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GREEN A P R I L 201 9

LIVING

Climate Champions Industry leaders investing in environment

PLUS

Eco-Conscious Colleges Sustainability Partners Healthy Homes


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GREEN LIVING

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Leaders in the food and beverage industry care about the health of consumers and the planet.

Companies are working to make a brighter future.

HISTORY THE YEARS 6 THROUGH Pivotal moments in corporate social responsibility

INDUSTRY LEADERS

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SERVING UP SUCCESS Food and beverage companies make sustainability a priority

IDEAS 14 GROWING Goodyear unveils

innovative tire design

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TRAVEL TRENDS Hospitality industry works to reduce plastic waste

CHAMPIONS 18 CLIMATE Corporations enact

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE WRITE WAY 22 THE Sustainability clauses keep industry suppliers on the same page

PLANET PARTNERS 26 GOOD Nonprofits work with companies to advance common goals

environmentally friendly policies

NAVIGATION TOOLS Click to watch video.

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The travel industry is taking steps to reduce plastic waste.

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Contents APRIL 2019

PREMIUM PUBLICATION

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com

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Green cities are good for residents and the economy.

EDITORS Amy Sinatra Ayres, Tracy Scott Forson, Sara Schwartz

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brian Barth, Nathan Bomey, Renee Frank, Ledyard King, Robin Roenker, Adam Stone, Nancy Trejos, Elizabeth Weise

IN THE NEWS LNDA A. CICERO/STANFORD NEWS SERVICE

ISSUE EDITOR Debbie Williams

INTERN Katherine Gardner

Colleges are offering an eco-friendly education.

28

MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com

DESIGNERS Hayleigh Corkey, Amira Martin, Debra Moore, Gina Toole Saunders, Lisa M. Zilka

42 GREEN NEW DEAL What’s in the legislation and will it pass Congress?

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com

EDUCATION

42

STUDYING SUSTAINABILITY Colleges and universities practice what they teach

ADVERTISING VP, ADVERTISING Patrick Burke | (703) 854-5914 pburke@usatoday.com ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Justine Madden | (703) 854-5444 jmadden@usatoday.com

CLOSE TO HOME

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FINANCE BILLING COORDINATOR Julie Marcow

HEALTHY HOUSE Living a sustainable life begins at home

This is a product of

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GREEN CITIES Eco-friendly locations appeal to residents, business owners

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

@usatodaymags

COVER ANIMATION BY JERALD COUNCIL, GETTY IMAGES

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM

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Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved herein, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or reproduced in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the written consent of USA TODAY. The editors and publisher are not responsible for any unsolicited materials. PUBLISHED IN THE USA

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HISTORY

1938

DuPont introduces its first statement of environmental responsibility.

1982

The Green Business Network is formed, creating a formal certification process for eco-minded companies.

Patagonia launches its first national environmental education campaign.

1994

Pivotal moments in corporate environmental stewardship

2018

Business writer John Elkington develops the concept of the “Triple Bottom Line,” that asserts that all corporate business models must account for the environmental and social effects of their ventures.

B Y K AT H E R I N E G A R D N E R AN D D E BBI E WI L L I A M S

FedEx, DHL and UPS invest in electric delivery vehicles. Using solar and wind power, Apple’s facilities run on 100 percent green energy.

2017

Unilever announces plans to make its plastic product packaging 100 percent compostable, reusable or recyclable by 2025.

2016

The Nissan Green program includes developing vehicles that are zeroemission and reducing its overall corporate carbon footprint.

2013

L’Oréal launches its Sharing Beauty with All sustainability campaign, which includes addressing the environmental impact of its products from design to distribution.

2002

DuPont is awarded a U.S. National Medal of Technology for leading the movement to phase-out and replace harmful chlorofluorocarbons.

2005

Walmart announces its sustainability program with the long-term goals of using 100 percent renewable energy, and pledges to invest $500 million annually in green technologies.

2010

Unilever launches its Sustainable Living Plan, which includes a goal to reduce the environmental effects of its products and company as a whole.

GETTY IMAGES

Through the New Plastics Economy initiative, 250 companies are working to recycle plastics and prevent it from littering the world’s oceans.

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1988

Lighting the Way

2019


turning global knowledge into local solutions

a more sustainable future starts today Natural resources are becoming scarcer as demand rises. We are designing and implementing innovative solutions to take on these challenges by developing access to resources, protecting these resources, optimizing their use and producing new ones. This is how SUEZ is helping to secure a resourceful future. Our smart utility network is recognized for customer enhancements around the world, especially in North America, where over 200,000 digital water meters have been brought online offering significant benefits for customers. In Canada we help the City of Edmonton divert up to 60 percent of its household waste from landfill through recycling and composting. In Southern California we are helping to preserve drinking water supplies by recycling wastewater for use in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications. As a single, global force driving the next generation of resource management, SUEZ sees revolutionary thinking as key to our future. Our worldwide research, operations and technical network deliver impactful local solutions—to municipalities and businesses of every size. And in North America, our customers see the importance of innovation every day.

