This week's indicator is $700 billion, which is the annual potential savings in global consumer goods from material reduction and reuse. The study by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation points to tactics such as textile collection, reusable packaging, and food waste recovery as ways to capture this value.

By Dan Saccardi

I recently concluded a yearlong experiment to track what I eat on a daily basis, not to count calories but to measure—and manage—my environmental impact. 

As a sustainability consultant, I've counseled clients that "you can only manage what you measure," but I've not as rigorously applied this adage to my personal life. So, to borrow another adage, I decided to practice what I have preached.

By Stephen Linaweaver

I previously lived in a small town in Wyoming where winter temperatures often reached 20 degrees below zero.  Many residents only lived there for the summer.  The locals called them "90 Day Wonders," somewhat disparagingly. How much can you contribute to community, the thinking went, if you move on to the next thing in 90 days?
Many CEOs are forced into a similar "90 Day" mentality. When pressed on why a mindset of sustainable growth is challenging to adopt inside large companies, many mention the same thing: pressure to meet quarterly expectations. It is hard to promote sustainable growth and make decisions for the long-term benefit of a company, and the planet, when analysts are not interested in much beyond the next 90 days.

By Michael Ellis

Last month, Joel Makower, executive editor of the GreenBiz Group, wrote that green marketing is over.  His conclusions, similar to those of a recent study by OgilvyEarth, ignited impassioned commentary among green consultants and marketers. 

But it hasn’t gotten broader attention--which may be a good thing, since Joel’s argument is easy to misinterpret.  Indeed, as Joel importantly points out, marketing green is thriving in many ways and evolving rapidly; just a narrow slice of the practice is fading away.

While Joel doesn’t directly define green marketing in the piece, his implicit definition is narrow.  “Green marketing… is aimed at getting people to buy stuff that is better for the environment,” he writes.  It focuses on a “more just and sustainable world;” any marketing that focuses on non-environmental aspects of a product (e.g., hybrid cars’ convenience) isn’t “green marketing”.  Furthermore, Joel points out that “the business-to-business landscape is wholly different.  A wide range of things companies buy… are being marketed effectively for their environmental attributes.”

Traffic on the Commute Home

Posted by: Stephen Linaweaver  /  February 08, 2011 / in GreenOrder Culture

Last Thursday night on the kayak home I encountered a traffic jam of container ships jockeying for position in the San Francisco Bay. When I started kayak commuting, in October of 2009, I went months before coming across more than one or two ships on a commute. Last night there were five.

As I approached the shipping channel waiting for the right time to cross, the inbound Hanjin Long Beach had to pull a Crazy Ivan near the Bay Bridge to make way for the outbound Evergreen Eagle. To the east, the APL Jade unroped and pushed off from the Port of Oakland, headed for Tokyo.

The Ying Mang March, meanwhile, radioed in, “Channel 14, I am going to wait here till this traffic clears.” That is not an 18-wheeler idling by the side of the road. That is 100,000 tons of sea-going vessel, parked next to Alcatraz Island at a burn rate of $70 a minute.  The economy, it appears, is back.

Share American: Finding that Freecycle Feeling

Posted by: Stephen Linaweaver  /  September 22, 2010 / in Green Marketing and Branding

(co-authored with Rupesh Shaw, Intuit)

When Deron Beal, executive director and founder of Freecycle, first started down this path seven years ago, he thought that the joy of getting stuff for free would drive the growth of the community. What he found is that the emotional satisfaction, the feeling of giving something you have but don't need to someone who really wants it, kept bringing people back.

Feelings create loyalty, drive behavior and will enable “Mesh” companies to thrive by making consumers as content about using a shared service as they are about buying and owning. Scaling that will require a lot more of us to get a taste of that Freecycle feeling. It will also take ingenious marketing, world-class service levels and drop-dead ease of use for any company that enters the fray. The public sector, however, can also help.