit.ly/Qx6MIs
Research Erb faculty and staff contribute to sustainable education research and pedagogy in many ways. For example, Erb Managing Director Rick Bunch co-authored an article in the January 2012 issue of Business Leadership Review titled “Sustainability and Management Education in China and India: Enabling a Global Green Economic Transition,” with Jacob Park of Green Mountain Rick College and Runa Sarkar Bunch of the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta. They argue that a gap in the understanding of sustainability management education in China and India is likely to hamper the important transition toward a green economy on the global level. The authors highlight key global sustainability and management education trends and analyze how those trends can best be linked in China and India. To strengthen sustainability management education and accelerate the global green economic transition, Bunch and his colleagues conclude that greater research is needed on what the business school curricula should look like in China and India. They also highlight the need for changes in executive education, MBA courses and service learning opportunities to support sustainability education in the two countries. Sustainability and Management Education in China and India: Enabling a Global Green Economic Transition: http://bit.ly/Wx5T7M
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Erb was at the top of the list in an April Bloomberg Businessweek article titled “Going Green: MBA Sustainability Programs,” which noted that many business schools include sustainability programs among their courses because of increased business opportunities in the field. Among Erb’s strengths the article cited: A three-year program that allows students to do two summer internships in divergent fields and work on a thesis project that often “yields a publishable paper or book.”
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Nick Fassler and Neesha Modi, both Erb ’12, worked with Jane Dutton, the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Business Administration and Psychology, and Ross Research Specialist Melissa Peet to create a new course, “Generative Coaching for Personal, Organizational and Social Change,”which was offered for the first time in Winter term of 2012. The course focuses on developing competencies in generative coaching, a process whereby people learn to identify and build upon their own and others’ innate strengths to effect change within groups, organizations, institutions and social systems. New Winter A Course with Jane Dutton and Melissa Peet: http://bit.ly/RaOCf1
Erb students also helped persuade Ross Management and Organizations Professor Jerry Davis and his former student, Chris White, to create and teach a new course called “Social Intrapreneurship”—believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. The course is designed to give practical tools and skills to students who want to make a difference in a mainstream corporate job. In a January post on GreenBiz.com, Nate Springer, Erb ’11, wrote: “The class features visits by intrapreneurs from IBM, Ford, SC Johnson, Target and other companies, and draws from research on social movements to build a map for budding social intrapreneurs.… The class was so popular in its first year that it is spreading to other business schools around the world. Davis and White are now working on a book.”
Case Studies Erb also influences business education by making courses available to professors at other schools. In July, the William Davidson Institute began marketing materials for a new course, “Strategies for Sustainable Development”. Created by Erb Director Andrew Hoffman, the course comprises seven teaching modules based on case studies featuring Patagonia, Google Energy, Coca-Cola, BP and Sherwin-Williams, among others. The course prepares students to address the most critical issues at the intersection of business and sustainability. Topics include sustainability and the regulatory environment, emerging eco-friendly consumer segments, external pressures and social change, new markets in developing countries, hybrid organizations, new business models and venture capital for energy efficiency.
Erb Institute releases a new course on Strategies for Sustainable Development Erb Institute Case Studies: http://bit.ly/Ug3rBD
Erb has created a portfolio of high-quality case studies in recent years. Cases by Andy Hoffman and Erb students finished first and third in the 2011 Global Case Writing Competition sponsored by Oikos, an international student organization that promotes sustainable economics and management. “Coke in the Cross Hairs: Water, India and the University of Michigan,” written by Hoffman, Sarah Howie, Erb ’13, and Grace Augustine from the University of Oxford, won first prize in the corporate sustainability track. The case study focuses on events in 2005-2006 when the U-M stopped its contract with CocaCola because of concerns about Coca-Cola’s water management issues, bio-solid waste and pesticides in products in India, and labor practices in Colombia. A second case study, “Green Works: The Clorox Company Goes Green,” written by Nathan Springer, Erb ’11, Brian Moss, Erb ’12, and U-M students Craig Cammarata, Jennifer Gough and Ashley Nowygrod, won third prize in the corporate sustainability category. The case study tracks the history of the Clorox Company and its approach to launching Green Works. Arie Jongejan, Erb ’10, and Andrew Hoffman advised the students. Clorox goes green: http://bit.ly/U9NaLt
“We have now reached a critical mass on ‘Erb branded’ teaching case studies with a focus on leading companies,” says Andy Hoffman. “Sustainable enterprise programs around the country are using Erb cases in their programming. We’re focused on changing business practices by transforming business education, and we’re thrilled to be making an impact on the next generation of sustainability leaders.”
