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Archive for the ‘events’ Category

VIEWS: SSC at the World Water Forum (Part III)

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on March 24, 2009

Dispatch from SSC President Jennifer Woofter

I’m on the flight back home after my trip to Istanbul and the World Water Forum. I’m sure that in the coming week we will hear all about the sessions, working groups, panels, and “key messages” through such excellent sites as Grist and Worldchanging (two of my favorite sustainability news outlets). I’m also sure that others’ analysis will be more insightful and pithy than mine.

But as I Istanbul, what is sticking with me is the disconnect between what *I* know about water and it’s connection with sustainability (even basic societal survival!) and how everyday people think about water. I was asked more than a dozen times by the “average” Istanbul citizen what I was doing in the city, and it often led to a discussion of water. Here’s what I heard:

Taxi Driver – don’t you think this is something that politicians are using to get people riled up? Water is not a problem. Well, maybe in 100 years. But this is not something we should be concerned with today.

Carpet Shop Employee – it’s true that clean water is difficult, but bottled water is so cheap it is not really a problem for me. Maybe it’s more of a problem in the country.

Hotel Employee – this is a problem in Africa, right? Where there is no rain? Here we get lots of rain, so drought is not something we worry about.

I think if you asked people in any major city you would probably hear the same thing: it’s a political “much ado about nothing”, it’s about my own personal access to clean drinking water, or it’s a problem in areas with drought. Very few people seemed to see the larger picture – for instance about water privatization issues, or climate change implications, or even how the price of goods and services will rise as access to clean water becomes more expensive – or impossible to obtain.

As a sustainability consultant, it’s my job to help people understand how a simple-yet-complex issue like water can have real meaning to their lives and their livelihoods. I have to wear many hats – scientist, communicator, accountant, fortuneteller… I have to balance the realities of today with the uncertainties of tomorrow. I have to find the link between the “right thing to do” (e.g. access to clean drinking water for all) and what makes “good business sense” (e.g. let’s make sure our company’s supply chain is water-efficient). It’s complicated and fascinating work – and as I leave Istanbul I’m excited to get back to the SSC office and spend some time reviewing our consulting services to ensure that water concerns are integrated into every part of our analysis and planning engagements.

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NEWS: Update from the World Water Forum

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on March 19, 2009

Dispatch from SSC President Jennifer Woofter

The 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, is in full swing. Keynotes, lectures, workshops, networking events, receptions – you name it, it’s here. But the real action seems to be in the streets, where the protests by global activists have the police in a frenzy.

The groups are a motley crowd of human rights activists, non-governmental organizations, and government representatives (the UN “water czar” was reportedly joining the protests) – all of whom have come together to protest the commoditization of water (rather than the treatment of water as a human right). To be fair, the forum does discuss issues of privatization, technology, adaptation, and human rights – but critics say it favors the business world at the expense of those living at the bottom of the pyramid.

News reports say that somewhere between 150 and 300 people were in Monday’s protest, waving signs and banners, and chanting. They were met “forcefully” by riot police who used tear gas to disperse the group. Some protesters were also captured on camera using slings to propel rocks at the police. At least 15 people were held for questioning, and one policeman was injured. Some of the participants (ostensibly the peaceful protestors who were not involved with the rock-throwing) made it back to the forum for the afternoon session and vociferously voiced their protest at rough handling by police.

The police are not apologizing, the Water Forum officials have responded by saying that there are official ways to participate and voice disagreement (that does not, I suspect, involve waving banners on the street), and more protests are in the works. Word on the street is that the location of the protests will be moved, since the stifling police presence makes marching to the conference center impossible. Look in the coming days for protests at hotels where high-ranking officials retreat to discuss policy matters.

As for me, I’ve been advised to avoid certain parts of the city since protests can flare up at any time and the police are taking their responsibilities to protect the city’s honor very seriously. But with more than 27,000 people participating in the World Water Forum, avoiding a crowd in Istanbul this week is easier said than done.

Posted in events, human rights, news | 1 Comment »

VIEWS: SSC at the World Water Forum

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on March 17, 2009

Dispatch from SSC President Jennifer Woofter

I arrived in Istanbul yesterday afternoon for the 5th World Water Forum (and what I also hope will be a little vacation). Grabbing a taxi from the airport to the hotel where I’m staying, the evidence of the conference is everywhere – from the oh-so-very-efficient customs and passport control to the conference signs and banners attached to virtually every streetlight and traffic light in the city. (There are also millions of flags, posters, and banners concerning the upcoming March 29 local elections – but that’s another story altogether).

The conference attendees are everywhere you turn, speaking in a dozen languages and all gesturing emphatically. Water, it seems, is an issue that everyone from GIS Analysts to the Crown Prince of Japan (who gave this morning’s keynote) can get excited about. The city is literally buzzing with enthusiasm, and the rest of the week looks to be more of the same.

