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Archive for the ‘news’ Category

NEWS: SSC Launches New Website, Moves Blog to New Home

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on April 29, 2009

We’re delighted to announce that our website facelift is complete! Go to www.sustainabilityconsulting.com to see all the upgrades and new info – it’s been months in the works and we’re really proud of the way it’s turned out. One thing you do need to know: we’ve moved our blog over from WordPress so please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds with this new information:

SSC Blog: http://www.sustainabilityconsulting.com/blog/
RSS Feed: http://www.sustainabilityconsulting.com/blog/rss.xml

Other things to note: we’ve launched a podcast service! Every week we’ll be publishing a new interview with a sustainability consultant. This week, we have Dave Nelson of Nelson Sustainability discussing how to talk to executives about sustainability, and next week we’ll feature our interview with Jessica Vreeswijk of GreenITtools.com talking about–what else–Green IT.

SSC Podcast: http://www.sustainabilityconsulting.com/podcasts/
RSS Feed: http://www.sustainabilityconsulting.com/podcasts/rss.xml

And now you can also get a feed of SSC events on your RSS reader!

SSC Events: http://www.sustainabilityconsulting.com/events/
RSS Feed: http://www.sustainabilityconsulting.com/events/rss.xml

Finally, did you know that we’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter? Come connect with us!

Facebook – we just created a Facebook page in April, and so it’s a little bare. But become a member today and help us create great content! We’ll be adding information on a regular basis – plus, it’s a fun way to see what people at SSC are up to in a less formal atmosphere.

LinkedIn – if you’re a sustainability consultant, join the SSC Consultant Network group on LinkedIn. We’ve currently got more than 100 members, and post upcoming events, projects, and job offers.

Twitter – Jennifer is experimenting with Twitter and enjoying the challenge of communicating in 140 characters or less. Follow her to find out what a “day in the life of a sustainability consultant” looks like!

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NEWS: Winning Sustainability Strategies – A Round-Up of Recent Reports

Posted by dbuhrau on March 23, 2009

Recent studies show that remote conferencing is the number one strategy for greening businesses, and that programs are much more successful when organizations put a single person in charge of sustainability efforts.

In a survey by InterCall, a conferencing solutions firm, two-thirds of the 900 employees surveyed said their companies use remote conferencing to avoid business travel and reduce the size of their carbon footprint, beating out recycling and working with greener suppliers.

Telephone conferencing is the most popular, according to the survey, with 75% of companies relying on conference calls to get the job done. But web and video technologies have improved drastically in recent years, and 63% of respondents say that they meet via the internet, while half use videoconferencing on a regular basis.

The main reason that conferencing is becoming such a popular green strategy seems to be that it’s easy and cheap. According to some survey respondents, conferencing is a behavior change that businesses can make immediately without expensive changes to their product or processes – a win-win for everybody.

And the payoffs can be significant: British Telecom, for example, cut CO2 emissions by nearly 100,000 metric tons thanks to videoconferencing, which eliminated the need for more than 860,000 face-to-face staff meetings, according to an internal company survey.

There are other popular green strategies as well, according to a survey of HR executives by human resources firm Buck Consultants. Although their respondents also cited remote conferencing as their number one strategy (at 80%), 76% set policies to conserve paper, and 68% have implemented employee wellness programs.

Teleworking is on the rise as well, according to the InterCall survey. Seventy-one percent of respondents said their companies enable employees to telecommute on a full or part-time basis and of those, 25% actively encourage the practice.

Another interesting finding in the surveys is that among companies that have established sustainability programs, those that put a single person in charge of them are much more likely to get their employees behind the effort. According to the Buck survey, in companies with at least three-quarters of their employees actively involved in green programs, 71% have appointed individual leaders whereas only 29% do not have such a leader.

Incentives programs help, too. Among companies that provide rewards to encourage green behaviors, 77% provide special employee recognition, 36% give prize incentives, and 14% offer a monetary reward.

But there is still much more that organizations can do, says Don Sanford, a managing director at Buck. Specifically, he expects to see future growth in green training programs, environmentally responsible investment options, and recruiting employees with green skills.

Finally, it’s worth noting that successful green programs can have a positive effect well beyond a company’s environmental footprint. Sanford says that many employers now recognize that green programs in the workplace can promote social responsibility among workers and help retain top talent. And for those companies that embrace conferencing technologies, they not only reduce travel costs and facilitate speedier decision-making, they can also help employees reduce travel time, increase productivity, and achieve a better work-life balance. What’s more, it frees up road space and seats on public transportation – all of which are very positive.