Jeremy Taub, Erb ’11
While many challenges remain in Mexico, Jeremy Taub, Erb ’11, Director of Sustainability at Grupo Financiero Banorte, remains optimistic that the nation’s third-largest financial institution is fulfilling its corporate responsibility by having a positive impact on society and encouraging its clients to do likewise. “We recently signed the Natural Capital Declaration,” said Taub, referring to a declaration by the financial sector demonstrating its commitment at the Rio+20 Earth Summit to work toward integrating considerations for the natural environment into financial products and services for the 21st century. “We’re trying to pave the road to a green economy by finding ways for our organization to participate in the conversation about how to maintain and enhance natural capital as a critical economic, ecological and social asset.” Since joining Banorte in September 2011, Taub has focused on reducing the company’s carbon footprint by measuring, analyzing and communicating the environmental and value-chain risks and opportunities related to climate change and other important issues. His current work builds upon two key initiatives—a paper reduction program and a corporate responsibility education program for small and medium-size business clients. These were identified through case studies conducted by his 2011 Erb master’s project team of Laura Frey and Tina Tam, both Erb ’11, and Marcos Mancini, Erb ’12. The students collaborated with Mayra Hernandez, head of Corporate Responsibility, Fausto Hernandez, who leads Group Strategic Planning, and other key executives on the design of a threeyear sustainability roadmap for Banorte. Mancini recently joined Banorte as director of sustainable banking.
“The bank made a substantial commitment to investing in our future as students” “Through our master’s project, we were able to apply and share what we learned at the Erb Institute and the University of Michigan with the bank,” Taub said. “At the same time, we gained valuable insights into how Banorte was evaluating different opportunities and challenges. The bank made a substantial commitment to investing in our future as students. This was one of the most incredible experiences during my time at Erb.” Taub, who is currently based in Banorte’s New York office, landed a summer internship at the bank in 2010 and became familiar with its culture and people prior to being hired. Earlier in his career, Taub served as a grant maker at a philanthropic foundation and UJA Federation of New York. In addition to providing funding and capacity-building services to nonprofits, he helped to organize an initiative designed to encourage charitable organizations to go green. “The Erb Institute offered me a great opportunity to think about corporate responsibility in all its forms, and to back it up with environmental and business skills and best practices. Being able to work with global organizations was also valuable.” The partnership between Erb and Banorte has continued to strengthen over the years. “It’s important to continue this collaboration, because the Institute has a unique ability to bring together themes around sustainability and business while considering both the scholarly and practical aspects.”
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On the morning of Bill McKibben’s visit as an Erb Institute speaker, Professor Andrew Hoffman went to look at the venue he had selected. “I looked at Rackham Auditorium and thought, ‘This was a mistake; we’re never going to fill this place.’” Four hours later, the auditorium was packed. People from across the University and the wider Ann Arbor community turned up to hear McKibben speak on the climate debate. In his new role as Director of the Erb Institute, Hoffman is constantly impressed by the widespread thirst for a new kind of community around sustainability: a community that combines scholars and practitioners, business and faith leaders, politicians and students. The Erb Institute, he believes, has an essential role to play in creating that community. “The Institute is a place where serious conversations on climate get started. Our students have opportunities to engage with people who are really hammering these issues out. The educational component here isn’t just in the classroom.” Hoffman’s role at the Institute has also gone well beyond his classes. He’s strengthening Erb’s influence at the Ross School of Business by bringing sustainability-related case studies into the core training that MBA students receive. With the help of Erb students, Hoffman published two case studies that took first and third prize at the 2011 Oikos International Global Case Writing Competition.