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INDUSTRY LEADERS

Serving up Success Food and beverage companies commit to sustainability B Y ROB I N ROEN K E

M

Grocers and food and beverage manufacturers — industries that straddle issues that include food production and food waste, distribution logistics, consumer packaging and energy use — can make sweeping impacts when they commit to sustainable practices. It’s not surprising then, that companies in this sector are making plain their commitment to go green: Confection-

ery giant Mars has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2040; Nestlé plans to end deforestation in its supply chain by 2020 and use only recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025; and Hershey’s has announced efforts to further reduce water use by 25 percent by 2025. And that’s just the start. These additional three companies have also made sustainability a priority:

GETTY IMAGES

ore and more shoppers are taking note of the sustainability and corporate social responsibility of the companies behind the products they buy. A recent Nielsen report dubbed 2018 the “year of the influential sustainable consumer,” noting that the market for sustainable products in the U.S. is projected to grow to $150 billion by 2021.

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PepsiCo’s Performance with a Purpose 2025 initiative includes ambitious goals for water-use efficiency; implementing packaging that’s fully compostable, biodegradable or recyclable; and sourcing sustainable cane sugar and palm oil by 2025. The company has also pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent by 2030. “The global food system is at an inflection point. The vast network of farmers, traders, processors, suppliers, manufacturers and retailers that feed our world must embrace change,” says Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo’s vice chairman and chief scientific officer of global research and development, in the company’s latest sustainability report.

In 2014, Publix began installing smart irrigation systems for produce inside its stores, saving more than 22 million gallons of water. And its reusable grocery bags have saved an estimated 6.2 billion plastic and paper bags since 2007. Proceeds from the sale of Publix reusable bags help support the company’s tree planting program to offset carbon emissions. To date, it has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant more than 225,000 trees. “We are proud to be involved as responsible citizens in the communities that we serve,”says Brian West, media and community relations manager for Publix Supermarkets, Inc.

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GETTY IMAGES; PEPSICO; PUBLIX

PUBLIX


INDUSTRY LEADERS

Waste not According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, national food waste accounts for approximately 30 percent to 40 percent of the overall food supply. At the retail and consumer levels, 31 percent of food was wasted in 2010, equaling approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food. At Whole Foods Market, sustainability is part of daily business. The stores use reusable or certified recycled-content paper bags, have an extensive recycling program, compost to decrease landfill waste and employ food waste prevention strategies that promote efficient ordering and food bank partnerships. Many stores are implementing solar power, green building design and innovative packaging to reduce plastic waste, and the chain was a founding partner in the EPA’s GreenChill initiative to reduce refrigerant emissions. “Since Whole Foods Market first opened our doors nearly 40 years ago, caring for our communities and the environment has been a key part of our core purpose and values, and we constantly look for new opportunities to create a healthier planet by reducing our footprint in all aspects of our business,” says Kathy Loftus, Whole Foods’ global sustainability leader.

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WHOLE FOODS MARKET; GETTY IMAGES

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INDUSTRY LEADERS

OXYGENE’S FEATURES: • Living moss in the tire’s sidewall allows the tire to absorb moisture through its tread, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air.

Goodyear reveals Oxygene tire concept B Y N ATHAN BOM EY

L

ots of companies talk about creating “green” products, but Goodyear apparently took the challenge literally. Last year, the company introduced the concept version of a tire that would integrate living moss to improve air quality. The concept tire, called Oxygene, debuted at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, where auto companies showed off some

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of their most futuristic technologies. While it’s far from clear if the Oxygene will ever become a reality, Goodyear asserts that the tire demonstrates potential and environmental leadership. At a time when the world is grappling with how to recycle or discard millions of used tires, the Oxygene concept could potentially start a new chapter. “Like the concept designs Goodyear

has presented at Geneva in the past, Oxygene is meant to challenge our thinking and help drive the debate around smart, safe and sustainable future mobility,” says Chris Delaney, president of Goodyear’s Europe, Middle East and Africa markets, in a statement. “By contributing in this way to cleaner air generation, the tire could help enhance quality of life and health for city-dwellers.”

• A 3D-printed structure made with rubber powder from recycled tires. • Technology called visible light communications system, or LiFi, that would allow the tire to wirelessly interact with other cars and vehicle infrastructure, theoretically paving the way for autonomous cars.

