Lean manufacturing practices and sustainability are conceptually similar in that both seek to maximize organizational efficiency. Where they differ is in where the boundaries are drawn, and in how waste is defined. Sustainability expands the definition of waste to include the wider range of consequences of business actions including environmental and social consequences. Lean processes are inherently less wasteful and in this sense promoting lean processes can help organizations become more sustainable.
Site erosion control, while often overlooked is an important part of sustainable building practices. Erosion from building sites silts up waterways amongst other things so minimizing it is critical for achieving the goal of low impact development. In this post, Bob goes on to suggest five techniques that architects and builders can use to help to prevent erosion and sediment loss and ensure that the building of the green building is itself green.
indoor marijuana weed cannibisThe yearly greenhouse-gas pollution of the $40 billion per year marijuana industry is responsible for about 3% of all electricity use or 8% of household use. Indoor growers use high-intensity lights that are 500 times more powerful that a standard reading lamp. They also use several other high energy industrial practices. The closest comparison for these massive, industrial-style grow facilities are data centers, which consume about two percent of the nation’s electric power.
Summary of a talk given by Frances Edmonds, Director of Environmental Programs, HP Canada in which she outlined how HP’s environmental commitment has led to greater profitability. In this talk she uses various examples of how successful sustainability efforts can be win win propositions that are good for the environment and also good for the company’s bottom line.
Read our interview with Janet Smartt, Program Manager, StopWaste.Org, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority in which she shares his story of how she used her green MBA to evolve her career from a career in corporate marketing and public outreach to one in sustainability program management.
green marketplace economicsConsumers now have little information about the true ecological impacts of what they buy. But that may be about to change, as new technologies that track supply chains are emerging and companies as diverse as Unilever and Google look to make their products more sustainable.
Often green washing is not an outright attempt to be deceptive, but rather stems from failing to consider environmental impact measures with the same robust attention as is usually given to more established and familiar measures of business performance.
The federal government is making sustainability a priority. Under the Energy Independence and Security Act, all federal managers are required to cut their fossil fuel use and are directed to acquire recycled content, energy efficient, renewable, bio-based and environmentally preferable products and services towards achieving certain goals. The are a number of “Buy Bio”, “Buy Green First,” programs, as well as Go Green Initiatives giving preference to products and services that meet green purchasing criteria.
Can we really ever move beyond petroleum? Traditional fossil fuels like coal and petroleum are so ingrained in our culture and way of life that eradicating them as fuel sources soon is unlikely. We need to think about what we produce and the costs that go beyond the balance sheet: the costs to the environment, to the people that live where our raw materials originate, the cost of the life of a pelican, gull or fish. It is our personal responsibility to consume less and conserve more.