26
May
2017

Sustainable Business Fridays: Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods cooks up a new paradigm for the food system

Animal protein consumption is rising worldwide. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Association estimates that the raising of livestock for meat and dairy products contributes to 14.5 percent of human-induced GHG emissions. Meat and dairy production is also heavily resource-intensive, with 30 percent of the world’s land surface used for this purpose — a landmass larger than North and South America, Europe and Australia combined.

In March, Bard MBA students spoke with Rebekah Moses, sustainability and agriculture manager of Impossible Foods, to learn about the company's unique approach to reducing the impact of livestock food products. Moses shared the story of the company’s founder, a long-time academic, and other researchers who are taking solutions out of the lab and into the market.

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5
May
2017

Sustainable Business Fridays: Recycle-A-Bicycle-Fostering Job Training, Environmental Education, and Community Engagement

Recycle-A-Bicycle: Fostering Job Training, Environmental Education, and Community Engagement

 

On average, New York City’s Recycle-A-Bicycle salvages 1,800 bicycles each year from the waste stream, diverting a total of 45,000 pounds of waste from the city’s landfills.

In the past year alone, more than 1000 Recycle-A-Bicycle youth collectively refurbished 500 bicycles, pedaled 24,000 miles, and burned 1,750,000 calories.

Recycle-A-Bicycle recycles the metal from donated bikes that are too damaged to use—literally 12,000 of aluminum and steel each year.

The person behind these impressive numbers, Recycle-A-Bicycle Founder and Executive Director Karen Overton, talked recently with the Bard MBA’s Meghan Altman about the organization’s growth and vision.  

Overton began her bicycle advocacy career in Mozambique as a planner for Bikes for Africa. When she returned to the US, she took a position with Transportation Alternatives in New York City. That’s where she was when the city’s Department of Sanitation called, looking for a productive way to use the discarded bikes it dealt with daily. Recycle-A-Bicycle was born.

Today, the non-profit is dedicated to the health, development, stewardship and empowerment of NYC youth. It operates innovative youth programs like its Summer Youth Employment Program, Cycle Craft, and Earn-A-Bike. It also runs two storefronts, an education center, and seventeen school-based programs.

 

Listen to this interview and others on the Bard MBA Sustainable Business Fridays podcast on an Apple or Android device.

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21
Apr
2017

Sustainable Business Fridays: How Years of Living Dangerously Communicates the Urgency of Climate Change

How Years of Living Dangerously Communicates the Urgency of Climate Change

“Climate change isn’t stopping with the second season”—that’s Jon Meyersohn, co-executive producer of the Emmy-award winning Years of Living Dangerously, on why he hopes the series extends to a third season.

Meyersohn is a journalist and producer with a thirty-year career spanning print, radio and television. As co-executive producer of the second season of Years of Living Dangerously, he worked closely with the two founding executive producers and senior staff to provide a sweeping narrative look at some of the most urgent climate change problems threatening the planet.

In an interview with the Bard MBA’s Katie Ellman, Meyersohn provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the team decided which topics to feature, who originated the idea of celebrity correspondents, and why the show’s social media presence is so powerful.

Sustainable Business Fridays brings together students in Bard’s MBA in Sustainability program with leaders in business, sustainability and social entrepreneurship.

Listen to this interview and others on the Bard MBA Sustainable Business Fridays podcast on an Apple or Android device.

 

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7
Apr
2017

Sustainable Business Fridays: Publishing As A Tool for Effecting Cultural Change

Publishing As A Tool for Effecting Cultural Change: Margo Baldwin of Chelsea Green Publishing

Book publishing is a $28 billion industry in the United States. While there has been growth in e-books and audio books, the printed word is still the way most Americans read their books.  However, it is also a resource intensive industry that produces approximately 12.4 million metric tons of carbon annually. 

 

Enter Chelsea Green Publishing. Founded in 1984 by Ian and Margo Baldwin, Chelsea Green is recognized as a leading publisher of books on the politics and practice of sustainable living. It produces foundational works on topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to local economies, to green building and renewable energy.

 

Chelsea Green also leads the industry with its environmental practices, printing 95 percent of its books on chlorine-free recycled paper and minimizing its carbon footprint by working exclusively with North American, rather than overseas, printers. It includes an environmental impact statement in each of its books. In 2012, Chelsea Green became an employee-owned company.

Last month, students from the Bard MBA in Sustainability talked with Margo Baldwin, Chelsea Green Co-Founder, President and Publisher, about the company’s mission and impact.

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17
Mar
2017

Sustainable Business Fridays: Value First Impact Investing-Cary Krosinsky on Driving Change by Doing Well

Value-First Impact Investing: Cary Krosinsky on Driving Change by Doing Well

 

Values-first versus value-first investing. Cary Krosinsky argues that the “s” that differentiates the two represents a significant shift in the impact investing field.  

Krosinsky talked with Bard MBA in Sustainability Director Eban Goodstein about the shift from negative to positive approaches to sustainable investing, and about the business case for value-first investing.

Krosinsky’s latest book, Sustainable Investing: Revolutions in Theory and Practice (with Sophie Purdom), came out last December. The author of two other books on sustainable investing, he’s also a noted educator, teaching at Brown, Yale, Maryland and Concordia. His advisory work includes acting as Lead Consultant to a PRI Working Group that resulted in a Climate Change Asset Owner Strategy Framework for COP 21.