“Our students have opportunities to engage with people who are really hammering these issues out.” “Students in sustainability programs around the country are reading Erb Institute case studies, and the research we do is broader than peer-reviewed publications. We’re focused on getting the work we do into the hands of people who can use it.” In venues ranging from academic journals to NPR interviews, Hoffman is raising awareness about how people perceive sustainability issues. His co-authored report on the BP oil spill won the Journal of Management Inquiry’s 2011 “Breaking the Frame: Best Paper” award. In the Stanford Social Innovation Review article, “Climate Science as Culture War,” Hoffman synthesized the sociological and psychological research on climate perceptions, one of the topics he is writing quite a bit about these days. “The climate change debate is dominated by the natural sciences in defining the problem and economics in defining the solutions. The voices of sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science—they’re not nearly visible enough. How citizens perceive climate issues is every bit as important as the questions that climatologists and economists tackle.” To bring these perspectives together, Hoffman is not only organizing events with groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists, but also strengthening links with environmentalists and sustainability experts across the University of Michigan. His office wall is covered in diagrams outlining the relationships that Erb is building with key institutions of research and action. “The future of Erb is about leveraging relationships with as many groups and people as we can to get things done,” says Hoffman. “The Institute is well-recognized, and we have the largest alumni base of any sustainable enterprise program. We have the resources and the responsibility to impact society’s response to the climate challenge as well as all sustainability issues. And I believe we will.”
Climate Change and Communication
The Institute contributed to public understanding of climate change by partnering on two major reports.
Public Understanding of Climate Risks & Choices: Learning from Social Science Research and Practice (pdf): http://bit.ly/SkRSnX
Authors Andrew Hoffman and Peter Frumhoff from the Union of Concerned Scientists noted: “The truth is that the scientific community has reached a consensus on climate change. The buildup of heat-trapping emissions from burning fossil fuels and clearing forests is changing the climate, posing significant risks to our well-being. Reducing emissions and preparing for unavoidable changes would greatly reduce those risks. That is the conclusion of the U.S. National Academy of
Partnering to Address Climate Change » Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship » Chinese Entrepreneurship Network » Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences » Energy Institute » Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute » Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments » Planet Blue » KPMG » Oikos Student Reporter » Union of Concerned Scientists
Sciences, the world’s leading scientific societies and the overwhelming majority of practicing climate scientists.” The conference’s 100 attendees agreed that an American response to climate change must engage the “persuadable middle” and that multiple credible messengers are needed to reach diverse audiences. Participants emphasized the importance of illustrating the links between climate change and an audience’s core values. 2. Expect the Unexpected: Building Business Value in a Changing World, published by KPMG International. Co-authored by Erb faculty members Thomas Gladwin and Thomas Lyon, Erb Managing Director Rick Bunch, two Erb alumni and 20 Erb MBA/MS students, the 134page report explores climate change, energy and fuel volatility, water availability and cost, and population growth in new urban centers. It identifies 10 “megaforces” that will significantly affect corporate growth globally over the next two decades. The authors write that climate change may be the one global megaforce that impacts all others. Annual output losses from climate change range between 1 percent per year, if strong and early action is taken, to as much as 5 percent a year—if policymakers fail to act, according to the report, which was released prior to the June 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) in Rio de Janeiro Expect the Unexpected: Building Business Value in a Changing World: http://bit.ly/RyJWis
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1. Increasing Public Understanding of Climate Risks & Choices: Learning from Social Science Research and Practice. The report highlights findings from the January Workshop on Climate Change Communication sponsored by Erb and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Increasing
Top social scientists — psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and political scientists — as well as climate scientists, business leaders, politicians, faith leaders and communications professionals met to understand better why people reject the science of climate change and how this misunderstanding can be addressed.
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Additional promising climate change research is in the pipeline: In a pilot study, Erb faculty affiliates Arun Agrawal and Krista Badiane are examining the status of research on corporate environmental attitudes in the United States with particular focus on attitudes toward climate change. A more extended and systematic research effort along the lines developed by the pilot study will be one of the first studies of corporate environmental attitudes. Arun Agrawal and
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Krista Badiane Research Grant: http://bit.ly/TieYwv
Erb faculty affiliates Jane Dutton and Scott Sonenshein are assessing how the way that people make meaning of the climate change issue shapes their actions. They theorize in their study titled “Bouncing Back and Motivating Action on Environmental Issues: the Power of Positive Meaning” that a doomsday approach might produce short-term proactive behaviors, but it will not produce the resilience necessary for longer term, sustainable action to promote environmental issues. Bouncing Back and Motivating Action on Environmental Issues: the Power of Positive Meaning (pdf): http://bit.ly/PLqwvi
Erb Institute Director Andrew Hoffman kicked off the popular Erb Colloquium series Sept. 19 with a lecture titled “Talking Past Each Other? Cultural Framing of Skeptical and Convinced Logics in the Climate Change Debate,” the first in a series of research presentations about climate change and communications. Erb Colloquium Series: http://bit.ly/YdWJvW Talking Past Each Other? Cultural Framing of Skeptical and Convinced Logics in the Climate Change Debate (pdf): http://bit.ly/Rw7M17
Using social movement theory, Hoffman analyzed field observations from a U.S. climate change deniers conference and opinion articles in the news to examine the logics used by both sides when framing arguments about climate change. Hoffman’s conclusion: Climate change deniers debate definitions while those who believe the climate is changing due to human activity focus on solutions.