Ironically, even as I type this brief update from my hotel room, I’m sipping on bottled water. It’s unfortunate that the city’s municipal water is questionable (either overly chlorinated, or not chlorinated enough, and while probably fine no one wants to take that chance), and so everyone chugs down artificially cheap and yet oh-so-environmentally-toxic bottled water. Providing safe and clean drinking water to Istanbul’s 12.6 million residents is going to continue to be a challenge, especially considering the city’s aging infrastructure and rapid growth. It will be interesting to see how the conference addresses the realities of its host city’s situation.

If you are in Istanbul for the conference, send me an email (jennifer@sustainabilityconsulting.com). We’ll grab a coffee and share notes!

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EVENTS: Sustainable MBA Classes at Bainbridge Graduate Institute

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on March 10, 2009

The Bainbridge Graduate Institute (www.bgiedu.org) is now enrolling students for the fall. BGI offers an MBA in Sustainable Business and is considered a leader in the field. BGI combines the rigors of a traditional MBA program while infusing sustainability and social justice into every class and assignment.

BGI’s mission is to prepare students from diverse backgrounds to build enterprises that are financially successful, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.

BGI attracts and serves students from across North America. Students meet monthly, for a long weekend, at a LEED gold-certified educational facility on Bainbridge Island, just outside Seattle.

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EVENTS: Webinar – “Creating a Climate Change Strategy” on April 8, 2009

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on March 4, 2009

How are companies being held accountable for their carbon footprints? What are leading organizations doing to create a forward-looking climate change strategy? If you are a company just starting with a climate change strategy, where should you devote your time and effort? Join us for a call with Wood Turner, Executive Director at Climate Counts, an organization that scores companies annually on the basis of their voluntary climate actions and then publicizes those results to help consumers make carbon-sensitive buying decisions.

In this 60-minute presentation, you’ll learn about:
– The methodology behind the Climate Counts scorecard
– The power of climate benchmarking in motivating corporate action
– The most important climate change actions for “newbie” companies
– Emerging issues on the corporate climate responsibility front

The webinar is hosted by Jennifer K. Woofter, president of Strategic Sustainability Consulting (SSC). In the past three years, SSC has grown from a 1-person start-up to a consultancy drawing on more than 330 sustainability experts.

Cost: Free

Sign-Up on Our Website: http://www.sustainabilityconsulting.com (click Events)

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EVENTS: Upcoming SSC Green Auditor Certification Training in May 2009

Posted by dbuhrau on February 13, 2009

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Want to help organizations figure out how to “go green”? Have a passion for sustainability but no formal audit training? Join us for a 3-day training event and become a certified SSC Green Auditor! We’ll provide you with everything you need to successfully guide a client through a Green Audit.

Using SSC’s proprietary methodology and tools, you will learn how to:

  • Determine employees’ attitudes and awareness about “going green”
  • Calculate your client’s carbon footprint
  • Assess your client’s environmental strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement
  • Provide relevant, cost-effective, and impactful green recommendation

After you complete the certification, you will:

  • Walk away with a host of tactical tools (surveys, spreadsheets, calculators, report templates) to make green audits a simple, consistent process
  • Get access to SSC’s collection of green recommendations and results (for example, show your clients how their carbon footprint compares to other similar organizations)
  • Be authorized to use the SSC Green Audit methodology and tools to conduct your own client engagements, with licensing fees paid to SSC on a per-client basis
  • Receive free support from SSC staff, to help when questions come up
  • Be listed on the SSC website as a certified SSC Green Auditor, and receive a “Certified SSC Green Auditor” logo to use on your own materials
  • Receive preferential status when SSC contracts with local sustainability consultants

Program details:

  • Date: May 27 – May 29, 2009
  • Location: Washington, DC (specific details to follow)
  • Cost: $2,500 per person (discounts available for groups)
  • Length of certification: 1-year (annual recertification optional)

Are you right for this certification program?

This program is designed for people with a strong working knowledge of environmental issues, who are looking for a green audit methodology that will provide clear, concise, and compelling results for their clients. You should be comfortable with concepts like (but not limited to) climate change, waste/recycling, water management, ISO 14001, and sustainability reporting. Participants have probably read The Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism, and can confidently answer simple questions about “green” workplaces. To ensure only the highest quality SSC Green Auditors, we reserve the right to limit access to the certification program.

To learn more about the certification program, send an email to info@sustainabilityconsulting.com and tell us more about yourself. To register, go to our website at http://www.sustainabilityconsulting.com and go to our events page–click forward to May and choose “register now”.

