When the magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, it took more than 200,000 lives and displaced over 2 million Haitians. The earthquake destroyed the country’s limited infrastructure. It shook Haiti’s vulnerable public health system to the core—including collapsing the building that housed Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP).
As the three-year anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake recently passed, international attention has focused on the country’s struggle to recover. Amidst slow and uneven improvements in housing and transportation, however, Haiti’s public health services deserve recognition for its significant progress.
Following the earthquake, the MSPP turned to foreign governments and aid organizations for assistance, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC committed to help rebuild and strengthen Haiti’s public health infrastructure and established a special office to partner with the MSPP.
While there have been many challenges, Haiti’s MSPP has worked to address short-term recovery and relief needs while simultaneously initiating long-term strategic plans that are improving health in Haiti.
Study: Clear Environmental Benefits From Using Recycled Paper In National Geographic, Other Magazines
Using recovered fiber in place of virgin fiber for magazine paper has a benefit in 14 of 14 environmental impact categories studied, according to a life-cycle assessment (LCA) issued today by ENVIRON International Corporation (www.greenamerica.org/pdf/NatGeo-LCA-Report-2013.pdf). The study debunks any myths promoted by magazine and paper industries that question the environmental benefits of using recycled fiber in publication-grade paper. The production of magazine paper in the U.S. emits the equivalent of over 7.2 million metric tons of CO2 each year, or approximately the annual greenhouse gas emissions of over 1.5 million cars.
The National Geographic Society and a number of NGO stakeholders including Green America, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and World Resources Institute (WRI), collaborated on this multi-year study. The results can be found at: www.greenamerica.org/better-paper-project/.
As a result of the study, National Geographic is now exploring recycled paper options for their publications. If National Geographic does begin using recycled paper in their magazines, they will join a growing list that includes large and small publications such as Fast Company, Audubon, YES!, and Ranger Rick – all of which have been using recycled paper...
Although the public call for business to commit to environmental stewardship may be based on the public’s desire for business to act as a concerned citizen of the world, the reality is that such actions are positive because they also make good business sense. Sustainable business practices are supported by a solid business case and proven reputational opportunities. Plus, a proactive approach permits companies to drive the action and frame the positioning as opposed to being mandated to action. And, it creates a unique and memorable story that can be shared with customers, employees, shareholders, elected officials, and the community.
For example, the Green Sage Coffee House and Café in Asheville, NC, used reclaimed wood from old house rafters in its kitchen cabinets and created its marquee sign from scrapyard metal. It now composts food scraps and waste and has its used vegetable oil recycled into bio-fuel.
In Charlotte, NC, the LEED-certified Ritz Carlton Hotel has 100,000 honeybees on its rooftop that generate 70 pounds of all-natural, chemical-free raw honey. Lavender, mint and other fresh herbs and greens are cultivated in the chef’s rooftop garden; it requires no additional transportation time or cost to get these fresh and tasty additions onto...
I’ve been in the Corporate Responsibility (CR) field for nearly 20 years, and it’s amazing to reflect on how far practice has come in that time. For at least the last year or two, I’ve started to see the field enter in the era of what I’ll call The Big Push towards scaling-up responsible business practice.
What scaling-up looks like depends on whom you ask and is difficult to condense into a few words. Does it mean a deep, enterprise-wide commitment to extensive footprint-reduction across a range of environmental and social issues? Yes. Does it mean extending this commitment across the global supply chain? Check. Does it mean significant investments of time, talent, and money to help solve major global challenges? Yes again. Does it mean that the business has collective “only-Nixon-can-go-to-China” moments, to encourage governments to set stricter standards? Yes, indeed it does. And this is just the start of the list.
There’s a compelling case to be made that in many instances it will increasingly be in businesses’ best interest to scale up CR practices, but I’ll save that discussion for another post. The question for now is how are the mix of influencers, activists, CR thought-leaders, and zealous practitioners working to advance The Big Push? Where are they investing their time and energy and what will that mean...
AECOM Technology Corporation, a leading provider of professional technical and management support services for public and private clients in more than 140 countries around the world, announced today that it will recognize World Water Day on March 22, in conjunction with events in more than 100 countries.
As one of the world’s largest water engineering firms, according to Engineering News-Record magazine, AECOM is committed to environmental sustainability and working to ensure that people around the world have access to clean water. Through strategic partnerships with organizations such as Engineers Without Borders (EWB), Water For People (WFP) and the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, AECOM and its partners have managed to raise awareness about the growing concern of water disparity around the world.
The company will release a number of internal and external communications to raise awareness about World Water Day and its efforts to bring clean water to people around the world.
“We are proud of AECOM’s industry-leading reputation in providing engineering services for water supply projects around the world,” said AECOM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John M. Dionisio. “While we join others globally in marking World Water Day, we are also celebrating our company’s commitment to a culture of social responsibility worldwide."
AECOM serves as a global sponsor for WFP, having raised more than US$125,000 since 2010, providing those in...
[Editor's note: This article is part of The Role of Business in Emerging Markets.]
