[Editor's Note: This post originally published on GreenBiz. Republished with permission.]
Energy and water are essential for economic development, food and agriculture production, global security and social-wellbeing. The United Nations predicts that by 2030, the world will need at least 30 percent more water, 45 percent more energy and 50 percent more food. This challenge will be exacerbated by a climate change, an increasingly prosperous middle class, urbanization and demographic shifts from rural to urban centers, which will to put even more pressure on our finite natural resources.
The good news is many forward-thinking companies are leading the way in solving energy and water challenges to ensure a more secure and prosperous energy and water future that delivers business, environmental, and social benefits.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center has just released its annual environment publication, "Achieving Energy and Water Security: Scalable Solutions from the Private Sector" (PDF...
Recently, I spoke with Angela Baker, Qualcomm’s Senior Manager of Wireless Reach and Government Affairs, on how mobile technology is a smart, important, and versatile tool for empowering women throughout many aspects of their lives – be it their livelihood, their safety, or their healthcare. Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach program values and promotes that access to mobile technology can give women opportunities to better themselves and their families.
In conversing with Angela, I was inspired by Qualcomm’s breadth and creativity in developing innovative solutions for women. For more information about Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach program and their work transforming women’s lives through technology, click here to download their most recent report, “Transforming Women’s Livelihoods Through Mobile Broadband.”
Kara: Tell us about how Qualcomm and mobile broadband have the power to change women’s lives.
Angela: Qualcomm knows that 3G, 4G, and next generation mobile technologies can improve lives, and in particular empower women. From nearly 100 projects around the world that...
On Saturday, March 22, organizations will commemorate World Water Day as a way to stress the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. One company passionate about ending water scarcity is Xylem Inc. Through their Xylem Watermark initiative, the company works to improve access to water for millions of people around the world through innovative technologies and collaborative approaches.
I recently interviewed Michael Fields, Director of Corporate Citizenship, Xylem Inc. to discuss the importance of their Xylem Watermark program and how the company is making a difference around the world.
Q. How does Xylem Watermark leverage Xylem’s core capacity to make significant social impact, and why is this an important business imperative?
Michael: Xylem is one of the world’s leading providers of technology to treat and transport water; we are keenly aware that our business relies on a very complex and scarce natural resource. Global water issues are material to our business, and so we recognize that we must work to address them in a strategic, sustainable, and responsible way.
We do so through...
By: Snehal Desai, Global Business Director, Water & Process Solutions, The Dow Chemical Company
The city of Terneuzen is a major seaport and freshwater-scarce coastal area in the southwestern Netherlands, where competing water demands across agriculture, industry, and residences makes water management difficult.
To help manage freshwater use and reuse, Dow Terneuzen, of The Dow Chemical Company, has partnered with the Water Board Scheldestromen, the City of Terneuzen, and water company Evides—which supplies drinking water and industrial water in the southwestern Netherlands—to create a public private approach in the early 1990s. The partnership includes recycling municipal and industrial water as well as producing demineralized water.
The largest chemical processing plant outside of the United States, Dow Terneuzen is the city’s largest employer, and the heaviest industrial water user. Through an innovative recycling program, Dow Terneuzen accepts wastewater each day from the city, has it purified by Evides, and uses it to generate steam and feed its manufacturing plants. By 2020, Dow Terneuzen hopes to entirely eliminate its reliance on remotely sourced freshwater and exclusively use water sourced from this regional water recycling program.
Through the wastewater recycling program, Dow reuses 30,000 cubic meters of...
By: John R. Smith, Director of Sustaining Technologies, Products & Operations, Alcoa
Water is a fundamental natural resource. For Alcoa, with our refining, ingot-casting, and aluminum product processes requiring significant water resources, we recognize the world’s water management challenge is everyone’s responsibility. It requires additional capital, new tools and mindsets, more cooperation among the various stakeholders, and innovative technologies to better anticipate and effectively respond to the most pressing environmental situations we face.
In early 2012, Alcoa set new internal goals for freshwater-use intensity—we aim to achieve a 25% improvement in freshwateruse intensity by 2020 and 30% by 2030, over 2005 levels.
Key to achieving our water goals as well as assisting customers globally is Alcoa’s Natural Engineered Wastewater Treatment technology that mimics natural wetlands to sustainably treat wastewaters.
The system, developed at the Alcoa Technology Center outside of Pittsburgh, imitates the natural process of wetlands to clean and disinfect process water. The system uses 40% less energy and has 60% lower operating costs than traditional systems, functions without the use of conventional water treatment chemicals, and does not emit odors associated with conventional tank systems. Treated water is of...
