August 21, 2014

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    Capturing hearts and minds with green teams

    Dr. Jeana Wirtenberg, nationally recognized expert in organizational change, shares the second of four exclusive excerpts adapted from her new book Building a Culture for Sustainability. Ingersoll Rand is committed to making sustainability a widely held value that becomes a central part of how its employees live and work every day; it is going beyond compliance, or simply “following the rules.” Gretchen Digby, director, global education and engagement, CEES, explained that Ingersoll Rand wants to help its employees find ways to integrate sustainability and “apply it to everything we do.” She called this behavior-based sustainability. It is similar to “behavior-based safety,”…

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    Robin Williams and the need for kindness

    This morning I learned about Robin William’s suspected suicide. I am stunned and heart broken. I had become so used to having him around. I remembered how much his movies enriched my childhood (Hook, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumangi and the Birdcage), teenage (Good Will Hunting and Patch Adams) and young adult years (Awakenings). As I read the condolences from his friends and peers in the entertainment industry, I noticed how many of them emphasized William’s acts of kindness. Most of appreciate when people are kind to us, but few of us are consistently kind to others. The fact that this man, with all his…

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    Are humans inducing epidemic outbreaks?

    When the Ebola virus first hits you, it starts with a headache. But with horrifying haste, it sets in like a stroke. Blood vessels break and intestines split open, turning internal organs into a toxic soup. Death comes in convulsions as the body crashes and bleeds out. To paraphrase from The Hot Zone, the 1994 bestseller by Richard Preston, is arguably tasteless at a time like this. But despite his Stephen King-like dramatization of Ebola’s gruesome effects, Preston was prescient in his parting sentence: “It will be back.” The Ebola virus has indeed come back with a vengeance. The infectious agent…

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    Cooling the urban heat island in Dallas

    The cities where we live are heating up, but the places where we live need to be cool. What does the urban heat island look like here in Dallas? Over 100 people recently gathered at the Grey To Green conference, hosted by the Texas Trees Foundation, to hear from Dr. Brian Stone, Jr., the author of The City and the Coming Climate (see my book review here). Dr. Robert Haley, David Hitchcock and Matt Grubisich also addressed the consequences of a warming climate and the critical role of trees and green infrastructure in urban heat management. David Hitchcock is Senior…

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    From ‘blue’ to green: Utah State wins over critics

    Days before the February 2011 Utah State University student referendum, the “green police” were out in force issuing “citations” to students who drove to school or placed recyclable items in the trash. The citations actually were political leaflets from representatives of the USU College Republicans dressed in satirical law enforcement garb, protesting the “Blue Goes Green” ballot measure that would impose a 25 cent-per-credit-hour fee (averaging about $3 per student per semester) to fund a proposed Student Sustainability Office and administer a grant program for student initiatives to conserve resources on campus. Although the fee was placed on the ballot…

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    Building bridges to a sustainable future

    Dr. Jeana Wirtenberg, nationally-recognized expert in organizational change, shares the first of four exclusive excerpts adapted from her new book Building a Culture for Sustainability. Whether they realize it or not, companies today must choose between two fundamentally different paths: the path of yesterday and unsustainability, and the path of a prosperous and sustainable future for themselves, society, and the planet. We are all immersed in the same profound transformation, from a singular focus on profitability to an integrated triple bottom line: a holistic approach that simultaneously unleashes the talent, creativity, and innovation of people, takes care of our planet,…

Book Reviews

How 9 companies are creating a culture of sustainability
Posted by Claire Sommer on Monday, July 28, 2014

How 9 companies are creating a culture of sustainability Jeana Wirtenberg knows sustainability is about people. Living, caring human beings – who get things done. It’s not “green.” Or “eco.” Not goals or dashboards. Not on their own, at any rate. It’s people who make these things actually happen. Sustainability is people at every level ...
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The Big Pivot: A realist's guide to a climate-challenged present
Posted by Claire Sommer on Monday, July 28, 2014

The Big Pivot: A realist's guide to a climate-challenged presentIf you’ve ever thought of dropping a book on your boss’s desk, in the hopes of sparking a Ray Anderson-type conversion, here’s a tip. Don’t use the new IPCC report: It’s gloomy, terrifying and a muddle. Try this instead: Andrew Winston’s business transformation book for the “new ...
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Sweat and the city: The urban heat island effect
Posted by Ann Drumm on Monday, July 28, 2014

Sweat and the city: The urban heat island effectCities are heating up at double the rate of global climate change, with major implications for human health. Managing urban heat is just as important a response as reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the benefits will be felt much sooner.  Cities should prioritize strategies ...
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Clearing human hurdles to a sustainable economy
Posted by Anna Clark on Monday, July 28, 2014

Clearing human hurdles to a sustainable economyIt’s 2050. The roads are much less crowded, and engine growls have given way to bird song. The old zoning rules have been repealed and sprawl is no longer subsidized; developers now pay the full costs they impose on public infrastructure. Workers still go to ...
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