BE Blogs: A Voice for Responsible Business

As part of our sustainability pledge to discuss best practices openly and honestly, we share insights that allow others to effect change in their community. While companies have responsibility to drive change internally, we believe they also can add to their insights and impact by sharing their experience with others.

Come by often to read the latest news, subscribe to our blog via email or RSS reader. Even better, join the conversation and share your ideas on how business can be a force for good in your community and environment.

Browsing articles from "June, 2010"

5 Tools to Get the Most Bang for your Sustainability Buck

Jun 29, 2010   //   by Colin Manuel   //   Energy, Metrics & ROI  //  No Comments

5 tools to calculate ROI on your sustainability initiativeWhen you’re handed a crowded menu, it’s difficult to find the dish that delivers the most flavor for your dollar. The same is true when it comes to making choices to become a more sustainable company.

Not All Initiatives are Created Equally

From waste reduction to social engagement, there are countless paths to explore on your journey to sustainability. By focusing on a project that delivers the biggest Return on Investment (ROI) in the shortest time, you can launch into the first of a series of successful initiatives.

5 Sustainability Tools to Get Real ROI, Real Fast

  1. Lighting — Replace switches with motion detectors and invest in new LED and fluorescent technology for long-term savings. Lighting Pay-off Calculator.
  2. Packaging — Think lighter and smarter and you’ll fit more product into fewer shipments. Packaging Assessment Tool.
  3. Electricity — Measure your electricity usage to pinpoint where and how much you can save. Energy Monitoring Tools.
  4. Water — Encourage employees to drink from water fountains instead of plastic bottles. Commercial Water Calculator.
  5. IT — Encourage employees to telecommute and swap airports for video conferencing. Video Conferencing Calculator.

Small Success Leads to Large-Scale Change

Pick at least one initiative to focus on, carry it through and quantify it for your leadership and other stakeholders. After your initial success, you’ll find that you have even more support for even larger projects.

Get Innovative: Inspiration from Energy’s Cutting Edge

Jun 24, 2010   //   by Colin Manuel   //   Energy  //  No Comments

Find inspiration to innovate in other industriesWhen you picture your company’s future, what do you see? New and exciting activities, or just more of the same? If you take the time to look outside your industry, you might discover inspiration that could reap rewards for your business. Studying innovation in other fields will help you approach old problems with radically new ideas.


Energy: Innovating Inside and Outside of the Box

1. Process old inputs in new, more efficient ways

Company: The Bloom Box
Technology: Fuel Cell
Problem: Power plants don’t burn fuel sources as efficiently as possible.
Solution: The Bloom Box is a fuel cell that delivers electricity to large-scale structures. Tapping natural gas, biogas and other existing fuel sources, the Bloom Box delivers lower electricity bills and more predictable costs with fewer emissions. eBay’s 500 kW Bloom Box installation mitigated 650,000 tons of carbon dioxide in the first six months of its operation.
Commercialization: Today

Read more >>

3 Ways to Take Social Responsibility to Work

Jun 22, 2010   //   by Colin Manuel   //   Company Culture, Investors & Stakeholders, Leadership, Training & Education, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Is your company connected to its employees and community?Is your company connected? No, we aren’t talking about its Internet connection. We’re talking about its relationship with employees and society at large.

Today’s best companies engage stakeholders on all levels. From the health and well-being of employees to hosting and promoting activities in the local community — your company’s operations have a profound social impact. So, what can you do to manage that impact in a more meaningful way?

Start your Social Action Plan Today

You can’t become a socially responsible company overnight. But you can take steps today that will shift attitudes and openness toward more meaningful and lasting programs down the road.

Here are three programs you can start in your workplace today:

  1. Create volunteer days
    • Do you offer paid time off or flex-time for employees to volunteer their time? Consider turning an off-site meeting into a chance for team-building and community service. Ask coworkers for suggestions and search for opportunities on sites like VolunteerMatch.
  2. Provide space for local organizations to meet
    • There are countless worthy associations that don’t have a regular meeting space. Help them grow their impact by providing access to a conference room once a month. See if any of your colleagues are in a group that needs space, or post a free announcement on the community page of your local Craigslist site.
  3. Offer company talents to worthy causes
    • What can you do to help non-profits help themselves? If you’re in finance, show them how to run the organization more efficiently. If you’re in marketing, help them hone their message and broaden their reach. Visit websites like Idealist.org to see where your skills are most needed.

Balancing Interests: Shareholders and Beyond

Shareholders rely on you to deliver financial returns. Employees and society expect a return on their trust. By paying more attention to your company’s social responsibilities, you will only grow stronger as employees and the community invest more in your success.

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