Many organizations are endangered by the unprecedented environmental risks that the world is experiencing today. As the world’s industries are affected by drought, heat stress and flooding, organizations are taking the necessary steps to mitigate climate risks. Support for sustainability has increased among business communities, and many organizations acknowledge that improving their sustainability performance by monitoring their energy use, natural resource access, and waste management can have a substantial effect on improving their climate resilience.
Over the past few years, businesses have started to see the implications that water-related risks have on their daily operations. The growing concern over water has reached policy-makers and non-governmental organizations around the world as they see the effects of water-related risks on cities and populations.
Many organizations are strategically choosing to become “greener” and socially responsible in their daily operations. Sustainability initiatives are serving to improve operational efficiency and are increasingly informing the purchasing decisions of customers and investors alike. Where competition between businesses is evident, companies are taking the necessary steps to stay ahead of their peers. Being environmentally sustainable and socially responsible is increasingly recognized as an essential element of corporate strategy, especially as regulations increase globally.
As sustainability makes waves in the corporate world, members of the food and beverage industry have begun to follow suit and take the necessary steps to go green. A recent study by Ernst & Young shows that consumers are now more conscious and responsible when it comes to the products that they buy, especially the food they eat. As a result, more companies are appealing to a more health-conscious market by selling healthy, organic and sustainable goods to the community. The impact of climate change on the agriculture sector has also increased the pressure on the food and beverage industry to produce sustainable goods, even as the global population continues to grow. Food and beverage companies see the need to be sustainable in order to be more climate-resilient, since their operations are heavily dependent on the interaction of food, water and energy.
Plastic bags are convenient and free to use, but their harmful impacts are finally being acknowledged. The use of plastic bags had been standard in many grocery and retail stores since the 1970s, but receiving a plastic bag for your purchased items is becoming increasingly rare in many cities. In fact, it might become impossible in the coming decades to get plastic bags from the grocery store as more bans and stricter laws are set in place around the globe.
The fashion industry relies on creating new brands, new collections, and new product ranges every season to continuously drive growth and sales. According to a Deloitte report, season cycles have now shortened in the fashion industry, making major brands introduce new clothing styles almost every other week instead of the more traditional pace of every two seasons. This phenomenon has been dubbed “fast fashion,” which refers to the rapid production, consumption, and disposal of clothes every season. Major fashion brands use this business model due to its well-organized method of sourcing and production to help meet consumer demand for new styles at the right price.
The need to fully integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into business models is continuing to grow. For many companies, ESG integration has become a necessity instead of an option. This is a positive thing, as being environmentally conscious and socially responsible in their corporate strategy gives them an advantage over their peers.
September 22-28, 2014, The Climate Group, an international non-profit organization that promotes a low-carbon future, held the 6th annual Climate Week NYC. This assembly is an international platform for world business leaders, investors, government officials, members of civil society, and environmental advocates to discuss and form resolutions to combat the alarming dangers of climate change. The forum gained a lot of attention this year, as it coincided with the first ever UN Climate Summit, which was attended by some of the world’s most influential leaders.
Today’s climate-driven economy has forced us to be wary of climate change’s ongoing threats to various businesses in the public and private sectors. Undeniable evidence of climate change impacts can be felt all over the world. Natural disasters such as major flooding, heavy rainfalls, droughts, rise in sea-levels and the increase of the Earth’s temperature indicate a range of environmental risks that present significant effects in an organization’s supply chain and operations.
In Southern California, there is ample open space where parks and other recreational areas are located. The urban space is reasonably horizontal and spread out with open areas for parking lots, big box retailers, parks, and other recreational areas such as soccer and baseball fields. There is a distinctive lack of tall buildings and dense development where I live, compared to other areas in the United States. When I visited New York for the first time, I was in awe of the height of buildings and the vertical density of development, which I was not accustomed to. This article takes a brief look at some open spaces located in New York— The High Line Park, Central Park, and Gotham Greens (a rooftop greenhouse)—that highlight the creative ways in which open space and nature are incorporated into an urban environment.
© 2014 FirstCarbon Solutions, Inc. Copyright and Trademark InformationFirstCarbon® and ghgTrack™ are registered trademarks of FirstCarbon Solutions, Inc.