2008 Innovations Review
Environmental sustainability is no longer just for boutique eco-brands. It's no longer just about complying with regulations or securing good press. It's about saving through efficiency, creating new markets and gaining competitive advantage.
Manufacturing & Operations
- Designing for efficiency - By starting at a product's design stage, companies reduce waste and costs.
- Generating reliable, efficient power - Companies learn that the optimal energy mix and efficiency maximization can do a lot more to meet energy needs than to just pay the utility bill.
- Institutionalizing energy efficiency - A global corporation builds energy efficiency into its operations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing production.
- Game changer: The closed loop - Companies recycle the old back into new, creating quality products without using virgin materials.
- Overcoming the solar barrier - Financial options exist for overcoming the high hurdle rate of solar panels.
- Game changer: A net zero-energy office building - A company demonstrates that the technology and knowledge exists to remodel a building to emit zero carbon dioxide.
- What every company should consider: Passive systems - Companies learn how to maximize daylight and reduce energy costs
- Insuring green buildings - The insurance industry mitigates their risks by encouraging customers to go green.
- High-tech tools boost fuel efficiency - Telematics systems help companies with corporate fleets improve services while saving costs and reducing GHG emissions.
- What every company should consider: Engine modification - A company makes a small change to its truck engines to bolster fuel economy, lower its maintenance costs, and reduce its GHG emissions.
- Game changer: Solar-powered web hosting - A company incorporates green design into its building, networks, servers, and equipment to minimize energy demand.
- Making more by selling less - Companies save costs by reducing packaging materials.
- Breaking the post-consumer recycled barrier - Companies incorporate post-consumer recycled contents into their packaging.
- What every company should consider: The culture of telecommuting - Companies embrace telecommuting to increase employee satisfaction and reduce costs.
- Company-run transit - Companies foster employee satisfaction and a green commuting option with shuttle buses.
- Advanced teleconferencing - New, high-definition videoconferencing systems shrink budgets, employee travel time, and carbon footprints.
Innovations by Industry
- Shipping: New flight pattern reduces fuel consumption - Companies employ a new landing procedure for aircrafts to reduce fuel consumption, noise pollution, and air pollution while mitigating risks.
- Retail: An outlet for e-waste - Companies recognize a need for a customer service program which leads to branding enhancement and increased sales.
- Retail: Game changer: Shopping bags get sacked - Moving past "paper vs. plastic" to "no free bags at all" is the next step for innovative retailers.
- Insurance: Auto insurance by the mile - Insurance companies court environmentally conscious consumers and create a new market.
- Banking and finance: Green mortgages - Mortgage companies offer "green" products to consumers interested in environmental friendly homes and neighborhoods.
- Food and agriculture: Food waste digesters - Players in the food industry contribute to reduce landfill demands and reduce greenhouse gas emissions