Eco-sustainability will likely matter more 2015 than anytime in past; this is the year the US’s biggest companies need to prove they are addressing climate change through sustainability, thanks to efforts of two presidents and the Pope.
Remember the green wave of 2007? Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Academy Award and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made news worldwide with evidence of burning fossil fuels and global warming.
Consumers are researching brands’ environmental information like no other time, leaving most companies scrambling to share their environmental story.
Many brands went too far in that direction, often making marketing claims that were basically greenwashing lackluster efforts. Companies started to color their logos green and put bears in their advertising. These marketing decisions slowed during the 2008 recession, which cut corporate spending on sustainability.
Heading into 2015, we will finally reach the tipping point where environmental sustainability gains a stronghold in global society.
President Barack Obama recently brokered a climate change agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping. After more than 20 years of climate inaction, the deal could lead to a global agreement to reduce pollution among 195 member countries at this December’s United Nations climate change convention in Paris.
Pope Francis is also taking action on climate change. Francis’ predecessors spoke out in favor of climate action. The Vatican now plans to do more in 2015 by issuing an encyclical that urges all Catholics to take action on moral and scientific grounds.
As a Senior Executive with Virgin America for a number of years, Dave Pflieger was passionate about making sure the airline was a good corporate citizen. His leadership helped lead the US operations of Virgin’s aviation division do well by doing good. Here are a few highlights taken from the 2010 Virgin Groups Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report.
- First carrier to call for global legislation on CO2 emissions from airlines
- Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to fly on renewable fuels.
- Virgin America was the first commercial passenger airline to join the US EPS’s Climate Leaders program.
- Virgin America was the first US airline to document its carbon footprint according to the internationally accepted standards on the Climate Registry.
- Virgin America operates a fleet that is up to 25% more fuel efficient than other fleets in the US (as of 2010).
- Virgin America offsets their carbon use with carbonfund.org.
As Dave Pflieger gets settled into his job as the CEO of Island Air, he will continue to make helping the environment a priority for the airline.
Island Air is a proud partner with the Special Olympics of Hawaii. In November, the Special Olympics has their November Holiday Classic. The Special Olypmics of Hawaii welcomed over 1,000 athletes and coaches from throughout Hawaii to participate in the Holiday Classic at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and MCBH, Kaneohe Bay. Typically, athletes train for their events from September – November and compete in area and regional competitions in October and November in preparation for the Holiday Classic. The event includes a 2 day Basketball tournament, Singles and Team Bowling competitions, and traditional and Doubles Bocce tournaments.
Due to the rising concern large businesses can have on the environment as a whole, companies all across the globe have started implementing various ways to reduce their carbon footprint and promote healthy habits when it comes to sustainability. Recycling programs, decreasing waste, and other techniques have been introduced to many companies in order to raise awareness about protecting the environment. But, these simple techniques are not the only ways for companies to reduce their carbon emissions. Many organizations are examining every detail that goes into the creation of their product and are applying green supply chain management practices across the entire board.
According to an article by University Alliance, “Sustainable business initiatives can relate to social, corporate and/or environmental sustainability. Collectively, they involve examining business processes and practices in term sof people, planet and profit, and seeking out ways to create a positive impact in each of these areas. While improving working conditions and protecting the environment are certainly admirable goals, they have also proven to be good business strategies.” The article further investigates who the most highly success companies are that show strength in leading big businesses towards promoting environmental sustainability.
The first company on this list is eBay, which focuses the environment directly into its business plan. This online-based company makes it easy for its customers to reuse and exchange goods rather than throwing them away, thus elongating certain products’ lifespan so they do not go to waste.
The second company that has introduced a plethora of ways to reduce their carbon footprint is Starbucks. Starbucks has purchased Fair Trade Certified and certified organic coffee, focused on creating “green” stores across the globe, and have been able to reduce the environmental impact and operating costs of its business practices. Their “go green” initiative includes minimizing their use of air-conditioning and buying cabinetry that is made with 90 percent post-industrial items.
Last on the list is, as you may have guessed, Google, who also leads the corporate world into a greener future. Google has increasingly shown a dedication to existing coherently with the environment rather than against it. By powering it’s buildings with renewable energy sources and hosting farmer’s markets and sustainable-cooking classes, Google is well on it’s way to becoming perhaps the most innovative of all these companies when it comes to preserving the environment.