GETTY IMAGES; GOODYEAR

Living Design

• The ability to harness energy — created during photosynthesis — to power sensors, artificial intelligence and a light strip that uses different colors to alert drivers and pedestrians to the vehicle’s maneuvers.


Converting waste materials from tires and plastics back into their constituent parts (high-grade oil, carbon black and steel). Cleaning up the environment by reintroducing these materials into the supply chain and decreasing the volume of new material that needs to be produced.

Finding, developing and implementing practical, economical solutions to address environmental issues associated with the production of waste, energy, water and food. Creating jobs and stimulating economic growth in the local communities where we operate. For more information, call us at (209) 881-3523 or (209) 605-1180 email us at info@greenenvirotech.com or visit www.greenenvirotech.com


INDUSTRY LEADERS

Smart Travel Trends Hospitality industry takes aim at reducing plastic waste

T

he hospitality industry is no longer being hospitable to plastic waste. Momentum is growing to minimize the use of single-use plastic among hotels, airlines, airports and cruise lines. That means plastic straws, cups, bottles, laundry bags and even packaging for hotel guest room slippers are starting to disappear. Plastic waste has wreaked havoc on tourist destinations around the world.

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In 2017, authorities in Bali, Indonesia, declared a “garbage emergency” because of the amount of plastic washing up on a nearly 4-mile stretch of beach on the island’s west coast. “The visibility of plastic waste in our community is becoming much more prevalent, especially in the travel industry,” says Denise Naguib, vice president of sustainability and supplier diversity for Marriott International. “It’s much more visible,

not to the microscopic portion of the public paying attention to these things, but to everyday travelers.” The industry has gotten a boost from initiatives in Europe to reduce plastic waste. In 2018, the European Commission proposed a ban on single-use plastic items such as straws, plates and cutlery in an effort to clean up its beaches, and France has imposed a ban on disposable plastic cups and plates. The law requires that those

GETTY IMAGES; USA TODAY

B Y N AN CY TREJ OS


items be made from 50 percent biodegradable materials by January 2020 and increase to 60 percent by January 2025. Last April, the United Kingdom proposed a law to ban plastic straws, cotton swabs and drink stirrers, citing studies showing that more than 100,000 sea mammals die from ingesting plastic waste each year. The movement has been buoyed by influential documentaries, including the 2016 film, A Plastic Ocean, by BBC naturalist David Attenborough. Its popularity prompted Hilton to offer it as a complimentary viewing option on its guest room TVs in China. Some recent industry efforts to reduce plastic: u In 2018, Hilton pledged to eliminate plastic straws across its 650 globally managed hotels, keeping an estimated 35 million straws out of oceans and landfills. It will also no longer supply plastic bottles at its conferences and events at hotels in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific — which means 20 million fewer bottles will end up as trash. u Marriott is replacing individual amenity bath bottles at five select-service brands in North America with recyclable, wallmounted dispensers. The company expects about 1,500 hotels in North America to participate in the initiative this year, resulting in an estimated elimination of about 34.5 million bottles and 375,000 pounds of plastic in an average year. u Delaware North, one of the largest privately held hospitality and food service companies in the world, has started scaling back its use of straws at the company’s 200-plus dining locations at 23 airports and travel hubs across the U.S. Its “The Last Straw” campaign aims to curb excess plastic waste by offering drinking

500 MILLION plastic straws are used daily in the U.S. – BE STRAW FREE CAMPAIGN

straws on a request-only basis. In 2017, the company served an estimated 8.1 million plastic drinking straws at airport dining locations. u Alaska Airlines is replacing plastic stirring sticks on its flights and in frequent-flier lounges with compostable ones made of white birch. Citrus picks were switched from plastic to bamboo starting last July. The company reported that in 2017, employees handed

ALASKA AIRLINES; MARRIOTT

Compostable stirring sticks

Marriott’s recyclable bath bottles

out 22 million plastic stir straws and citrus picks. u Carnival Cruise Line announced last April that it no longer will automatically serve plastic straws for sodas or cocktails, except for frozen drinks. Guests will have to request straws. 17


INDUSTRY LEADERS

Climate Conscious How corporations are taking the lead to enact environmental-friendly policies

BY ADAM S TON E

nations met the Paris guidelines, the CLC says the world would still be warming too quickly. “The goal of U.S. climate policy should therefore be to exceed Paris,” the report concludes. With government efforts around climate change presently uncertain, however,

THE GAP INC. Longtime clothing mainstay Gap Inc. has declared three main areas of focus to reduce climate impacts: improving energy efficiency, expanding its investments in renewables and setting ambitious, science-based goals around environmental change. The company has committed to reducing greenhouse

18 GREEN LIVING

much of the burden falls to the private sector — and many major corporations are stepping up. With ambitious goals and practical programs, some of the biggest companies in America are looking to dial down the global thermometer and keep climate change in check.

gas emissions by 50 percent across its facilities by the end of 2020. “Addressing climate change benefits our business, making us more resilient and efficient, while enhancing our connection with consumers, employees and other stakeholders,” says Melissa Fifield, the company’s senior director of global sustainable innovation.