To view the surveys and more information, see:

Report: Sustainability Efforts Require Individual Leadership

Conferencing Tops List of Green Business Strategies, Survey Finds

Posted in business case, news, resources, trends, workplace | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

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 »

PEOPLE: Meet our Spring 2009 Intern Team

Posted by dbuhrau on January 10, 2009

We’re so pleased to have a great team of research and marketing interns this Spring-they are an amazing group of talented students and recent grads that are making a huge contribution to our work. Read on for their details…

Bari Levine is a senior Geography major at the University of Maryland, College Park with a concentration in Global Environmental Change. After conducting research on corporate social responsibility and sustainability in the business sector for a previous internship, Bari became interested in learning as much as she can about how businesses can positively contribute to the United States’ shift towards sustainability. Bari hopes to help the environment and combat climate change through the changing of business practices. Bari is from outside Philadelphia and enjoys spending time with family, friends, her many pets, and traveling.

Matthew Savage has 10 years of diverse experience, working for British Petroleum in both France and the UK before starting his own business. Matthew is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in International Economics. He has a particular interest in water conservation.

Tracy Jarvis, Ph.D. has a professional background in coaching, consulting, training, and academia. She ran a coaching and consulting business specializing in strategic change and alignment, and before that was a professor of American Politics. After a decade of serious interest in sustainability, she now wishes to move into the sustainability sector with a focus on communications and education.

Lucinda Brown has an MBA from Georgetown University and a BFA in Visual Communications from Syracuse University. As a member of an elite commercial real estate brokerage team on Wall Street, she represented two first class office buildings and Dean Witter Reynolds in a major lease transaction. While living in Mexico City, she gained first hand management experience as General Manager of the US’s second largest Embassy Employees Association in the world. Currently residing outside Washington, DC, Ms. Brown has also lived abroad in London, Florence and Rangoon. Her hobbies include paper making, jewelry making and home scale permaculture.

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RESOURCES: Now Available! Sustainability 101: A Toolkit for Your Business

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on January 9, 2009

Sustainability Consultants have teamed up to provide easy, practical guidance to organizations wanting to “go green”

January 9, 2009 (Bethesda, MD) – As more and more companies recognize the benefits and necessity of ‘going green’, many are asking, “Where do we begin?” To answer this critical question, sustainability consultants Anca Novacovici and Jennifer Woofter have put their experience and expertise to work in their new book Sustainability 101: A Toolkit for Business. At just under 200 pages in length, this succinct introductory manual is designed to help organizations, whether committed to going green or just getting started, become more socially and environmentally responsible.

“This book is intended to simplify the process,” said Anca Novacovici, founder of Eco-Coach, Inc., “and help a company, or a Green Team within a company, get started on the path to sustainability. “Going green” does not have to be complicated and costly. Outlined in the book are some relatively straight-forward and cost-effective steps that companies can take to get started right away.”

Inside, organizations will find simple, easy-to-follow steps for greening any business, including “how-to”:

• Get senior-level management on board
• Create a detailed sustainability plan
• Implement a sustainability plan
• Most importantly, get started!

“We’ve used this material with dozens of clients, and find that this “101” level of recommendation is just right for organizations who are ready to tackle a green commitment and need help in taking those first steps,” said Jennifer Woofter, president of Strategic Sustainability Consulting. “With this book as a reference, companies of every size can feel confident that “going green” is within their reach.”

Just off the presses, Sustainability 101: A Toolkit for Business can be purchased at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com for download ($29.95) or in paperback ($39.95), or can be purchased directly from Strategic Sustainability Consulting at SustainabilityConsulting.com or Eco-Coach at Eco-Coach.com.

Anca Novacovici is the founder of Eco-Coach, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based consultancy that offers corporate and residential sustainability services. Her company provides businesses and individuals with the tools and knowledge to improve their environmental footprint while keeping in mind the bottom line. Clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller businesses and individuals.

Jennifer Woofter is the president and founder of Strategic Sustainability Consulting in Washington, D.C., specializing in helping companies understand how social and environmental responsibility can lead to long-term profitability. Her company produces an ever-growing series of Sustainability 101 books, including Sustainability 101 for Restaurants, for Churches, and for Healthcare Facilities.

Sustainability 101: A Toolkit For Your Business
By Anca Novacovici and Jennifer Woofter
ISBN: 978-1-4357-1884-5
Publisher: Lulu.com
Download (3066 KB): $29.95
Paperback (197 pages): $39.95
Publication Date: July 2008

Posted in book reviews, environmental, news, resources, special offers | Leave a Comment »

NEWS: Terrabytes Consulting Launches New Green IT Community Website

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on December 1, 2008

We’ve worked with the folks at Terrabytes Consulting before, and can say that their Green IT Guide and Toolkit is exactly the right package for a small business wanting to take their Green IT program to the next level. Check out their exciting news below. — The SSC Team

VICTORIA, BC – Terrabytes Consulting, a Green Information Technology (“green IT”) consulting firm, proudly announces the launch of the new GreenITTools.com community website. Terrabytes Consulting provides products and services to help IT organizations reduce environmental impact, save money and simplify operations while doing so.