Posted in events, news, Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

EVENTS: Distance Learning Course at Harvard University on Sustainability

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on January 7, 2009

Environmental Studies E-105 : Strategies for Environmental Management
Harvard Extension School: 21808
Spring 2008-2009
Robert B. Pojasek, PhD, Adjunct Lecturer on Environmental Science, Harvard School of Public Health.
Location: 1 Story Street 304
Meeting Time: Monday7:35-9:35 pm

Students explore the path to sustainable development at the local level. A case method approach is used to examine the nexus among communities, local businesses, organizations, and individuals. Sustainability is put into operation in local businesses as a management system. Local cases are used to illustrate the tradeoffs that may be necessary.

Taught by our friend and colleague Robert Pojasek, you definitely want to check out this online, distance learning course. He notes:

We should have more than 100 students from over 20 countries in the course. This year students will work in cohort groups to write collaborative cases with positive outcomes using a WIKI tool. I think they will find there will be quite a bit of skill development to be had.

Download the syllabus here. Have questions? Email him at rpojasek (at) hsph.harvard.edu.

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EVENT: Master Class Webinar Series for Chief Sustainability Officers

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on November 3, 2008

Are you the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) at your organization—either formally or informally? Interested in becoming a CSO in the future? Do you feel prepared to lead your company or non-profit down the road to a sustainable future? Do you have the right tools and concepts to guide you? Do you know how to integrate sustainability into the core of the business, so that all employees are empowered to make good choices?

We’ve developed this series of online webinars to prepare new CSOs (or CSR Directors, Sustainability Program Managers, Green Champions, etc.) to effectively tackle the challenges of being an internal sustainability champion. With our instruction and your hard work, you’ll create a strategic sustainability plan that ties it all together and makes social and environmental responsibility a meaningful and measurable component of your organization’s success.

This CSO Master Class Series is a 10-week course of weekly interactive, web-based sessions on a variety of sustainability topics, plus professional assistance in helping to develop your own sustainability plan. From understanding your role as a CSO to assessing key impacts, from conducting a stakeholder analysis to setting effective goals—this series has been designed to give you the theoretical and practical foundation you need to be an effective Chief Sustainability Office.

Classes begin January 6th (10 weeks in total)

Online sessions mean you can participate from anywhere!

Cost is $2,500

Class is limited to eight participants

Download the class syllabus here, with information on everything you need to know!

Sign up at our website: www.sustainabilityconsulting.com. And remember that the cost of this course may be covered by your organization—ask about getting reimbursed! (One partial scholarship for a non-profit CSO is also available). For more information, email us at info@sustainabilityconsulting.com.

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EVENTS: Save Money by Going Green – A Webinar

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on October 23, 2008

Save Money by Going Green

An Interactive Webinar from Strategic Sustainability Consulting

Thursday, October 30 @ 1 pm EST

In these tough economic times, it’s easy to brush off “going green” as something for another day. Not so fast! We’ll show you how making simple environmental changes can positively impact your bottom line. And for each suggestion, we’ll include a calculator so that you can measure the environmental benefits and financial savings to your company. You’ll be surprised by how the little things add up!

SSC is pleased to offer “Save Money by Going Green”, an interactive, web-based event designed to provide you with practical suggestions for “green” improvements that can save your company money. In this 60-minute webinar, you’ll learn:

9 ways to save money in 2009 by “going green”

How to calculate savings for your own organization

Ideas for how to get “greener” for no additional cost

There is no cost to attend, and all you need to participate is a computer with an internet connection (for the web portion) and a telephone line (to hear the speaker). Sign up at our website: www.sustainabilityconsulting.com.

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NEWS: SSC Helps Companies “Get thoroughly Green”

Posted by dbuhrau on October 18, 2008

Strategic Sustainability Consulting was featured in this month’s Entrepreneur magazine with SSC President Jennifer Woofter quoted in the article “Get Thoroughly Green.” The following is a brief summary.

Fowler Printing and Graphics, a growing company in Randolph, Massachusetts has made an impressive start in it’s commitment to go green. From recycling 3 tons of paper a week to using eco friendly inks, the company’s green goals are integrated into every level of the business and they’re not alone.  Companies, such as Levi and American Apparel, are realizing that to remain competitive they need to green their entire production cycle.

Retail giant Wal-Mart’s Sustainability 360 initiative is destined to drive sustainability into the small business sector sooner rather than later. Jennifer Woofter, President of Strategic Sustainability Consulting, a firm that helps companies create green strategies, believes small companies have an advantage in taking their production cycles green. “It is always easier and more cost effective to think about being green at the beginning, rather than come up with a traditional product and traditional business model and then try to overlay green, she says.

For the full article:
http://www.usnews.com/articles/business/small-business-entrepreneurs/2008/10/07/get-thoroughly-green.html

copyright 2008 Entrepreneur.com, Inc. All rights reserved.

For more information please contact:
Denis Buhrau, Project Manger
Strategic Sustainability Consulting
202-470-3248
504-214-4354

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