GETTY IMAGES; THE GAP INC.

I

n its latest report, The Climate Leadership Council (CLC), a consortium of international environmental specialists, asserted that even the ambitious recommendations of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference don’t go far enough to slow the effects of global warming. Even if all


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INDUSTRY LEADERS

As part of its overall sustainability drive, HP pledged in 2016 to use 100 percent renewable electricity in its global operations, with an interim goal of 40 percent by 2020. The company aims to reduce

JOHNSON & JOHNSON As a health care company, Johnson & Johnson has declared climate change a threat to human health and has built its sustainability efforts around that premise. In addition to partnering with suppliers to reduce emissions, the company has

20 GREEN LIVING

energy consumption through optimization and efficiency projects, to increase on-site generation of renewable power and to procure off-site renewable power. To date, 14 HP sites worldwide have been LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

teamed with organizations like C40 Cities to fund programs that link climate action to specific benefits around air quality and human health. The company aims to reduce carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 compared to a 2010 baseline.

HP INC.; JOHNSON & JOHNSON

HP INC.


ECOLAB A global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, Ecolab has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020. The company leverages technology in support of

ECOLAB; 3M

3M As part of a long-term commitment to addressing climate change, 3M announced recently that all new products would include a sustainability value, meaning that some aspect of sustainability will be baked into every one of the

sustainable development, for example, through the planned construction of a state-of-the-art 418-megawatt wind farm in Fisher County, Texas. The output is expected to cover 100 percent of the company’s annual domestic energy use.

roughly 1,000 new products the company launches each year. This means some products will be recyclable or energyefficient, while others will have a direct positive impact on the environment, like the smog-reducing roofing granules 3M released last year.

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Taking Responsibility Corporate suppliers represent a key link in the chain of success BY A DAM STON E

Companies look to their vendors to uphold shared values around the environment, labor, health and other key social issues. Increasingly, they are seeking to incorporate those values through sustainability clauses — contractual obligations and voluntary agreements that ensure suppliers will work according to the principles of corporate social responsibility,

or CSR. In a recent study, sustainability ratings experts at EcoVadis found that 41 percent of suppliers say contractual CSR commitments have raised their awareness of environmental, social and ethical issues. “As regulatory pressure and demands for transparency continue increasing and businesses are being held accountable for

the practices of their suppliers, this study shows the pressing need to rethink how we use contract clauses to support CSR and sustainability practices,” says EcoVadis co-CEO PierreFrancois Thaler, in announcing the findings. Here’s how some of the biggest names in business leverage their buying power to drive CSR across the supply chain:

Through its recently launched Project Gigaton, Walmart leverages collaborative agreements with suppliers in a push to avoid 1 gigaton of emissions in the company’s value chain by 2030. That’s equal to a year’s worth of emissions from more than 211 million passenger vehicles. Suppliers can comply by reducing emissions in any of six key areas: energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation and product use and design. “Integrating sustainable practices into our operations has enabled Walmart to lower costs, spur innovation, inspire cus22 GREEN LIVING

tomer loyalty and help reduce impact on the environment,” says Laura Phillips, senior vice president for global sustainability. “Through Project Gigaton, we are sharing these experiences and asking our suppliers to look at whether they may realize similar benefits in their businesses.” >

