Environment

Liquid Laws

Liquid Laws
America's New Clean Water Rule affects business—what companies can do to mitigate the legislation successfully. By Marta Chmielowicz America's New Clean Water Rule affects business—what companies can do to mitigate the legislation successfully. Clean water is in abundance in the U.S. today, but that was not always the case. As recently as 45 years ago, U. S. rivers were so polluted that they were catching fire, Lake Erie was deemed "dead," and only 60 percent of drinking water met safety standards. The Clean Water Act (CWA) dramatically improved this situation, reducing the number of polluted waterways in the U.S. from more than 60 percent in 1972 to 35 percent in 2012. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) most recent National Water Quality Inventory, the work is far from over. Of the total miles of water formally assessed, 55 percent of rivers, 71 percent of lakes, and 78 percent of shorelines were reported to be in poor condition—unfit for swimming, drinking, or fishing. Enter the Clean Water Rule, or Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. By reaffirming the connected nature of waterways and reducing ambiguity around the extent of the EPA's jurisdiction, the rule seeks to address some of the main limitations of the CWA.

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Special Delivery

Special Delivery

FedEx and UPS on why CR is so important to their business—here is a look at their sustainable initiatives by the numbers. By The Editors FedEx and UPS on why CR is so important to their business—here is a look at their sustainable initiatives by the numbers. Sustainability is extremely important in the shipping industry. Millions of packages are delivered every day in the U.S.—and logistics and transportation industry spending totaled $1.48 trillion in 2015, representing eight percent of the annual gross domestic product. Maintaining sustainable shipping practices benefits not only the environment, but the bottom line of the delivery service corporations themselves. CR Magazine spoke with Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability at FedEx, and Tamara Barker, chief sustainability officer at UPS, about their sustainability efforts —and we compare their answers head-to-head in this look at shipping practices. History of the Company Corporate Responsibility Program FedEx and UPS discuss how each of the companies have supported their communities, improved their impact on the environment, and created sustainability initiatives.

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The Fabric Of Responsibility

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By Dirk Olin
At PVH, CR is a lot more complicated than altruism. One of the defining traits of effective CR programs is that they take broader business objectives and translate them into real assurances. This is definitely true of Phillips Van Heusen's CR efforts, as the company lists "accountability" as a core value, and strives for transparency whenever possible. The company's treasurer and senior vice president for business development and investor relations, Dana Perlman, spoke with CR Magazine about PVH's core values, "source-to-store" approach, corporate storytelling, and commitments to humanitarian and environmental responsibility. At PVH, the corporate responsibility team takes its direction for CR storytelling from chairman and CEO, Manny Chirico. The team often cites Chirico's directive that they need to emphasize the importance of understanding the company's impact on people. Environment, and communities. Chirico, they say, grew up understanding that charity and the giving of oneself were very important—that, "to whom much is given, much is expected.

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Water Works

Water Works

MGM shares its sustainable water conservation efforts during the current drought period
MGM shares its sustainable water conservation efforts during the current drought period.
By Cindy Ortega If a business wanted to cut its energy use in a significant and impactful way, it easily could by tapping into a vast array of energy-efficient technologies currently available in the market. But reducing its water use might prove a bit more challenging. It could be done, as the market is full of ideas about saving water. But there hasn't been an efficient way to vet those ideas, short of implementing them. From a business perspective. That's important. You want to know the benefits and drawbacks of any new technology before you put it to use. Otherwise, you could very well waste time and money on something that isn't all that effective. These are the reasons that MGM Resorts partnered with WaterStart, a Nevada-based entity that will identify cutting-edge technologies to implement throughout MGM's global operations.

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Companies With Purpose: A Look At Three Making A Difference

shutterstock_293732144 Solar Power Systems and Suitability Belinda Sharr At GreenBiz on Feb. 23-25, CR Magazine sat down with Nautilus Solar Energy's CEO Jim Rice to talk about solar energy and its impact on the environment. Nautilus Solar Energy, which is headquartered in Summit, N.J., was founded in 2006. It is a full-service solutions provider for business-sector and public-sector customers across North America. Nautilus attributes their solar success to their efforts developing, funding, executing and managing the physical and financial aspects of distributed generation solar electric projects. The company delivers full-service financial and technical capability by customizing cost-saving solar solutions to help customers meet their sustainability goals. Nautilus has been involved in more than 100 MW of solar solutions in the United States and Canada. To Nautilus Solar, sustainability means "creat[ing] a clean, energy independent future by providing widespread access to electricity generated from solar power," according to Rice.