A week later, John Sterman, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management and author of the award-winning textbook Business Dynamics, presented an Erb Colloquium lecture titled ”Communicating Climate Change Risks in a Skeptical World.” Erb Postdoctoral Research Fellow Sara Soderstrom and Erb Dissertation Scholar Krista Badiane continued the conversation in November with their presentation, “Climate Change Discourse and Corporate Responses: Evolution of Multiple Institutional Logics.” Soderstrom studies how individuals mobilize others, develop coalitions and access decision makers when implementing sustainability initiatives. Badiane researches social change processes within institutions. In December, Ross students came together in the school’s Kresge Library to participate in a videoconference with Gabriel Thoumi, Erb ’08, and Miguel Sossa, Erb ’13, who were at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. Thoumi and Sossa, joined by experts from the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, Terra Global and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, discussed the future of carbon markets. As part of the Erb Colloquium, environmental psychologist and Erb Research Manager Kimberly Wolske discussed the psychological dimensions of resource consumption and interventions to promote sustainable behavior in her Jan. 18 lecture titled “Creating a Positive Climate for Low-carbon Living: Designing Initiatives to Bring out the Best in People.” Oklahoma State University Professor Riley Dunlap contributed to the Erb Colloquium series Jan. 23 with a presentation about trends in public opinion on environmental issues, the evolution and status of American environmentalism, the development of international environmentalism, and public opinion regarding climate change. As part of the Erb Speaker Series, Sustainability Consultant Robert Kahn lectured about “Value Chain Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting” in February. Erb, the Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Ross Net Impact and Ross Student Government Association sponsored the presentation. http://bit.ly/RXXB3a
Prizes won by ReGenerate include: • • • • •
The Erb Award for Sustainability A Dare to Dream grant An Ann Arbor SPARK Bootcamp scholarship Runner-up in the Michigan Business Challenge Top place in the Michigan Clean Energy Prize competition • Waste Management’s “Think Green” prize at the Rice University Business Plan Competition, and • The Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award. Other Erb teams sharing 2011 Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge honors were: SmartEnergy, a turnkey solution for financing and implementing energy performance retrofits in municipal facilities, founded by Graham Brown, Mike Elchinger, Ryan Flynn, all Erb ’12, and Andrew Lubershane from SNRE Impact Everyday, a third-party credit rewards program that enables cardholders to donate reward points or airline miles to invest in clean energy, founded by a student team that included Adam Carver and Rachana Patel, both Erb ’12. Impact Everday: http://bit.ly/TqdSws or Impact Everyday Winners: http://bit.ly/QZ5nut
The Erb Institute and the U-M’s Chinese Entrepreneurship Network sponsored the China Business Challenge to encourage student entrepreneurs to solve social, technological and environmental problems in China. The competition awarded $6,000 in prizes, including the $1,000 Erb Environmental Innovation Award to Maximus, which created a business plan to convert food waste into organic fertilizer.
When reporters seek the latest climate research or insightful comments, they look to Erb Institute scholars for answers. Here are some examples: Following the January Workshop on Climate Communication, sponsored by Erb and the Union of Concerned Scientists, Andrew Hoffman and Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists wrote articles for ClimateWire and an op-ed titled “Toward One America on Climate Change” in the Miami Herald, which concluded: “The climate challenge is now largely a social one. Meeting it will mean continued coalition building and expanding the community of people who care about climate change to include unions, religious groups, taxpayer groups and businesses from Wall Street to Main Street. That means engaging on this issue at the local level, in face-to-face conversations at Kiwanis clubs, church groups, bowling leagues and town halls.” Toward One America on Climate Change (pdf): http://bit.ly/SBBBxl
In his contributions to the Erb Perspective Blog, Hoffman has reported on activities of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, what is needed to create social consensus on climate change, the culture wars swirling around climate change and the need to talk to climate change skeptics. The Pew Center, Christian Science Monitor, McClatchy News Group and ClimateWire have republished his blog postings. Hoffman also wrote about warm spring weather and global warming for the Christian Science Monitor. And an article he authored with P. Devereaux Jennings, “BP Oil Spill as a Cultural Anomaly? Institutional Context, Conflict and Change,” won the Journal of Management Inquiry’s “Breaking the Frame” Award. BP Oil Spill as a Cultural Anomaly? Institutional Context, Conflict and Change: http://bit.ly/PLqR19
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ReGenerate, http://bit.ly/RgLGQm, a start-up company founded by Hunt Briggs and Paul Davis, both Erb ’11, won multiple competitions with its patent-pending Compact Organic Waste System (COWS), which combines anaerobic digestion and aerobic composting to transform food waste into hot water and compost. Center for Sustainable Systems Research Assistant Nolan Orfield also worked on COWS.