GETTY IMAGES; WALMART

WALMART


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Overall Morningstar Rating and Morningstar Sustainability Ratings represented are for funds' investor share class. Overall Morningstar Rating as of 2/28/19 is out of 1,215 in Large Blend Category and 383 in Mid-Cap Blend Category. Based on risk-adjusted return. Morningstar Sustainability Ratings as of 1/31/19 are out of 679 US Equity Large Cap Growth Funds and 716 US Equity Mid-Cap Funds. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Mutual fund investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. The Morningstar Rating for funds, or "star rating," is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product's monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of products in each product category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a managed product is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. The weights are: 100% three-year rating for 36-59 months of total returns, 60% five-year rating/40% three-year rating for 60-119 months of total returns, and 50% 10-year rating/30% five-year rating/20% three-year rating for 120 or more months of total returns. While the 10-year overall star rating formula seems to give the most weight to the 10-year period, the most recent three-year period actually has the greatest impact because it is included in all three rating periods. As of 2/28/19, the Parnassus Endeavor Fund – Investor Shares was rated against the following numbers of Large Blend Funds over the following time periods: 1,215 funds in the last three years, 1,076 funds in the last five years, and 809 funds in the last ten years. With respect to these Large Blend funds, the Parnassus Endeavor Fund – Investor Shares received a Morningstar rating of 3, 5 and 5 stars for the 3-, 5- and 10-year periods, respectively. The Parnassus Mid Cap Fund – Investor Shares was rated against the following numbers of U.S.-domiciled Mid-Cap Blend funds over the following time periods: 383 in the last 3 years, 338 in the last 5 years and 239 in the last 10 years. With respect to these Mid-Cap Blend funds, the Parnassus Mid Cap Fund – Investor Shares received a Morningstar Rating of 4, 5 and 4 stars for the 3-, 5- and 10-year periods, respectively. Other classes may have different performance characteristics. The Morningstar® Sustainability Rating is intended to measure how well the companies within a fund’s portfolio are managing their environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) risks and opportunities relative to the fund’s Morningstar category peers. The Morningstar Sustainability Rating is assigned to all scored funds within Morningstar Categories in which at least ten (10) funds receive a Portfolio Sustainability Score and is determined by each fund's rank within the following distribution: • High (highest 10%) • Above Average (next 22.5%) • Average (next 35%) • Below Average (next 22.5%) and • Low (lowest 10%). The Morningstar Sustainability Rating is depicted by globe icons where High equals 5 globes and Low equals 1 globe. As of 1/31/19, the Parnassus Endeavor Fund – Investor Shares received a Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 5 globes out of 679 US Equity Large Cap Growth funds. The Parnassus Mid Cap Fund – Investor Shares received a Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 5 globes out of 716 US Equity Mid Cap funds. Based on 92% of AUM. Sustainalytics provides company-level analysis used in the calculation of Morningstar’s Sustainability Score. For details, visit http://morningstar.com/company/sustainability. 774970-0419. The Parnassus Funds are underwritten and distributed by Parnassus Funds Distributor a FINRA member.

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE

LOCKHEED MARTIN Electronic waste, or e-waste, poses a burgeoning environmental hazard. Cellphones, tablets and gaming systems may contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and chromium, which when handled improperly contaminate the planet. As part of its overall sustainability effort, Lockheed Martin has implemented a certification program for suppliers, requiring that those who recycle e-waste must process the materials safely. To be paid, suppliers must accept and comply with a rigorous code of conduct.

FLEX

Drafting an Effective CSR Clause 24 GREEN LIVING

Jeffrey Gracer, principal at the environmental law firm Sive, Paget & Riesel, offers this advice for companies looking to implement a sustainability clause:

1

Define the need. Sustainable commitments must go beyond mere compliance and be framed strategically to fit the particular needs of the business, whether it’s to increase energy efficiency, reduce waste or meet consumer expectations.

LOCKHEED MARTIN; FLEX; GETTY IMAGES

As a global engineering and manufacturing firm, Flex operates in a wide range of industries including energy, health, lighting and power. The company emphasizes sustainability as a key element of global citizenship, and it leverages a code of conduct to ensure suppliers meet environmental standards. Every purchase order has a set of social and environmental requirements that cover such diverse issues as sustainability, child labor, conflict minerals, ethical conduct and work health and safety.


GENERAL MILLS Food giant General Mills implements a supplier responsibility program in which vendors may be required to undergo a thirdparty audit to ensure they comply with the company’s requirements around health and safety, business integrity, human rights and environmental awareness. The company uses specific contractual language to ensure social and environmental performance.

CISCO

GENERAL MILLS; CISCO

With more than 600 suppliers worldwide, Cisco imposes a stringent code of conduct that includes labor practices, pollution prevention and business integrity. Defining a sustainable product as one that minimizes its effects on the environment at each phase of its life cycle, Cisco urges suppliers to work toward eco-friendly design concepts wherever possible. Partners say Cisco’s sustainability scorecard helps them to meet their own green goals.

2

Industry standards. Many industries have developed ethical codes of conduct. These can be helpful to small businesses looking to craft CSR clauses.

3

Systems check. To implement a CSR clause, you’ll need management systems to define, measure and document compliance.

4

Think big. Business integrity and protection of the human rights of workers should not be seen as separate from sustainability. Respect for workers’ rights sets the stage for strong environmental performance and profitability. 25


TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Good Planet Partners

Nonprofits work with major companies to advance eco-friendly goals B Y B RIAN BARTH

The notion that sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand is increasingly mainstream. But corporations that tread the sustainable path 26 GREEN LIVING

alone may fall short of their environmental goals. Numerous nongovernmental organizations actively partner with the world’s largest companies to provide ex-

pertise and ensure that investments in sustainable practices produce the greatest possible returns for the planet. Here are three examples: >


ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND “Corporate sustainability teams often look to nonprofits like ours for expertise they do not have in-house,” says Tom Murray, vice president of the organization’s environmental defense fund + business division. One of those companies is Walmart, which Murray points out has worked with EDF on an initiative to remove toxic chemicals from its shelves — 23.8 million pounds of harmful chemicals, to be exact, found in more than 90,000 products. As the world’s largest retailer, this produced a ripple effect in the industry, he says, noting that Target, CVS, Home Depot, Rite-Aid, Walgreens and Amazon.com have since followed suit with similar initiatives.