MGM Resorts International and Regulatory Agencies Work Together toward Greener Solutions in Las Vegas
By: Chris Brophy, Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, MGM Resorts International
Variable frequency drive (VFD) technology is a proven method for reducing the electricity consumption and extending the operational life of a wide range of electric motors. This is achieved by its ability to control the rotational speed of an alternating current motor, allowing it to conserve energy when the device is not in high demand. Recognizing the conservation benefits of VFDs, MGM Resorts International initiated plans in 2011 to retrofit the company’s pool, spa, and water feature pumps with this device. The pumps were operating at a consistent speed in most applications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With more than 300 pool pumps at MGM Resorts, the Corporate Sustainability Division and property operations recognized that the installation of VFDs could dramatically reduce the company’s energy use.
VFD technology has been commonly used in the residential pool market as the environmental benefits of VFDs have been widely known. However, by 2011, little had been done with the technology in the area of commercial pools due to local regulations, federal agency oversight, and national guidance standards. From the beginning, MGM Resorts partnered directly with...
Each year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) produces a series of reports highlighting the positive contributions of businesses tackling pressing environmental and social challenges. In the 2014 environment report, we are pleased to present more than 25 success stories in Achieving Energy and Water Security: Scalable Solutions from the Private Sector. The report illustrates how the private sector is moving the needle on energy and water issues that benefit the environment and the bottom line.
Energy and water are essential for economic development, food production, and global security. However, rapid population growth, an increasingly prosperous middle class, urbanization, changes in climate, and demographic shifts from rural to...
By: Robert Ludke. Executive Vice President, Corporate Advisory Practice. Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Corporate executives across industries and sectors continuously seek a “license to operate” from the public. In essence, this means the company is actively working to gain and maintain the reputational support needed to achieve its short and long-term business objectives. They must build a reputation that assures the public that their behaviors are consistent with their values.
To their credit, many companies have put in place innovative programs and initiatives to engage their audiences and show that the company is worthy of the public’s trust in its brand and reputation.
However, many executives don’t fully appreciate that today’s public takes a much broader, integrated view of the company when evaluating the company as something worthy of their trust. They perceive the company as a whole, not segments that they choose or do not choose to interact with.
Companies have been slow to present themselves to the public in the same way that the public looks to evaluate them. Too often corporate executives segment their audiences by issues or corporate functions – an approach that prevents the public from being managed in a coordinated, strategic manner across all functions of the organization.
BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and Global Communities Partner to Assist Vulnerable Communities in Colombia
By John Forman, Country Director, Global Communities Colombia
Global Communities and BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities (BSC) have now completed the first year of a partnership to assist vulnerable communities and displaced persons in Colombia. BSC has provided US $28.6 million to ANDA, a five-year program specifically designed to address the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and vulnerable communities to complement poverty reduction efforts by the national government.
Global Communities has worked for nearly 13 years implementing large-scale development programs throughout Colombia including income generation, microfinance, housing/infrastructure , HIV/health, and humanitarian assistance programs. ANDA has partnered so far with the San Isidro Foundation, a foundation supported by the Cerro Matoso mine, Fundacion Amanecer and Diakonia de la Paz, and will partner other local organizations to implement this program.
ANDA targets poor communities within the municipalities of Planeta Rica, Buenavista, La Apartada, Montelibano, Puerto Libertador and San Jose de Ure in the northern Colombia department of Cordoba. It also helps disadvantaged women, youth, Afro-Colombians and indigenous persons living in and around the cities of Monteria and Cartagena, all of which have large populations of IDPs.
The program targets these communities because decades of conflict have left these areas without access to vital public services such as health...
By: Kerry Sullivan, Bank of America Charitable Foundation President and
Sue Stephenson, Vice President, Community Footprints, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
Mentoring can be a powerful way for companies to leverage their employees’ skills and expertise to have a positive impact on young people and help address social issues. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Bank of America were recently recognized for their achievements in mentoring by MENTOR and the Corporation for National and Community Service. While our companies represent different industries and take a different approach, we believe there are common lessons we can share about how to build, maintain and expand the impact of an effective employee mentoring volunteer program.
Design your mentoring program with outcomes in mind
What do you hope to achieve through your mentoring program? You can build a successful mentoring program to address specific need by leveraging the unique skills and expertise your employees can bring to an issue.
At The Ritz-Carlton, we leverage our commitment to...