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3
Mar
2017

Sustainable Business Fridays: Buying Less is More

President Trump built his personal brand on wealth using tag lines like, “You have to be wealthy in order to be great.”

Shortly after Trump’s election, Bard MBA in Sustainability students Heather Bowden, Lauren Hill, Nick Shore and Catherine Tedrow spoke with filmmaker John de Graaf, who documented the consumption phenomenon of the 1990s. Their conversation explored the connections among consumption, income inequality, social media and climate change in the context of the election.

John de Graaf is a documentary filmmaker and author. Fifteen of his films, including the popular Affluenza, have been broadcast nationally on PBS. He is also the co-author of the books Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic, now in its third edition, and What’s the Economy For, Anyway?

De Graaf’s work investigates the intersections of sustainability, consumerism, health and happiness. He is a senior advisor for Earth Economics, a non-profit ecosystem services organization. He is also a co-founder of the Happiness Initiative and recently served as an advisor to the government of Bhutan as it development its Gross National Happiness project proposal for the United Nations.

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17
Feb
2017

Sustainable Business Fridays: The Business Case for Holistic Management

Allan Savory — Zimbabwean ecologist, farmer, soldier, exile, environmentalist, international consultant and president and co-founder of the Savory Institute — has a world-saving message: The answer is in the soil. In the 1960s, Savory originated the concept of holistic management, which has been popularized by several articles and a TED Talk that has been viewed nearly 4 million times.

Holistic Management is a framework, most commonly applied to grassland management, that when properly practiced has the potential to regenerate damaged land. It focuses on mimicking the evolutionary grazing patterns of cattle to regenerate soils and restore grasslands. This technique has proved effective in hundreds of areas across the globe, one of the most popular being via Operation HOPE, winner of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

In December, Bard MBA student Alexander Lykins sat down with Savory to discuss holistic management, how it can be applied to business and how young entrepreneurs can become involved.

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3
Feb
2017

Sustainable Business Fridays: Empowering Afghan Women to Code, Teach, Learn & Inspire

There are 3.6 million female students in Afghanistan today, compared to zero in 2001. However, social limitations for women still exist — women make up only 16 percent of the current Afghan labor force.

Fereshteh Forough, founder and president of Code to Inspire (CTI), the first coding school for girls in Afghanistan, has a passion. She wants to empower young Afghan women by hitching their economic and social advancement to the country’s growing tech industry. For businesses and governments strive to align with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Code to Inspire is an organization to watch, as it encompasses the aims of Goal 4 (inclusive education) and Goal 5 (gender equality).

Bard MBA in Sustainability student Esra Elshafey spoke with Forough to discuss how CTI educates Afghan women with in-demand programming skills, empowers them to add unique value to their communities and inspires them to strive for financial and social independence.

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20
Jan
2017

Sustainable Business Fridays: Whoopi & Maya’s Cannabis Line Grows Sustainability

More than half the U.S. population lives in states with medical or adult use cannabis laws on the books. As the nascent cannabis industry grows, some business owners are careful to establish sustainable operations from the beginning. Maya Elisabeth, co-founder of Whoopi & Maya and founder of Om Edibles, is one of those smart business owners.

Maya Elisabeth began working in California’s cannabis industry after graduating from San Francisco State University. In 2008 she formed Om Edibles, an all-female collective, focusing on high-quality ingredients, including sun-grown cannabis. Om Edibles products have won seven High Times Cannabis Cup awards and Elisabeth enjoys a reputation as one of the best creators of medical cannabis products in California. In 2015, Elisabeth partnered with Whoopi Goldberg to create the Whoopi & Maya line of medical cannabis products, focused on providing relief from menstrual pain.

In this episode of Sustainable Business Fridays, Bard MBA student Jennifer Shelbo explores how Elisabeth’s choices, from cultivating sun-grown cannabis using organic methods to sourcing fair trade and organic ingredients for her product lines, demonstrates that incorporating sustainability into business operations is a recipe for success.

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5
Jan
2017

Sustainable Business Fridays: Progress: One Local Bite at at Time

All politics is local—none more than climate policy in the US after January 20, 2017. In the absence of the prospect of wider national action, local businesses have a significant opportunity to enhance the local economy and combat climate change through their operations. Glen’s Garden Market, based in Washington, DC, has been doing just this. From sourcing products within the Chesapeake Bay watershed to powering its stores with clean energy to providing living wages, Glen’s has been quietly pushing the environmental and social sustainability envelope while also incubating other small businesses as suppliers.

Emily Robichaux, a student in the Bard College MBA in Sustainability program, sat down with Danielle Vogel, a former Capitol Hill staffer and creator of Glen’s Garden Market, a local grocery store sourcing “good food from close by,” to discuss the role of mission-oriented small business in sustainable food systems and local economies.

Vogel earned a law degree and worked for ten years in federal policy, serving as domestic policy adviser to Congressman Christopher Shays and a Department of Justice environmental litigator enforcing the Clean Air Act. From December 2008 to March 2011, she was environmental counsel in the office of Senator Joseph Lieberman, where she helped draft the American Power Act. When the bill died, Vogel made the shift from policy to practice, becoming the fourth generation of grocers in her family while bringing a sustainable and local twist to the business. Vogel has been profiled in the Washington Post and Bloomberg for her approach to “making progress one bite at a time.”

Subscribe to the Bard MBA in Sustainability program to stay tuned in to our twice-monthly podcast series featuring sustainability leaders from the New York City area and across the planet.

 
 
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