GETTY IMAGES; ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND; ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP; WORLD WILDLIFE FUND

ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP This group has become known for its EWG verified label, which now appears on more than 1,300 personal care and cosmetics products from 120 brands, assuring consumers that they will not be applying something containing harmful chemicals to their skin. “EWG recognized early on that we could only advance our goals if we were able to provide realistic solutions to consumers for avoiding everyday pollution exposures,” says Jocelyn Lyle, EWG’s vice president of development. “Since the launch of our program in 2016, we have seen remarkable growth in the clean beauty movement.”

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND For the last two years, WWF has worked closely with Walmart’s climate change initiative, Project Gigaton. With the largest supply chain in the world, Walmart is leveraging its immense buying power to encourage greenhouse gas reduction commitments by the companies they source from, with a goal of removing one gigaton of carbon from the atmosphere by 2030. WWF’s role is to help design tools for this vast supplier network to make that happen. “We work with companies to leverage their unique assets — whether their market position, global reach or influential voice — to advance our conservation mission and tackle some of our planet’s biggest challenges,” says Sheila Bonini, WWF’s senior vice president of private sector engagement. 27


IN THE NEWS

Green New Deal

What is it and what does it mean for climate change?

T

he Earth is facing a climate change deadline, with a looming tipping point into a dramatically changed, less hospitable planet — and lawmakers are beginning what’s likely to be a long discussion about how best to deal with it. These first attempts have coalesced under the umbrella phrase a Green New Deal championed by Rep. Alexandria OcasioCortez, D-N.Y., who first

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outlined her environmental plan in December; and Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who led House efforts on climate change a decade ago. They introduced a resolution in February calling for a dramatic increase in the generation of renewable fuels, such as wind, solar and hydropower sources and a shift within 10 years to energy systems that are net-zero when it comes to green-

house gases — a primary contributor to climate change. The resolution does not call for a full phase-out of fossil fuels, a plank that some environmental advocates had hoped to see. Instead, it pushes for a transition that is rapid but “fair and just to all communities and workers.” Here’s an explanation of the Green New Deal and how likely it is to pass in Congress:

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BY LEDYARD K I N G AN D EL I Z AB ETH W E I S E


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IN THE NEWS

HOW DID THE GREEN NEW DEAL GET ITS NAME?

WHAT’S IN THE GREEN NEW DEAL? The crux of the bill is a broad mandate of meeting “100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources.” Getting there depends on an ambitious agenda: drastically reduce carbon emissions over the next decade 30 GREEN LIVING

HOW ARE THE NEGOTIATIONS FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL GOING?

by spending on green infrastructure that protects the planet while ensuring justice and equity for all communities. It calls for the federal government to promote and spend on sustainable farming practices, more training for clean energy sector jobs, cleaner transportation systems such as high-speed rail and spending on technology that will reduce humans’ carbon footprint.

CAN WE REALLY MOVE TO 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE ENERGY IN A DECADE? That’s practically impossible, experts say, especially if nuclear power — which isn’t mentioned in the plan and which Green New Deal supporters oppose — isn’t in the mix. For comparison’s sake, renewable sources (mainly hydropower, wind and solar) made up 18

They’ve begun, but no actual consensus has been reached and isn’t expected for some time. The first concrete steps will probably come as a series of smaller pieces of bipartisan legislation that will be introduced over the coming year. If the Democrats win the White House in 2020, much further-reaching legislation will likely be attempted. “There won’t be just one piece of legislation, but multiple ones at different times; which is not unlike the New Deal that President Roosevelt pushed,” says Aliya Haq, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s federal policy group, climate and clean energy programs.

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The phrase itself goes back to 2007, when columnist Thomas Friedman wrote a piece in The New York Times calling for a Green New Deal along the lines of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Depression. Friedman envisioned the government backing basic research, setting standards, providing loans and using taxes and incentives to remake the U.S. economy. The phrase later was taken up by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who used it as part of her presidential platforms when she ran in 2012 and 2016.

percent of the U.S. energy supply in 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That share is projected to rise to 31 percent by 2050 if current trends hold up.