In the News . . .
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Competitions bring out Erb’s best, particularly when it comes to mitigating climate change and promoting sustainability. Recent examples:
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[ Appendix ]
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The Erb Institute now boasts one of the largest alumni bases of any program in business sustainability:
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Sampling of 2012 Erb Summer Internship Employers
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Accenture Adobe Amcor American Express Bain & Company Boeing Company Business for Social Responsibility Cafedirect Producers’ Foundation Carhartt Cisco Systems Dairy Management Inc. Delta Institute Dow Chemical Company EDF with the Sustainability Consortium EDF Climate Corps
EMC Erb Family Foundation Exelon Ford Motor Company General Electric Global Green Google Idea Couture, Inc. Institute for Electric Efficiency Jack and Jake’s Johnson Controls Inc. LIJ Health Systems McKinsey & Company National Park Service PharmaSecure
Quantis RBC Capital Markets Real Good Food RGI, Inc. Rio Tinto Robert Bosch, LLC SHFT Simpa Networks SoCore Energy Terra Global Capital, LLC The Inovo Group, LLC Walmart Wello WinRock International
2012 Erb Job Placement Employers Abt Associates Accenture Alexander Group Alfred State College Amazon Ann Inc. ATK Aurus Bain & Company Banorte Barclays Capital BASF Global Boeing Company Booz & Co Boston Consulting Group
Claremont Creek Ventures Corn Products International Council of Great Lakes Industries Credit Suisse Deloitte DTE Energy enXco Ernst & Young Fair Food Fund Genentech George Washington University Idea Couture Innovatrium Institute of Innovation Intel Corporation J.P. Morgan Kinetik Partners
McKinley, Inc. McKinsey & Company Mechanical Energy Systems Medtronic, Inc. Metrus Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory PECI PG&E Plante Moran ReGenerate Solutions, LLC SoCore Energy Stion Corporation Thrively Waste Management Wello
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Case studies (Co-published by Erb and William Davidson Institute)
• NextEra’s EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust, case study #1-429-232 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2012), (with J. Agins, R. Bhatia, A. Cunningham, N. George, D. Gonzalez-Kreisberg, J. Mattson, and A. Hoffman). • BP: Beyond Petroleum? case study #1-429-229 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2012), (with J. Huynh, J. Kapitan, S. Katpally, B. Pierce, B. Pierson and A. Hoffman).
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• Google Energy Shifts to Renewables, case study #1-429-226 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2012), (with B. Bunker, J. Foster, J. Levine, R. Sanchez, G. Sethi, G. Tan and A. Hoffman). • Patagonia: Encouraging Customers to Buy Used Clothing, (A) & (B) case studies # 1-429-230 and 1-429-231 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2012), (with A. Johnson, C. Lee, S. Rippberger, M. Treanton and A. Hoffman). • Coke in the Cross Hairs: Water, India and the University of Michigan, case study # 1-429-098 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010), First Prize Winner in the 2011 Oikos International Case Competition, (with S. Howie, G. Augustine and A. Hoffman). • The Clorox Company Goes Green, case study # 1-428-989 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010), Third Prize Winner in the 2011 Oikos International Case Competition, (with C. Cammarata, J. Gough, B. Moss, A. Nowygrod, N. Springer, A. Jongejan and A. Hoffman). • Honest Tea: Sell Up or Sell Out, case study # 1-428-947 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010), (with E. Paynter, E. Senecal, L. Start, T. Tam, D. Weinglass, R. Whisnant, A. Jongejan and A. Hoffman). • Sherwin Williams - Splashing Into the Low VOC Paint Market, case study # 1-428-993 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010), (with M. Buday, F. Cater, S. Foulkes, N. Seeba, O. Prakash, D. Wilson, A. Jongejan and A. Hoffman). • Better Place: Charging into the Future? case study # 1-429-946 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010), (with J., Boomis, A. Racek, J. Turner, B. Van Abel, A. Jongejan and A. Hoffman). • LivingHomes, case study # 1-428-714 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 1/2008), Third Prize Winner in the 2008 Oikos International Case Competition, (with R. Henn and A. Hoffman). • Range Resources: A Commitment to Transparency, case study 1-429-168, (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2011), (with T. Avrahami, P. Barclay, S. Barjum, L. Berent, A. Braun, L. Calderon