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The SmartWay to Improve Environmental Performance

EPA-industry program helps companies such as Canon U.S.A. collect and track emissions data from third-party freight carriers

By Stephen Petit

When a more sustainable freight supply chain is a corporate objective, the first step is to look at areas you directly control. Distribution center locations. Packaging. The modes of transportation you use.

The bigger challenge, says Meredith Wieta, manager of planning and environment for the logistics division of canon U.S.A. Inc., is managing what you don’t directly control: the contract carriers hauling your freight.

Trucking, rail, intermodal, and shipping companies are private businesses with their own systems and standards for measuring CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, Wieta told an audience at the COMMIT!Forum in October. How can you make sure you and your suppliers are on the same page when it comes to measuring, managing, and sharing this information?

For Canon and some 3,000 other companies, the answer involves the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a voluntary program that gives executives, customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders a trusted source of data they can use to measure the environmental impact of their freight supply chain.

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Frack to the Future

Is a drop in carbon emissions worth the risk?

By Nick Sorrentino

Future 500 was pleased to convene a panel at this year’s COMMIT!Forum entitled Groundbreaking: The Risks and Opportunities of Hydraulic Fracturing.

Hydraulic fracturing is the breaking up of rock through the use of pressurized liquid. Although fractures can happen naturally, induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing (commonly known as fracking) is a technique in which water is mixed with sand and chemicals, and the mixture is injected at high pressure into a wellbore to create small fractures (we’re talking less than one millimeter), along which gas and brine water can migrate to the well.

As director of political outreach for Future 500, I had succeeded in drawing together an experienced assemblage of thought leaders: Tisha Conoly Schuller, president & chief executive officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, Dr. Richard Liroff, founder and executive director of the Investor Environmental Health Network, and Alan Krupnick, senior fellow and director of the Center for Energy Economics and Policy at Resources for the Future.

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Water isn’t Carbon

Some resources require management—others require stewardship.

By Tom Carnac and Christina Copeland

November 18, 2013 marked the launch of Carbon Disclosure Project’s annual U.S. Water Report. Formally supported by 530 institutional investors representing $57 trillion in assets, it analyzes the water disclosures of 148

S&P 500 companies that responded to the CDP water questionnaire this year. The launch event in San Francisco with lead sponsor Deloitte Consulting LLP featured speakers from the investment and corporate worlds who explored the opportunities that exist from developing a holistic stewardship response to water challenges.

And what are the water challenges currently faced by U.S. corporations? The persistent drought in the U.S. has highlighted the essential role water serves in the economy as a key resource in agriculture, energy production, and manufacturing.

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The Unconvention: Make It, Take It

When nobody owns their environmental impacts, everyone loses.

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

When I decided to dedicate my life to protecting the environment through groups like Riverkeeper, NRDC, and the Waterkeeper Alliance, I considered recycling a small and slightly boring part of the solution. But the products and packages we consume cause 44 percent of America’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to EPA data analyzed by the Product Policy Institute. And the potential to adopt a rational, free market-based solution may provide the lowest cost bulwark against global warming with the highest potential for jobs generation and for quickly jump-starting American prosperity.

You see, America’s waste issues are rooted mainly in America’s irrational and rather un-American practice of subsidizing waste disposal. Riding happily on this gravy train of corporate socialism, most of the nation’s top consumer product giants have so far refused to acknowledge their responsibility or expressed any willingness to pony up.

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The 800-Pound Gorilla

Many companies are not disclosing one huge material risk.

By Mindy S. Lubber

If you were responsible for a $36 billion investment portfolio, you’d want as much information as possible. So does Nancy Kopp.

As Maryland’s state treasurer, Kopp chairs the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System Board, which oversees the state’s $36 billion dollar pension fund. The trouble, Kopp says, is that many companies don’t fully disclose a key material risk hovering over their future performance: climate change. Without robust corporate disclosure, the state’s investment managers can’t truly know how risky their investments are.

Kopp’s predicament is not unique. This current lack of information should worry hundreds of other major fiduciaries around the country like Kopp. Her dilemma is theirs, too.

For those who think climate change is a sector-specific risk, think again.

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