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Free E-Book: Guide to Leveraging Your Sustainability Initiatives for Brand Positioning

Posted by Kelsey Raftery

September 15, 2015 at 6:07 AM

From manufacturers to municipalities, sustainability measures have evolved from a way to minimize environmental liabilities into a full-fledged opportunity for organizations to rebrand themselves. Businesses now showcase their corporate social responsibility (CSR) platforms and use them to increase consumer demand for their products.

 

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Topics: Sustainability Branding

Free Download: Employee Energy Savings Kit

Posted by Kelsey Raftery

July 28, 2015 at 6:00 AM

After implementing an energy efficiency project at your facility, it's a good idea to take the next step to integrate sustainability into your organization's culture. There are many best practices for building a culture of sustainability, but a relatively simple way to start is by engaging employees in green practices in their daily lives.

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Topics: Sustainability Branding

Top 6 Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

Posted by Danielle Marquis

July 9, 2015 at 2:30 AM

These days, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has gained traction to the point that it has become almost a mandate, especially with international firms. Companies with a current or growing multinational footprint need to understand the mounting pressure to inform consumers of their societal investment strategy and support compliance.

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Topics: Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Food Processing, Industrial

Secrets of 3 of the Most Socially Responsible Companies

Posted by Danielle Marquis

June 25, 2015 at 2:30 AM

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) relates to who a company is, what it believes in and how it’s doing business. These days, it’s central to a company’s reputation and can be used to help establish trust and goodwill amongst stakeholders. Surprisingly, according to a study by the Reputation Institute, a private global consulting firm based in New York, your willingness to buy, recommend, work for and invest in a company is driven 60 percent by your perceptions of the company—or its reputation—and only 40 percent by your perceptions of its products or services. Thus CSR is an emerging tool for companies to use to improve support from stakeholders like consumers, regulators, the financial community and employees. Here are three of the top contenders for best CSR practices.

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Topics: Higher Education, Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Industrial

3 Ways to Position Your Company on the Cutting Edge of CSR

Posted by Danielle Marquis

June 4, 2015 at 2:30 AM

Now that formal adoption of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies has become widespread, the question becomes whether they are living up to their purpose and promise. Many companies are not fully cognizant of the strategic importance of CSR until they end up getting attention for looking socially irresponsible. The upside of PR snafus is that they often give companies the impetus they need to change their focus. According to an article in Global Finance, “some of the organizations most vilified over the years by human rights and environmental campaigners—companies such as Wal-Mart and Nike—have become enthusiastic cheerleaders for CSR.”

 

 

 

The role of CSR is changing and evolving quickly as sustainability issues are making it to the forefront of the public arena. If the first phase of CSR's development was based heavily on philanthropy and public relations, that is now giving ways to a more interactive, stakeholder-driven model. CSR is becoming an intrinsic part of a company’s core business and values.

 

Sustainability Initiatives

 

Sustainability initiatives can help companies break into new markets. The problem of how to reduce one’s footprint and do less environmental harm can actually become part of the solution. The challenge of sustainability often serves as a catalyst for companies to develop innovative solutions and create significant new markets. For example, if a company wants to identify its core initiative as future protection of forests, it requires not only generous financing, but also a new market in terms of monitoring, assurance, project management, adaptation and communications.

 

Alignment

 

The new paradigm for the generation of CSR programs is to make sure one’s charitable efforts and business goals are in alignment. The serendipitous benefit is that both the businesses and the charities stand to gain from this approach. When companies choose issues that they feel passionate about and can authentically get behind, they get more bang for their buck. Plus they tend to be more involved and engaged for the long term.

 

Metrics and Reporting

 

As the practice of CSR becomes more structured, the next emerging challenge is the lack of standards against which companies’ performance can be measured. Although companies at the cutting edge of CSR create ambitious targets and try to find the resources necessary to reach them, some critics are concerned that because the targets are self-imposed they are often arbitrary and difficult to compare from one company to another. The goal is to develop universal citizenship standards, which will help investors, customers, regulators and the companies themselves assess their performance on an absolute and a relative level.

 

As CSR gets interwoven into the fabric of a company’s core mission, the people on the front lines are recognizing the need for better metrics to measure impact. It’s exciting to watch the CSR discussion move from the periphery to the center of the public’s attention. To keep it front and center, corporate citizenship has to become less part of a vision statement and more part of the nuts and bolts of the business plan.

 

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Topics: Higher Education, Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

How to Build an Effective Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 28, 2015 at 2:30 AM

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) challenges the purely capitalist based approach to business, which is to maximize profits while minimizing expenses. However, as the importance of CSR grows, an emerging definition of business challenges the purely profit-based model. CSR defines the role of business as one that creates value for its shareholders, but in such a way that it also creates value for society, manifesting itself as a win-win proposition.

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Topics: Higher Education, Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

Does Your Company Seem Socially Irresponsible?

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 12, 2015 at 2:30 AM

In the modern business world, it’s not enough to be effective and successful—you also need to be a good citizen. And what’s more, you need to be seen as a good citizen, but without making it seem like your attempts at being social responsible are just for show. While many companies are beginning to implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, not all of them are considering how to pull them off with true integrity.

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Topics: Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

Advantages of Solar Energy

Posted by Danielle Marquis

April 16, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Solar energy is widely accepted as an excellent source of energy, but it more than that. Solar energy offers a range of benefits—multidimensional, undeniable, and paradigm-shifting. Here are some of the biggest advantages of solar power, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

 

Advantages-of-Solar-Energy

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Topics: Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Solar

SmartWatt Energy to Attend & Sponsor the IFMA Nashville Chapter’s Sustainability Event in Nashville, TN

Posted by Kayla Bellair

April 10, 2015 at 8:30 AM

SmartWatt Energy, a leading provider of turnkey design-build energy efficiency solutions, will be sponsoring International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Nashville Chapter’s Sustainability Event at the Life Way Headquarters in Nashville, TN on April 10th, 2015.

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Topics: Higher Education, Sustainability Branding, Conferences, Trade Shows & Presentations, CII Division, Healthcare, Warehouse/Distribution, Utility Programs Division

SmartWatt Energy to Exhibit at CASBO’s 2015 Annual Conference & California School Business Expo in San Diego, CA

Posted by Kayla Bellair

March 30, 2015 at 10:30 AM

SmartWatt Energy, a leading provider of turnkey, integrated design-build energy-efficiency solutions, will be exhibiting at California Association of School Business Officials’ (CASBO) 2015 Annual Conference & California School Business Expo at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA March 30th-April 2nd, 2015. SmartWatt is working with K-12 and community college clients throughout the state to design and build lighting and HVAC projects in compliance with Proposition 39.

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Topics: Proposition 39, Higher Education, Sustainability Branding, Conferences, Trade Shows & Presentations, CII Division, Press Coverage

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