and S. Percy). • BP and the Whiting Refinery: Beyond Petroleum (A) and (B), case study 1-428-727, (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2008), (with G. Augustine and T. Lyon). • Equilibrium Capital Group: Investing in Energy Efficiency, case study 1-429-106, (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2011), (with J. Parker and T. Lyon). • Molten Metal Technology (A) and (B), case study 1-429-049 (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2012), (with J. Smith, S. Soukup and A. Hoffman). • Russell Athletic Tries to Keep the Shirt on its Back (A) and (B), case study 1-428-826, (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb and Tauber Institutes, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010), (with G. Augustine, C. Koenig and B. Talbot). • Integrating Environmental Goals and Firm Strategy: China Mobile and Climate Change, case study 1-428-876, (Ann Arbor, MI: Erb Institute, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 2010, (with C. Koenig, A. Sundaram, J. Park and R. Bunch).
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Institute Reports • • • • • • • •
Solar Crowdsourcing (Renewable Energy Scholar Report) Green Button Program (Renewable Energy Scholar Report) The Smart Grid (Renewable Energy Scholar Report) Energy Innovation Research from the Erb Institute Sustainable Enterprise Careers of Erb Institute Alumni Renewable Energy Research and Innovation at the Erb Institute Expect the unexpected: Building business value in a changing world, with KPMG Increasing Public Understanding of Climate Risks & Choices: Learning from Social Science Research and Practice (with the Union of Concerned Scientists)
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Student Cross-posted Blogs • • • • •
Oikos Prime IBM GreenBiz Network for Business Sustainability
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July 16-17, 2012 Michigan Green Communities Leadership Academy: Advancing Sustainability and Economic Development. Co-Sponsor: Michigan Green Communities
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April 19, 2012 Professor Stephen Forrest, Vice President for Research, U-M “The University as the Engine of a New Energy Economy” Co-sponsor: Graham Sustainability Institute, Exploring Planet Blue Mar 30, 2012 Moving Beyond Green Building: Symposium & Networking Event March 14, 2012 Professor Stephanie Preston, Department of Psychology, U-M “The Psychology and Biology of Consumption” Co-sponsor: Graham Sustainability Institute, Exploring Planet Blue Mar 6, 2012 Todd S. Aagaard “A Functional Approach to Risks and Uncertainties” Co-Sponsor: Environmental Law & Policy Program, Law School January 19-21, 2012 Increasing Public Understanding of Climate Risks and Choices: What We Can Learn from Social Science Research and Practice Co-Sponsor: Union of Concerned Scientists Jan 19-21, 2012 Workshop: Cures for Climate Confusion Co-Sponsor: Union of Concerned Scientists Feb 15, 2012 Roger Harrabin, BBC Environmental Analyst and Knight-Wallace Fellow at U-M Co-sponsor: Graham Sustainability Institute, Exploring Planet Blue April 11, 2011 Joseph Sax “An Environmental Agenda: The Task Before Us.” Co-Sponsor: Environmental Law & Policy Program, Law School
May 18-19, 2011 UM/SJTU Collaborative Workshop to Initiate Research on Barriers to the Deployment of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Technology Co-Sponsor: Shanghai Jiao Tong University May 20-21, 2011 Conference: Developing Global Sustainability U.S./China Partnerships June 3-4, 2011 Informing Green Markets: What Makes a Difference and Why? Co-Sponsor: The Sustainability Consortium October 10, 2011 Michigan Environmental Law and Policy Program Lecture Series: Rachel Jacobson Co-Sponsor: Environmental Law & Policy Program, Law School Oct 28, 2010 The18th Annual Net Impact Conference, 2020: Vision for a Sustainable Decade Co-Sponsor: Net Impact Nov 7, 2011 Gary Ballesteros, VP Rockwell Automation Co-Sponsor: Environmental Law & Policy Program, Law School Nov 17, 2011 Lisa Heinzerling “Climate Change at EPA” Co-Sponsor: Environmental Law & Policy Program, Law School February 15, 2012 Planet Blue, Roger Harrabin, BBC Environmental Analyst and Knight-Wallace Fellow at U-M “Twenty Years of Environmental Reporting with the BBC.” Co-Sponsor: Graham Institute
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Erb Speaker Series
Feb 7, 2012 - Robert Kuhn “Value Chain GHG Emissions Accounting”
March 21, 2011 - Mike Mitchell “Developing ‘Optimal Environments’ in China”
Feb 9, 2012 - Tom Catania “Energy efficiency, climate footprint and shareholder value creation: Integrating Public Policy and Corporate Strategy at Whirlpool.”
