All Posts in Sustainability

August 3, 2010 - No Comments!

Environmental Unconsciousness

Connie Glover, sustainability advocate

I’ve lived in Charlottesville, VA for about 3 1/2 years, and most people that live here, have gone to school at University of Virginia, or have visited find that this is a really pretty city. I agree, but I must say, it’s also pretty trashy! And I mean that in a literal sense. There is a lot of litter here, everywhere: trash, broken bottles, food, dog poop. And it’s on the downtown mall and public sidewalks where people walk, run, bike with their kids, or push their babies in strollers. I’m ashamed and embarrassed about it, annoyed, and quite frankly, confused. In this day and age where the environmental and sustainability messages dominate the print and airwaves, who litters? Who purposely rolls down their window and throws out their McDonald’s bag, or tosses their beer bottle on the sidewalk, or allows their dog to do their business without picking it up? Who is that unconscious?

I’m a Texan—one of the obnoxiously proud ones—and love the phrase we coined in the 1980s, “Don’t Mess With Texas.” It became the anti-littering campaign for the state, but it also started a movement, giving rise to a new consciousness about what it means to not trash our state, our neighborhood, our country, our planet. And that was over 25 years ago, before “green” became the most common word in the English language. Read more

October 25, 2010 - No Comments!

Where does it all go?

William McDonough, sustainability thought leader and author of the innovative concept and book by the same name, Cradle to Cradle, frequently poses the question in his lectures, interviews, and book, “Where is away?”  In a throwaway society, when you throw something away, where is that, exactly? If we really knew the answer to the question…and I mean really understood what that meant to our planet, would we manufacture, consume, and dispose of things differently? Read more

May 9, 2010 - No Comments!

Whole Foods-An Insider’s View from an Ex-Team Member. Part 2: How Sustainable are the Whole Foods Sustainability Initiatives?

The WFM apron...left behind.

In my first blog in this series, I addressed my experiences at Whole Foods Market from the perspective of  talent management.  This post will address my question, How Sustainable are the Whole Foods Sustainability Initiatives?

During my recent graduate studies through the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University many of my research projects and areas of study focused on global food issues, sustainable agriculture, urban agriculture, and global organic farming practices. So I am able to look at this from a perspective that includes the importance of WFM’s impact on the food industry worldwide!

According to the 1983 Brundtland Commission Report from the United Nations, the true definition of Sustainability is "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  While most people think of “sustainability” as environmental, the environmental piece is only one of three. Sustainability in organizations involves environmental operational practices, economic health, and social responsibility―concerns for employees and the community.

Compare this to the Core Values that Whole Foods has built its company on since 1980: Read more

September 30, 2009 - 2 comments

Sustaining Your Business…and Sustaining Yourself in Business

Connie GloverDuring my graduate studies in Sustainability through Arizona State University I have learned much about organizational strategies built around sustainability initiatives. The definition of sustainability  is "meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs." Sometimes it is referred to in the context of the more commonly known Triple Bottom Line which takes into account an organization's social, economic, and environmental practices and policies. Plainly put, making money while doing good.

Interestingly, when people think of "sustainability" they don't include the social aspect; in fact, the focus tends to heavily be on the environmental aspect. And while environmental initiatives are certainly critical to the sustainability of an organization, and our planet for that matter, let's consider the social aspect. In order for an organization to be sustainable it must invest in its employees, through continuous training, opportunities for advancement, encouragement of personal development, time to contribute to local charities of their choice, etc. It is impossible for an organization to move forward without a solid, consistent, loyal, and happy employee base. This is especially true in times of trouble, such as in the recent and ongoing economic crisis. Read more