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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an idea that corporations have to consider the interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and ecological considerations in all
Socially responsible investing (SRI) describes an investment strategy which combines the intentions to maximize both financial return and social good.

green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Nov/Dec 2007 : Newslines

Actions and initiatives worth noting

Green Schools Use 33% Less Energy
Dozens of architects, PTA presidents, school board members, school superintendents and others from across the country are ready to begin a grassroots effort to further the vision of green schools for every child within a generation.

A 2006 study sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, the American Institute of Architects, the American Lung Association, the Federation of American Scientists and USGBC found that building green would save an average school $100,000 each year in energy costs alone – enough to hire two additional full-time teachers, purchase 5,000 new textbooks, or buy 500 new computers.

Green schools have a superior indoor environment, with clean, fresh air, free of dangerous chemicals from everyday products like carpets, paints and cleaning materials. They make use of as much natural daylight as possible, maximizing students’ ability to concentrate and stay physically and emotionally healthy while at the same time dramatically reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. On average, green schools use 33% less energy and 32% less water than conventional schools, which would bring the U.S. closer to reducing reliance on imported energy.

Xerox Environmentally-Friendly Toner
Xerox is manufacturing a new more environmentally friendly toner. It’s called EA, or emulsion-aggregation toner, and it takes about 30% less energy to manufacture than conventional toner. It was being previously manufactured in a pilot plant in Canada. This new plant cost $60 million to build and will increase EA Toner production by 175%. It was created to consolidate as much energy as possible. It houses more than 4,000 sensors that track information about temperature, humidity, airflow and other variables. Chillers and air compressors with variable-speed drives enable it to respond to incremental changes in the operating environment rather than just being off or operating at full speed. There is variable intensity lighting and small back-up compressors available for very low use. It is organized into zones that are separately controlled.

The plant will run by a system that minimizes human intervention and will schedule temperature and lights as well as toner production in each separate zone. At any given time in the process, whole zones of the building may be shut off to reduce energy use. Xerox has also specially designed a process to treat the water used to make the toner before it leaves the site. The wastewater will meet – even exceed – environmental permit requirements before it’s discharged.

The Next Generation of Green Building Thinking
LEED for Neighborhood Development – the pilot rating system launched jointly by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) is off to a promising start. A total of 238 developments have signed up to participate in the pilot program, which will be the first national certification system for sustainable neighborhood design and development. LEED for Neighborhood Development will integrate the principles of smart growth, new urbanism, and green building into the design and development of communities, moving beyond the single green building approach. The LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot is on track to be one of the largest launches yet for a new LEED program.

“The LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot program is the next generation of green building thinking,” said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chair. “By applying what we’ve learned about individual green buildings to entire neighborhoods, we’re linking urban planning and environmentally friendly design and construction in a whole new, beneficial and healthy way.”

“Tapping the greenest building potential today means stepping outside the four walls of a structure into the places where projects are situated. Taking a more comprehensive approach lets builders draw on a host of new opportunities for reducing the overall environmental footprint by making communities mixed-use and pedestrian friendly,” said NRDC’s Ashok Gupta. “Creating a neighborhood-based standard encourages architects, builders and planners to think bigger about energy savings, transportation impacts, and the overall shape of cleaner, healthier, more efficient communities.”

James F. Kenefick Named Co-Chair
Washington, D.C., area telecom and social entrepreneur James F. Kenefick was named co-chair of the newly formed Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Social Responsibility Network—a global community of CEOs dedicated to using their companies as a tool for social benefit.

He shares leadership responsibility with Network Chair Mark Van Ness, a YPO member based in Southern California. Together, with a small executive leadership committee, they will identify, sponsor and often create CSR education and peer-networking opportunities for over 160 CEOs who share this interest in building companies that are sustainable and have a positive impact on the world at large.