April 8, 2011 - Vienna Teng
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Mar 6, 2012- Wayne Balta IBM VP of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety April 9, 2012 - Roger Harrabin BBC Environmental Analyst “Changing Climate?” Apr 10, 2012 - Sheri Flies Assistant General Merchandising Manager of Costco Corporate Foods Jan 18, 2011 - Natalie Eckelkamp “In your hands: A personal approach to advancing widespread sustainability.”
April 13, 2011 - Dr. James Salo Trucost “Understanding & Managing Environmental Impacts.” September 19, 2011 - David Walker PepsiCo Oct 30, 2011 - Dan Ariely “The Irrationality of Sustainability” Nov 10, 2011- Detroit Dirt “Sustainable Urban Entrepreneurism in Detroit”
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Erb Colloquium January 9, 2012 Jason Jay, MIT, Sloan School of Management “Examining the Paradoxes of Service and Sustainability.” January 23, 2012 Riley Dunlap, Oklahoma State University, Sociology “Organized Climate Change Denial: Sources, Actors, Strategies and Impacts.”
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February 6, 2012 Laurie Nijaki, USC Planning and Policy Development “Evergreen Economies: Institutions, Industries, and Issues in the Green Economy.” February 13, 2012 Alwyn Lim, University of Michigan, Sociology “The Global Expansion of Corporate Social Responsibility.” February 20, 2012 Rashedur Chowdhury, University of Cambridge “Marginalized Stakeholders in a Firm-Specific Setting: Gaining Saliency and Use of Representative Power.” March 5, 2012 Chris Marquis, Harvard Business School, Organizational Behavior “Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting in China: Symbol or Substance?” March 19, 2012 Erin Krupka, University of Michigan, School of Information “A Meeting of the Minds: Contracts and Social Norms.” Jan 31, 2011 Tony Sipic, University of Oregon “Climate Change and Civil War” Feb 3, 2011 Laura Grant, University of California, Santa Barbara “The Response to Third-Party Ratings: Evidence of the Effects on Contributions.” Feb 7, 2011 Arnab Mitra, University of California, Merced “Congressional Politics and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Enforcement of the Clean Air Act.” Feb 14, 2011 Catalin Ratiu, John Molson School of Business “Proactive sustainability strategies and capability development:Insights from the public transportation industry” Feb 21, 2011 Marlene le Ber, Richard Ivey School of Business “Value Frame Fusion in Cross Sector Interactions.”
March 7, 2011 Shelie Miller, SNRE “Beyond Carbon: Assessing the Impacts of an Emerging Bioenergy Industry.” March 21, 2011 Cary Coglianese, University of Pennsylvania “Performance Track’s Postmortem: Lessons from EPA’s ‘Flagship’ Voluntary Program.” April 4, 2011 Matt Kotchen, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies “Environmental Offsets and Corporate Social Responsibility for Irresponsibility?” April 18, 2011 Aseem Prakash, University of Washington “Signaling Environmental Stewardship in Corrupt Societies: The Case of ISO 14001” September 19, 2011 Andy Hoffman, University of Michigan, Erb Institute “Talking past each other? Cultural framing of skeptical and convinced logics in the climate change debate.” September 26, 2011 John Sterman, MIT, Sloan School of Management “Communicating Climate Change Risks in a Skeptical World.” October 10, 2011 Magali Delmas, UCLA, Institute of the Environment “Saving Power to Conserve Your Reputation? The effectiveness of private verse public information.” October 24, 2011 Brian Min, University of Michigan, Political Science “Electricity for the Poor: Distributing Power in India.” November 7, 2011 Wes Sine, Cornell University, Johnson School “The Evolving Influence of Social Movement Organizations on the U.S. Wind Power Industry.” November 21, 2011 Sara Soderstrom and Krista Badiane, University of Michigan, Erb Institute “Climate Change Discourse and Corporate Responses: Evolution of Multiple Institutional Logics.” December 5, 2011 Kate Heinze, University of Michigan, Kinesiology “Field Work: The Construction of An Insurgent Logic In Alternative Agriculture.”