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AFFORDABILITY

Sustainable living begins in the home

An affordable home isn’t just one with a reasonable purchase price or monthly payments; the cost of living in and operating the home are also considerations. These include the cost of energy (electricity, natural gas, etc.), water, maintenance, commuting and paying for health issues that may be created or exacerbated by poor indoor air quality.

BY REN EE FRAN K

DURABILITY

A Healthy House

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A sustainable home is one that is built to last, using quality building materials and the latest construction technology. Using upto-date methods and materials can add decades to the life of a home.

iving sustainability means meeting presentday needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. Many people are concerned about preserving clean air, water and natural open spaces for future generations to experience and enjoy. A sustainable home “performs” in a superior manner to maximize the benefits of living there, while also conserving resources for the future. Here are some things to consider if you want to live a truly sustainable lifestyle: GETTY IMAGES

LOCATION

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Close proximity to conveniences such as stores, schools, businesses and health care facilities is key to a sustainable home. Ideally it should not be in an area repeatedly threatened by natural or man-made disasters.


DESIGN

Home is where people develop a lifestyle that fulfills their needs and dreams. It makes sense that our homes should make us happy, allow us to breathe easy and make us feel healthier and more productive. Trends are showing an increasing preference for smaller, betterdesigned homes — this means efficient architecture and interior design features are becoming increasingly important for better living. Factors such as energy efficiency and water conservation all start with good design.

ENERGY

A sustainable home takes advantage of today’s design standards and construction technology to use much less energy than conventional homes. It is cost-effective to add renewable energy (usually solar power) to a home with a goal of generating 100 percent of the electricity the structure needs — turning it into a net-zero energy home. That means producing at least as much energy over the course of a year as is consumed for heating, cooling, lighting, etc. This might seem like a far-off concept, but it is attainable. For most people, energy costs are the second-largest monthly expense after the mortgage, so a home with zero energy costs means huge savings, both in dollars and in carbon emissions.

WATER

Just about every community on the planet is facing the need to conserve and manage their water supplies, and there are practical steps we all can take to reduce our water consumption without noticeable changes in lifestyle. A sustainable home is one that conserves water inside and effectively manages the storm runoff outside.

HEALTH

A sustainable home provides a healthy indoor environment for its residents. Many people are not aware that poor indoor air can cause headaches, dizziness, allergies, respiratory problems and other health issues. Materials frequently used in homes can release harmful gases into the air. Poorly constructed or unmaintained homes often have moisture problems, which can lead to mold and compromised air quality. Trained construction and mechanical professionals can avoid or alleviate these problems.

LEGACY

We humans are wired to want the best for our kids and grandkids. For many people, the desire to preserve the environment and quality of life for future generations is a powerful motivator. It can be fulfilling to know that your home is helping you to live well while also preserving natural resources for the future.

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CLOSE TO HOME

Integrating sustainable energy GETTY IMAGES

For the sixth straight year, solar was one of the top two sources of new electricity generating capacity in the U.S., according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, with nearly 315,000 households adding solar in 2018.

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Sustainable Cities

Eco-friendly locations appeal to green-minded business owners

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ike-sharing programs and ample green spaces are just two of the factors that 2018’s top five green cities have in common, according to Wallethub.com. San Diego tops the list, along with three other California towns: San Francisco, Irvine and San Jose. Although known for having some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., ranked No. 2 and 3 on the top green cities list, respectively. Accessibility of jobs near public transit was a factor in the study, which considered four key criteria: transportation, environment, energy

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TOP 5 GREEN CITIES 1. San Diego 2. San Francisco 3. Washington, D.C. 4. Irvine, Calif. 5. San Jose, Calif. source and lifestyle and policy. “San Francisco has one of the lowest percentages of commuters who drive to work,” says Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez. On the other side of the country, the District of Columbia has 117 miles of subway track and 1,500 buses to encourage residents to reduce their carbon footprint. The top cities “all have high shares of electricity from renewable sources,

as much as 69 percent in Washington, D.C.,” Gonzalez says. “Other common factors include the large number of solar photovoltaic installations per capita, smart energy policies and initiatives and farmers markets.” For businesses, opening locations in these sustainable cities “helps owners reduce their impact on the environment, preserve natural resources and could also save them money,” Gonzalez says. “The cities at the top are working with businesses on LEEDcertified projects. This could prove useful to companies who are striving to become more eco-friendly.”

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Green Appeal Eco-friendly cities offer benefits to sustainable businesses Environmentally conscience business owners can join the city’s Green Business Network to identify energysaving opportunities and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs.

SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco’s Green Business program offers companies a free or low-cost process to become

38 GREEN LIVING

“Green” certified, and provides guidance on how to implement sustainable practices that lead to cost savings.