In these uncertain economic times, all businesses will be looking for ways to reduce costs. Green IT practises offer many quickly-implemented projects that can produce immediate cost savings. In addition, the business climate is such that encouraging energy conservation and reduction of paper consumption, for example, are easy concepts to sell. GreenITTools.com offers a comprehensive Green IT Guide to help you get informed and take action on reducing both the environmental impact and the operating efficiency of your office equipment.

With the launch of the new website, GreenITTools.com now offers a richer, more interactive learning experience for visitors. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions, discuss green IT topics with other visitors, and contribute comments and white papers, all while still benefiting from our researched content. We have also announced two on-line seminars for November 27, 2008 and December 4, 2008 introducing and demonstrating green IT practises.

At Terrabytes Consulting, we passionately believe that the most significant learning comes from engaging with other professionals and having lively discussions on the benefits and challenges of making changes for a more sustainable future. We encourage everyone, not just IT professionals, to visit and engage in the activities we provide and let us know what would be useful to you!

Terrabytes Consulting (www.terrabytesconsulting.com) is a Victoria BC-based, Green Information Technology firm whose mission is to provide easy-to-use and cost-saving sustainable IT solutions to IT professionals. For more information about the company, contact jessica@terrabytesconsulting.com. For more information about green IT, visit http://www.greenittools.com.

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NEWS: NeighborWorks America features NDS Ohio and SSC

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on October 29, 2008

We’re delighted to see that our friends at NDS Ohio have been featured on the NeighborWorks America website as an example of affordable housing nonprofits “going green”!

In an effort to actively manage their environmental impacts and implement sustainability solutions in their organization, staff members at Neighborhood Development Services in Ohio took a weeklong extensive training with Strategic Sustainability Consulting, a Bethesda, MD-based company. In addition, NDS has moved to a four-day work week to help its employees save on high gas prices…[read more here].

We’ve worked with both NeighborWorks American and NDS Ohio, helping them green their internal operations AND provide leadership and education on sustainability issues to their local community and business partners.  One step for NDS Ohio was taking SSC’s Green Audit Certification course–and now they are busy providing Green Audits to businesses in their surrounding area.  What a great win for everyone involved!

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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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NEWS: SSC Launches Nationwide Green Auditor Certification

Posted by Jennifer Woofter on September 11, 2008

SSC certifies eighteen Green Auditors in August training course

BETHESDA,MD. – September 11, 2008 – Strategic Sustainability Consulting (SSC) is pleased to announce the conclusion of the first SSC Green Auditor certification course. The eighteen environmental consultants who have completed the training are now authorized to use the SSC Green Audit methodology with their clients, and will receive preferential status when SSC seeks contractors for its own engagements.

“The SSC Green Auditor certification evolved out of a growing need for consistent, reliable Green Audit methodology,” said SSC President Jennifer Woofter. “Because every environmental consultant has developed their own approach, we found that clients weren’t exactly sure what they were getting when they began searching for a green audit provider. Our SSC Green Audit methodology solves that problem, allowing our certified auditors to deliver a clear set of recommendations, and a carbon footprint that is benchmarked against each organization’s peer group.”

Using SSC’s proprietary methodology and tools, certified SSC Green Auditors help organizations:

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

“The SSC Green Audit methodology is well defined and targeted in scope. I’m excited about the service offering, “said Matt Lillard, owner of Green Savers LLC and newly certified SSC Green Auditor. “It has great potential to deliver value immediately to the client, gain their confidence, and lead to a strong potential for follow on services. It gives them metrics that they can use to chart their progress over time. I’ll hope to build some of these features into anything else I add to my suite over time.”

“SSC has worked with more than two dozen clients over the past several years, honing the SSC Green Audit methodology. We’re excited to be able to broaden our services through a network of certified Green Auditors from California to Maine,” said Woofter. “Going green shouldn’t just be for big companies – and now it’s something that every organization can tackle with confidence.”

To learn more about the SSC Green Audit methodology, visit www.sustainabilityconsulting.com/greenaudit.

To learn more about becoming a Certified SSC Green Auditor, visit https://sustainabilityconsulting.wordpress.com/2008/07/02/events-become-a-certified-ssc-green-auditor/.

About Strategic Sustainability Consulting

Strategic Sustainability Consulting provides under-resourced organizations with the tools and expertise needed to understand and manage their social and environmental impacts. Through sustainability assessments, green office auditing, supply chain management, stakeholder consultations, sustainability disclosure and social marketing, SSC helps organizations embrace their larger societal responsibilities and be the good corporate citizens to which they aspire. Find out more at www.sustainabilityconsulting.com.

For more information please contact:

Denise Buhrau, Project Manager

Strategic Sustainability Consulting

202-470-3248

504-214-4354

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