According to Kenefick, the Network will primarily serve as a connector: “This group was launched from a grassroots effort within the organization. There were pockets of us who were seeking each other out at conferences, creating informal email groups and that sort of thing. I applaud the organizations willingness to put some structure around our interest area by providing technology support and staff time. With Network members from North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, we’re going to get some interesting perspectives on the challenges, opportunities and nuances of CSR efforts.”

The formal Network structure includes monthly, moderated phone/web conferences, an email group and discussion board allowing for idea exchange, and a collaborative online calendar of CSR related events happening around the world. The current Network sponsored education line-up includes a session with Timberland CEO Jeff Schwartz.

A key benefit of this new cohesive Network structure is that the group can act as an entity and build strategic alliances with other mission-related organizations—giving members access to new resources with which to accomplish their individual goals in their own companies.
Mr. Kenefick also serves on the board of the Social Venture Network, an organization of socially conscious business leaders throughout North America, and on the Advisory Board for Green@Work Magazine.

The Annual Sustainability Leadership Awards
For the fourth consecutive year, CoreNet Global joined with the American Institute of Architects and the International Interior Design Association to present the annual Sustainability Leadership Awards for Design and Development at the CoreNet Global Summit Denver.
There were a record number of nominations for the 2007 award, signifying the dramatic increase in the awareness and use of sustainable practices by global for-profit and not-for profit organizations.

“Sustainability when applied at its optimal level is really an integrated set of practices, policies and products across the supply chain . . . another version of the People, Planet and Profit theme,” commented CoreNet Global Chairman Mark Golan. “The entire field of nominees reflects the true influence and impact that corporate real estate and the workplace together can have on sustainability.”

Joining Golan in the awards presentation were Alexander Thome, representing the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and Elise Shapiro, representing the International Interiors Design Association (IIDA).

Pfizer Recognized as Leader in Addressing Climate Change
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a not-for-profit coalition of more than 315 global investors, named Pfizer to the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI). The CDLI is a prestigious honor roll for global corporations addressing the challenges of climate change. Pfizer was one of 68 Fortune 500 companies named, and the only pharmaceutical company.

“Pfizer has set itself apart from its peers by its thorough and comprehensive climate change disclosure and its voluntary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and commitment to renewable energy,” CDP Chief Executive Paul Dickinson noted.

“The advancement of good health occurs through the innovation, production and distribution of medicines, but also through the preservation of a healthy environment,” said Steve Brooks, vice president of Global Environment Health & Safety Operations for Pfizer. “Through the hard work of our energy teams and the commitment of hundreds of colleagues worldwide, Pfizer has been able to conserve energy and use energy more efficiently, which has lead to a reduction in our carbon footprint.”

Pfizer has had a company standard requiring the conservation of energy and reduction of greenhouse gases since 1996. In 2002, Pfizer became a charter member of the Climate Leaders Program, a collaboration between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and industry that aims to develop long-term, comprehensive climate change strategies and sets greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. As a Climate Leader, Pfizer established a company-wide goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 35% per million dollars of sales by the end of 2007 from the baseline year of 2000. The company is also evaluating and implementing a number of projects that generate electricity from clean energy sources.

National Environmental Education Week
National Environ-mental Education Week, the largest organized environmental education event in U.S. history, is focused this year on making students aware of energy: where it comes from, how much they use, and how they can take charge of its impact on the environment.
An MTV Poll conducted in June of 2006 reported teens think the environment is the most pressing problem they will have to face in their lifetime. “The last thing teens need is another worry, so let’s engage them in something where they can feel they are making a difference” said Diane Wood, president of the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (NEETF), which organizes the event each year. “The great thing about an energy focus is that kids can grasp quickly how much they depend on energy and what they can do to best conserve it. Even better, they can measure their impact and multiply it further by engaging their families.”

Because young people are “plugged in” more than ever, they now play a critical role in the consumption of energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy almost one-fourth of energy used in homes comes from devices such as cell phones and iPods. Educators can use EE Week as a platform for discussing energy conservation with students.

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