Sustainability

Thinking Outside the Big Box Store

Allie Williams, IOM Executive Director, CRA Retailers appealing to consumers through their corporate responsibility programs face an uphill battle. Certainly, they can do this with their policies and practices as responsible corporate citizens. They can be committed to sustainable growth and development, to local sourcing, environmental causes, fair employee relations, reasonable wagers, governance, and their philanthropic efforts. However, consumers tend to shop based on the quality of the product, its price, and its convenience. While consumers may appreciate the company’s values and even want to reward them, at the end of the day consumers are looking for value. These corporate goals and practices need not be distinct.

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Our Commitment to CR Practices

Jim Murren, Chair of the CRA Chairman and CEO MGM Resorts International In March, I participated in two milestone events that will change the landscape and economy of two communities in Massachusetts and Maryland. In Maryland, MGM Resorts International celebrated the hiring of the 1,000th construction worker of MGM National Harbor, slated to open in 2016. And in Massachusetts, I participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for MGM Springfield, which is on track to open in 2017. Both resorts will be unique and complementary to the environments in which they are being built. MGM Resorts will bring together and unite the culture, art and history of the regions, along with new commerce, new business, and new hope.

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Retail Horizons: Positioning Your Sustainability Strategy for the Long-Run

Jessica McGlyn
Founder and President, Catalynics

It’s 2030. You are the CSO of a multinational Consumer Packaged Goods Company. In this era, technology has essentially taken out the middle-man and now people get everything from shoes to shampoo to sugar from distributed, self-organized networks. Goods are rapidly made and disposed of, 3-D printing is ubiquitous and consumers seek products that are highly customized to their tastes. In this new age, how will you help your company create a business model that delivers products and services with a net positive societal and environmental impact? The Retail Horizons FuturesKit, a joint project of Forum for the Future, the Continue reading →

Making Sustainability Personal this Holiday Season

Kevin Lynch, Ph.D.
Leadership Executive-in-Residence
Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University

If you are like me, you’ll spend this week recovering from a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. At my house, our adult children and a close friend joined us for quite a meal that included a 27 pound turkey that seemed just a little better than average this year.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that may better than any other begin to help us understand the idea of flourishing. Recently, I wrote about flourishing as a higher level of sustainability. John Ehrenfeld perhaps defined it best when he stated in his book, Sustainability by Design, that sustainability means “the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on the Earth forever.

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Flourish or Perish: Taking Sustainability to the Next Level

Kevin Lynch, Ph.D.
Leadership Executive-in-Residence
Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University

New sources of value – in other words, successful opportunities for business - exist within the challenges of our times. This is not a call for benevolence or charity, but highlights opportunity.

We have heard the same thing said about sustainability. Sustainability, commonly defined as the merger of planet, people and profit (the “three Ps” or the triple bottom line), has been touted as a source of competitive advantage by authors such as Peter Senge and Chris Laszlo.  Although more popular now than ever, a review of popular blogs suggest that sustainability initiatives may be flagging. Possible causes can include leadership changes or “sustainability fatigue.

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Addressing Sustainability through Product Selection

Lisa Owen
Vice President of Business Development & Marketing
RSC Bio Solutions

When it comes to sustainability, definitions are not “one size fits all”— they are specific to the industry, company structure and internal culture and influenced by a number of factors that are unique to a company. To some, sustainability could mean a percentage of their products are from sustainable resources and, to others, it could mean offsetting the company’s carbon footprint. It is important to understand what sustainability means for your company specifically and tailor sustainable initiatives to those particular views, goals and objectives.

If sustainable product selection is part of your company’s sustainability agenda, there are a few key questions to ask when developing an evaluation strategy.

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National Clean Energy Summit

Jim Murren
CEO and Chairman
MGM Resorts International

On September 4, MGM Resorts International will again co-sponsor the National Clean Energy Summit with The Center for American Progress, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center.

The goal of NCES is to help bring about a national shift to a cleaner energy and a cleaner energy economy. Led by U.S. Senator Harry Reid, top policy makers and thought leaders, including former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, will come together with environmental experts to discuss the latest in sustainability, clean energy and overall best practices.

In partnership with NCES last year, we announced the building of our rooftop solar array at the Mandalay Bay convention center, a project that further solidifies the hospitality industry’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, as well as our commitment to sustainable practices.

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Green is Out: A New Focus in Sustainability

Lisa Owen
Vice President of Business Development & Marketing
RSC Bio Solutions

Sustainability is changing. As companies shift their efforts away from solely focusing on the “green” aspect of sustainability—which isn’t new and different anymore—they are adopting broad sustainability initiatives as a fundamental business pillar.

So, if green isn’t the new black, what is? An increasing focus on risk management. Of course, risk management as a discipline is by no means new. At the same time, large industrial companies, many of whom have well-established sustainability initiatives, are paying increasing attention to new technology that mitigates risk associated with their traditional alternatives.

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Let’s Put More Effort into Sustainability and Less into Surveys

Kim Bach Vu
Sustainability/Corporate Responsibility Associate
TE Connectivity (Tyco Electronics)

The growth in acceptance and popularity for corporate responsibility and sustainability has propelled many companies to look into their own operations and of their supply chains. This has created a need to measure and disclose their sustainability efforts both internally and externally. The external audience might vary by industry and position of the supply chain, some external stakeholders that companies engage with are investors, customers, non-governmental organizations, and suppliers to name a few. The increasing scrutiny of corporate responsibility efforts by investment efforts has left too many different types of surveys, from Dow Jones Sustainability Index to Vigeo. Furthermore, many companies that engage in their suppliers also have sustainability surveys.

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Building a Business Case for Sustainability

Lisa Owen
VP of Marketing and Business Development
RSC Bio Solutions

Why do some companies “walk the walk” when it comes to sustainability while others seem to merely be talking the talk?

A recent study from IT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group seeks to shed light on how businesses address their sustainability challenges and why some are more successful than others. By analyzing responses from 1,847 participants from commercial enterprises, the five years of survey data revealed that a majority of organizations are struggling to move forward.

According to the study, “the percentage of companies that have tried but failed to build a business case has increased from 8 percent to 20 percent, and more than half of the respondents have either failed to establish a business case or haven’t even tried to create one.

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