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Erb Advisory Board Members
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Mr. David Berdish Manager, Corporate Responsibility Ford Motor Company
Mr. Charles Griffith Clean Vehicles and Fuels Director The Ecology Center
Lauren Bigelow CEO Growth Capital Network
Ms. Erika Guerra Corporate Industrial Ecology Holcim Group Support Ltd.
Kathryn A. Buckner President Council of Great Lakes Industries
Mr. Gilbert S. Hedstrom Founder and Principal Hedstrom Associates
Ms. Meghan Chapple-Brown Director, Office of Sustainability George Washington University
Mr. Reynold Hendrickson Manager StarPak Group
Mr. David Clark Vice President Safety, Environment, and Sustainability Amcor Limited
Mr. Shawn Hunter Life Cycle Assessment and Product Sustainability Leader Dow Chemical Co.
Megan DeYoung Director, United States Corporate Citizenship
Mr. Jonathan Koch Managing Director US Renewables Group
Dr. John R. Ehrmann Senior Partner Meridian Institute
Mr. Christopher Kolb President & CEO Michigan Environmental Council
Mr. James A. Frey Principal, CEO Resource Recycling Systems
Mr. Mark LaCroix EVP, Global Business Development LEED AP The CarbonNeutral Company
Mr. Peter Fusaro Chairman Global Change Associates
Mr. Loch McCabe Shepherd Advisors
Ms. Lee Gorman Principal Barton Consulting Services, LLC
Mr. Eric Olson Vice President, Advisory Services Business for Social Responsibility
Ms. Catherine Greener VP Sustainability Consulting Greener Solutions Inc.
Mr. Steven W. Percy Retired Chairman & CEO BP North America
Mr. Richard Plewa Senior Vice President & Director of Corporate Sustainability Comerica Mr. Mark Ritz Ms. Gwen Ruta Director, Corporate Partnerships Environmental Defense Fund Mr. Haig G. Sakoian Health & EHS Systems Director Alcoa, Inc. Ms. Helen Taylor State Director, Michigan Chapter The Nature Conservancy Robert J. Tierney, PE, LEED AP Vice President Sales Clearwater Systems Corporation David J. Tulauskas Director of Sustainability General Motors Company Mr. Joe Vaillancourt COO & SVP, S4 Energy Solutions Waste Management Mr. Ryan Waddington Managing Director Huron Rivers Ventures Mr. Gabe Wing Design for the Environment Manager Herman Miller
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Erb Strategic Advisory Council Members
Dr. Neil C. Hawkins Vice President, Sustainability & EHS The Dow Chemical Company
Mr. Jeff Seabright Vice President, Environment & Water Resources The Coca Cola Company
Mr. Matt Arnold Managing Director, Head of Office of Environmental Affairs JPMorgan Chase
Mr. William L. Thomas Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
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Mr. Wayne Balta Vice President, Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety IBM Corporation Ms. Mindy Lubber President, Ceres Mr. George Pilko Founder and Chairman Pilko & Associates Mr. Glenn T. Prickett Chief External Affairs Officer The Nature Conservancy Ms. Ann Klee Vice President, Corporate Environmental Programs General Electric Company
Mr. John Denniston Partner Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Mr. John M. Erb President Erb Family Foundation Dr. Alan Hecht Director of Sustainable Development Office of Research and Development U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Mr. Mitch Jackson Vice President, Environmental Affairs & Sustainability FedEx Corporation
ERB INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE ENTERPRISE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE Created in 1996 through the generosity of Frederick A. Erb (BBA ’47) and his wife, Barbara, the Institute is a partnership between the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. The Erb Institute is committed to creating a socially and environmentally sustainable society through the power of business. Building on nearly two decades of research, teaching, and direct engagement, the Institute has become one of the world’s leading sources of innovative knowledge on the culture, technologies, operations and governance of business in a changing world. The Institute’s impact is realized most powerfully through our vibrant global network of students and alumni who are the transformative change agents in business, government and the non-profit worlds. The faculty, students and staff of the Institute wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the many donors, advisors and other program contributors who make our work possible.
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Published on Oct 3, 2013