More than two billion people worldwide are currently affected by nutritional deficiencies. DSM and The World Food Program (WFP) have created a partnership that is critical to solving nutrition problems in developing nations and fighting the severe impact of debilitating hunger. The WFP is currently the largest humanitarian organization addressing global hunger. DSM, a global science-based company, active in health, nutrition, and materials is one of the world’s largest producers of micronutrients. Together, DSM and the WFP have an opportunity to make a substantial impact on the current nutrition deficiencies in emerging markets around the world.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies account for an estimated 7.3% of the current global disease burden. More specifically, Iron, Vitamin A, and Zinc deficiencies rank among the top 10 leading causes of death due to disease. Nutrition insecurity and micronutrient deficiency impairs the mental and physical development of an average of 40-60% of infants in the developing world. These deficiencies are also debilitating to the health and energy of more than 500 million women worldwide.
It is clear that...
We recently returned from Johannesburg, South Africa where we attended the first Academy of Management Conference held outside North America. During our time there we were filled with wonder at the progress made by South Africa and many of its Sub-Saharan neighbors in addressing daunting political, economic, and social challenges. What accounts for Africa rising?
This was a key question at the Academy gathering that brought 200 or so management professors from around the world to meet 100 of their African counterparts at the Gordon Institute of Business Sciences (GIBS). The assembled professors, drawing on B-School frameworks, variously attributed Africa’s rise to increased foreign (and domestic) investment, the spread of wireless telecommunications, the rise of micro-credit, and, in a nod to geo-politics, also cited democratic reforms, national reconciliation processes, and transnational peace-keeping. But a recurring theme, voice by Africans and non-Africans alike, was the leadership and example of Nelson Mandela.
Now in his 95th year, Mandela’s deteriorating health made it uncertain if he...
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, today announced plans to help facilitate the “last mile” and bridge the gap between government payments that need to be disbursed and the people who receive them.
Initially, the Western Union service will enable parents with school-age children, university students and senior citizens to access government and emergency payments at more than 600 Western Union Agent locations across Haiti. Future plans may include offering a wider array of pay-out options including: bank accounts, mobile phones or prepaid cards.
The government of Haiti has developed a wide array of conditional cash transfer programs under the Ede Pep (Help People) umbrella that have successfully addressed the needs of school children, university students, the handicapped and approximately 200,000 women, children and men across Haitian society.
“Western Union is one of only a handful of global brands with an unparalleled consumer reach, the ability to connect remote communities to the global economy, and the solutions to propel financial inclusion and help communities and businesses move forward,” said Hikmet Ersek, President and Chief Executive Officer, Western Union.
“The introduction of our service in Haiti will help facilitate government payments supporting social programs across the country, and is part of our business strategy to harness the power of our global money transfer platform. Our multi-...
The Aspen Institute today announced its 2013 Class of Henry Crown Fellows. The Henry Crown Fellowship engages the next generation of leaders in the challenge of community-spirited leadership. The Fellowship brings together executives—most from the business world, all entrepreneurs, all under 45—who have already achieved conspicuous success in their chosen fields and are at a point of meaningful inflection in their lives and careers. The two-year program comprises a structured series of four seminars and each Fellow will undertake an individual leadership project to put thought into action.
“We are delighted with this year’s class of Henry Crown Fellows,” said Peter Reiling, executive director of the program. “For society, they represent a potent force of talent, ready to focus their energies on some of the greatest challenges of our times. For them, they are embarking on a personal journey—a journey ‘from success to significance’—that will change their lives forever. I know. I’m a Henry Crown Fellow too.”
The Henry Crown Fellows for 2013 are:
Tracey Abbott, vice president strategic planning, Footlocker, Inc., New York, NY
Joshua Baer, chief innovation officer, Return Path and Managing Director, Capital Factory, Austin, TX
Sidney Breyer, founder and board member, Alog Data Centers do...
Winners Announced in “People and Planet” Green Business Contest – Focus on Strategies for Getting to Zero Waste
Three winners were announced today for Green America’s quarterly “People & Planet Award,” which recognizes America’s best green, small businesses. Each of three winners will receive $5,000. The winners are: Preserve, CompostNow, and Hummingbird Wholesale. Winners were selected by the public, who had a month-long open voting period online at Green America’s website.
Green America’s “People & Planet Awards” recognize innovative entrepreneurial U.S. businesses that deeply integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations. This round of the Awards focused on green businesses that have a strong commitment to creative recycling and waste management.
Alisa Gravitz, president, Green America, said: “Recycling, creative reuse, and waste reduction are important issues for businesses today. Green America is proud to recognize businesses that are demonstrating innovative ways of moving toward zero-waste by awarding People and Planet Awards to our top three contestants.”
The winning companies’ descriptions are below:
- Preserve, Waltham, MA., http://www.preserveproducts.com. Preserve® makes stylish, eco-friendly products for the home. They strive to combine socially and environmentally responsible business practices with groundbreaking design to create their products. Preserve believes that choosing eco-friendly products doesn't...