WASHINGTON, D.C. The district’s Department of Energy and Environment encourages residents to nominate individuals, businesses,

organizations and schools for its annual District Sustainability Awards, which recognize environmental stewardship, pollution prevention and resource conservation.

IRVINE, CALIF.

The city of Irvine requires businesses to recycle and has adopted many of California’s sustainability regulations,

including its green building code standards.

SAN JOSE, CALIF. As a follow-up to its 15-year Green Vision initiative, San Jose, the self-named Capital of Silicon Valley, has implemented Climate Smart San Jose, a plan that includes creating 25,000 clean tech jobs and providing recycling assistance to businesses.

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SAN DIEGO


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EDUCATION

Eco-Friendly Education Green colleges lead the way

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CSU is a leader when it comes to going green, with 26 LEED buildings and nearly 93 percent waste diversion in campus dining centers. Of its 2,633 courses, 962 are sustainability-related. “Like most institutions, universities contribute to climate change and are negatively impacted by it,” says Tonie Miyamoto, co-chair for the

President’s Sustainability Commission at the Fort Collins, Colo., campus. “In smaller towns, universities are sometimes the largest utility customer and employer and even in large cities, universities impact traffic patterns, cost of living and often occupy valuable land. By addressing climate change, universities are making themselves more resilient and using their access

GETTY IMAGES; COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY; LINDA A. CICERO/STANFORD NEWS SERVICE

any colleges and universities are integrating the push for sustainability into daily life by creating energy-efficient dorms, reducing food waste and energy consumption and offering more courses and degrees related to the environment. Here are a few:

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

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to research, education, exploration and service to contribute to global solutions.” CSU has been recognized by several organizations for its efforts and was the first to earn a platinum ranking from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, (STARS). In 2018, it received its Bee Campus USA cer-

tification by planting pollinator gardens on campus, funding three student-managed hives and creating pollinator education courses for students and the surrounding community. Miyamoto added that two years ago, CSU committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 — and Fort Collins, other surround-

ing cities and the local utility provider followed suit. “We have a real sense of collaboration and partnership on our campus with the city, local businesses and other institutions to move the needle,” she says. “The passion of our students is also really inspiring.” Miyamoto points out that in campus surveys, 93 percent of students and 92 percent of faculty and staff say sustainability is important to them. CSU is just one of sev-

eral colleges and universities that are gaining attention for their ecofriendly initiatives.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY This California university earned a platinum

Colorado State University

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EDUCATION

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AMERICAN UNIVERSITY Located in Washington, D.C., American has a committed approach to sustainability, with the aim of having a smaller carbon footprint. All of its campus electricity comes from renewable sources, including seven on-site solar installations. It has six LEEDcertified buildings (with four more planned), a goal to divert 100 percent of the school’s waste and a full fleet of shuttle buses that run on biodiesel. While 84 percent of its students commute sustainably, the university launched a program in 2018 to plant 650 trees throughout the nation’s capital to offset carbon emissions caused by students, faculty and staff who commute to campus.

COLBY COLLEGE In 2013, this liberal arts college in Waterville, Maine, became one of the first in the U.S. to achieve carbon neutrality by using renewable energy sources and purchasing carbon offsets. Today, it has 16 LEED certified spaces that make up 24 percent of its building areas. In 2017, the school completed a 5,300-panel solar installation that is expected to meet about 15 percent of the

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY; COLBY COLLEGE

ranking from STARS in 2017 and aims to incorporate sustainability across many aspects of campus life. It has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 68 percent since 2011, while domestic water use is down 45 percent since 2001, and landfill waste has dropped 29 percent since 2000. A drive to improve the environment extends to academics and student life, too. The school offers nearly 500 courses on sustainability across different disciplines, and a group of students worked to fund the purchase of offsets — capturing methane from landfills and converting it into natural gas — to compensate for the environmental damage that results from Stanford’s sports team air travel.


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EDUCATION

campus’ energy needs. Colby has also been on the cutting edge of green studies, introducing its nationally recognized academic environmental programs in the 1970s.

With fewer than 150 students, this Craftsbury Common, Vt., school offers an educational experience focused on environmental stewardship. Sterling’s student-run farm produces 20 percent of the food served on campus, and its students are immersed in the local community, visiting farms, joining in outdoor challenges and investigating what it means to live sustainably. All students are required to have a job on the campus, which is equipped to get more than 80 percent of its electricity from solar power. 46 GREEN LIVING

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY This Chicago-area institution received several recognitions for its sustainability efforts in 2018. It has been working to expand its landfill diversion rate from 38 percent to 50 percent by 2020, and

purchases nearly half its energy from renewable sources, including wind, and supplements with its own solar array. Northwestern also was recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA program for fostering a healthy urban forest.

STERLING COLLEGE; NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

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