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Forward thinking: Sustainability Progress

Who’s in the mood for some good news? I’m happy to say that sustainability-wise, there seems to have been plenty this week. Twitter is increasingly becoming my favorite way of keeping up with the latest news and staying connected to a very smart and passionate community of sustainability advocates. So let me round off this week by bringing you a summary of the most innovative highlights I heard about on the platform. Food for thought, I hope, and some inspiration as well.

1. Hospitals and sustainability. A report from the Healthier Hospitals Initiative brings great news that sustainability trends are catching on in U.S. hospitals. The report states the challenges facing hospitals as being: engaged leadership, healthier food, reduced waste, leaner energy, smarter purchasing and safer chemicals. The report states that it uses the data collated from 638 hospitals to “drive positive change in healthcare.” This is evident in comparing the 2012 Engaged Leadership findings whose initial goals began with simply creating a sustainability mission statement, to 2013 with 97% of hospitals committing to “creating a strategic sustainability plan.” As I have written before, defining and communicating clear goals is absolutely key in achieving sustainability objectives, no matter what business you are in.

The impact of measurement on effecting change can be seen in the data on waste reduction and energy efficiency. For example, a recycling target of 15% was set for 2013, with an actual aggregate figure of 22% being achieved. Other targets included purchasing 90% or more certified green cleaning products with the belief that as demand for green products grow, so the market will shift to more eco-friendly manufacturing.

Clearly this initiative is no small task, but with a clever combination of measurement and peer expectations, is making real progress.

2. Sony Pictures. In another great example of measurement driving change, Sony Pictures now tracks the environmental impact of all of their movies and TV productions. The requirements include submitting a carbon footprint calculator, enforcing a no-idling rule for transportation vehicles and submitting an eco-vendor list. Pleasingly, they also require each department to complete a “Best Practices Green Production List.” As I have said many times before, one of the key benefits of going through ISO 14001 certification as we have done here at ARTEMIA is that it requires the involvement of every staff member to make it successful. It’s great that Sony Pictures is taking such a holistic approach to their sustainability initiatives.

3. Go Niners! Sorry as we were to see our football team leave the city limits, the San Francisco 49ers score big on the sustainability front with their new stadium. Located down the Peninsula in Santa Clara, the Levi’s Stadium is the first in the U.S. to receive LEED Gold certification. It was built using recycled or reclaimed building materials where possible, and has over 1,000 solar applications meaning each home game will be powered by clean energy.

We’d love to hear about any innovations in sustainability you’d like to share, and as ever, if you want information on how your company can become more green, please get in touch.

Until next time!

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