Fowler Center Launches Sustainability Circles
by Beau Daane
A new model of sustainability consulting for small and medium sized enterprises has come to Northeast Ohio. The Fowler Center for Sustainable Value at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, in partnership with True Market Solutions, introduced its Sustainability Circles initiative in October. This program aims to help companies improve their financial performance by fully embracing sustainable business practices. The program is designed to be both accessible and affordable, while helping participating companies build brand equity and revenues, reduce costs, manage risks, engage employees and stakeholders, and build strong community.
The Sustainability Circles concept broadens the scope of traditional consulting activities to include peer-based learning with professional advising and other unique elements. The Sustainability Circles program brings up to nine organizations at a time into a peer learning community one day a month for six months. Monthly sessions will focus on a variety of sustainable business practice topics spanning from Built Environments (lighting, HVAC, waste and renewable energy) to Operational Environments (procurement and supply chain management). Peer groups will work together to learn from industry experts, determine best practices and devise strategies to move forward. These peer-based learning sessions will be supported by individualized coaching sessions. Sustainability Circle members will be given access to a national network of experts in addition to a network of local entities to help them implement new activities and practices.
At the end of the process, participants will walk away with several tangible results that will greatly aid their transition to a more sustainable enterprise. These results include a complete carbon footprint analysis, an initial project and a customized Sustainability Action Plan.
The Sustainability Circles team has decades of combined professional experience working with companies on sustainability-related issues. The Fowler Center is a major thought leader in the realm of sustainable value, with extensive experience in collaboration and consulting projects of all sizes, ranging from Appreciate Inquiry summits with hundreds of people to one-on-one consultations with organizations.
As the Secretariat of the U.S. Network of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability reporting initiative, the Fowler Center helps shape the agenda of sustainability in the U.S. business community. With reputable professors like David Cooperrider, PhD, Fairmount Minerals Professor in Social Entrepreneurship and Professor of Organizational Behavior, and Chris Laszlo, PhD, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, the Fowler Center is a dynamic player in both business and academic arenas.
True Market Solutions is a San Francisco-based company created out of the shared passion of its founders to make a real impact in the world for future generations and to address the great challenges and opportunities of our era. Its founders are business leaders with deep personal experience and connections in the world of business and sustainability. With this vision in mind, True Market Solutions created the Sustainability Circles curriculum and have offered it in several other regions around the country.
Sustainability Circle Previews were offered in Cleveland and Akron in mid-October. Forty-two companies came out to the previews to learn about this compelling new opportunity to embed sustainability in their core business practices. Sustainability Circle Previews will be offered again on a regular schedule, in Cleveland and Akron.
Enrollment is currently open for the Sustainability Circles programs that will officially kick off in December. Additional Sustainability Circles will be launched in 2012, in Cleveland and Akron.
For more information, contact Beau Daane, Fowler Center Manager, at 216-368-4795 or email@example.com. and visit www.weatherhead.case.edu/centers/fowler.
The Fowler Center for Sustainable Value leverages interdisciplinary scholarship and practice to help leaders capitalize on new profitable business opportunities to solve the world’s growing social and environmental problems. We work directly with all institutions to embed sustainability into their core strategy, applying cutting-edge competencies in design, innovation, whole systems and appreciative inquiry.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Naomi Larsson
For centuries, the delicate silver dove has been a symbol of love and fidelity.
Biodiversity and Habitat Loss<p>Their near extinction is a symbol of the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/global-biodiversity-outlook-targets-extinction-summit-new-york-pledge/a-54932895" target="_blank">biodiversity crisis</a> in the UK, largely driven by habitat destruction. Britain is now one of the countries with the most <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/future-of-UK-nature#:~:text=The%20UK%20is%20one%20of,than%20half%20are%20in%20decline" target="_blank">depleted nature</a> in the world according to the World Wildlife Fund. Half its plant and animal species are in decline and more than <a href="https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/let-nature-sing-wales/#:~:text=a%20natural%20tragedy.-,Over%2040%20million%20birds%20have%20vanished%20from%20UK%20skies%20in,unaware%20of%20the%20impending%20danger" target="_blank">40 million birds</a> have vanished in just half a century.</p><p>"[Turtle doves] are the canary in the [coal] mine because there are all these other species before it and after it," said Tree. "It's an umbrella for all the other species that are heading that way."</p><p>Turtle doves migrate south through Europe to sub-Saharan Africa between July and September, ending up in dry woodland and farmland areas of countries like Mali and Senegal for winter. </p><p>Droughts in West Africa and the Sahel region are believed to have contributed to the fall in turtle dove species recorded in northern Europe, with low rainfall reducing supplies of the seeds and insects the birds rely on for energy for the long journey home.</p>
Conservation and Farming<p><a href="https://www.operationturtledove.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Operation Turtle Dove,</a> a partnership project of charities including the Essex Wildlife trust, works with landowners and farmers to actively build turtle dove habitat.</p><p>Outten works with <a href="https://www.ebws.org.uk/birdsites/blue-house-farm-ewt-north-fambridge" target="_blank">Blue House Farm</a>, a 660-acre nature reserve in the UK county of Essex, where they have replicated weedy fallow plots. </p><p>"We work on it every year to make sure it's in the condition it needs to be with plants such as clovers and black medic," Outten said. "These plants are native to the landscape and produce the seed the birds feed on." </p><p>The birds eat a wide range of seeds from various plants that would have been abundant 50 or 100 years ago, added Guy Anderson, program manager for species recovery with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). </p><p>"But it's simply true that with the gradual process of <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/farming-without-pesticides-how-can-we-make-agriculture-greener/a-52216796" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">intensifying our agricultural production</a>, the availability of those seeds has dropped and dropped," said Anderson.</p><p>Part of the project includes supplementary feeding — providing sources of food in the form of seed or grain. Under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England, farmers can receive financial support to create a turtle dove habitat. </p><p>Though they haven't recorded an increase in doves across the sites in the four years of working on the project, Outten said they are seeing improvements in how landowners and farmers manage habitat for the birds. </p>
A Turtle Dove Haven<p>The 3,500-acre Knepp Estate in West Sussex is another project taking a different approach and one of the few places where turtle dove numbers are increasing.</p><p>Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell converted their intensively farmed land into a rewilding project almost 20 years ago. They have let the land return to nature.</p><p>Just one year after they'd finished <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/uks-most-talented-architects-are-not-human/a-35952128" target="_blank">rewilding</a> the southern part of their property, they heard turtle doves for the first time. It's now a breeding hotspot for the birds with an estimated 19 pairs. Knepp is also home to <a href="https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding/rewilding-projects/knepp-estate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2% of the UK's population</a> of nightingales. </p><p>Tree is critical of supplementary feeding schemes that, in her view, are short term. She questions the chances of turtle doves getting to feed on scattered seeds before other mammals eat them first.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
Green groups applauded Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday for introducing a pioneering pair of bills that aim to "protect the long-term health and well-being of the American people and their economy from the catastrophic effects of climate chaos" by preventing banks and international financial institutions from financing fossil fuels.