For more information on how eBay, Starbucks, and Google are incorporating environmental sustainability techniques into their companies, read this article.
A local Hawaii organization has been honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its work in Hawaii schools.
Kokua Hawaii Foundation and founder/executive director Kim Johnson received an Environmental Award from the agency’s Pacific Southwest office.
The agency lauded the foundation’s ability to encourage recycling, eating healthy and environmental stewardship among youth thanks to programs like AINA in Schools and Plastic Free Hawaii.
“EPA is pleased to honor Kim Johnson and the Kokua Hawaii Foundation for increasing environmental awareness and stewardship in our young people,” said regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld. “Their farm-to-school and plastic free initiatives teach students the value of taking care of their health and the health of the unique and precious Hawaii environment.”
Johnson and her husband, musician Jack Johnson, founded the Kokua Hawaii Foundation in 2003 as a non-profit organization that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii.
The EPA Pacific Southwest region’s Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and tribal lands.
Groups and individuals were selected from nominees received this year from businesses, local, government officials, tribes, media, environmental organizations and community activists.
Silver Airways Green Team takes to beaches for cleanup and to build environmental awareness
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Silver Airways took to the beaches this weekend to build awareness of the need to care for beaches and marine life. While picking up trash on South Florida beaches, members of Silver Airways’ Green Team also had the opportunity to help educate local and visiting beach goers about the importance of caring for our natural resources.
“Beach cleanups are one of the many ways our Silver Airways Green Team is building awareness and taking action in giving back to the communities we serve, and we strive to inspire others to do the same,” said Silver Airways President and CEO Dave Pflieger. “Our Green Team had the opportunity to speak to a variety of beach goers this weekend. Some thanked us for our efforts, it made others think about the negative impacts of discarding their trash on our beautiful beaches, and some even joined us in our efforts as we walked the beach picking up trash.”
For this weekend’s project, Silver Green Team members joined forces to participate in the Keep Hollywood Beautiful Beach Sweep.
Whether you live in South Florida or are a visitor, our beaches are an essential resource. Unfortunately, trash poses a serious threat to our beaches and the marine life that call it home. There is a real need to keep our beaches clean and protect this natural resource and the ocean life habitats for sea turtles, birds and other marine life.
Look for more information coming soon to silverairways.com on ocean conservancy and what Silver is doing to protect our precious environmental resources, as well as other initiatives to give back to the communities it serves. “In addition to caring for our environment, our giving initiatives focus on children’s education, and health and wellness initiatives,” added Pflieger.
Individuals or groups interested in joining in future Keep Hollywood Beautiful Beach Sweeps, which take place on the second Saturday of the every month, may visit Keep Hollywood Beautiful for details.
About Silver Airways
Silver Airways Corp. (IATA: 3M) is a U.S. owned and operated airline operating approximately 170 daily scheduled flights to/from 38 destinations in Florida, the Bahamas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio. Silver offers flights between more Florida cities than any other airline and more flights between Florida and the Bahamas than any other U.S. airline, and has valued partnership and codeshare agreements with United Airlines and interline agreements with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, US Airways, Bahamasair, Hahn Air, and All Nippon Airways.
Silver is a 2013 two-time award winner, having been recognized by its industry and the traveling public. In February 2013, it was named the recipient of Air Transport World’s (ATW) 2013 Regional Airline of the Year Award, the first U.S. airline to win regional aviation’s top honor since 2008. This award recognized Silver’s outstanding achievements, as well as the company’s contributions toward elevating the entire regional aviation industry overall. In October 2013, Silver was named one of the Top 10 “Best U.S. Airlines” in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler’s 26th annual 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards.
The Silver fleet is comprised of 28 Saab 340B Plus aircraft (with a capacity of 34 passengers), each powered by highly reliable, fuel-efficient GE jet-turbine propeller engines. The airline also operates a small number of Beechcraft 1900D aircraft (maximum seating capacity of 19 passengers) in the airline’s Cleveland network.
Silver Airways is privately owned by Victory Park Capital, a Chicago-based investment firm that launched the airline in May 2011.
Visit Silver Airways at www.silverairways.com.
Media Contact: Misty Pinson Director of Public Relations and Communications 954-494-7761
According to a post on their website, PacifiCorp, a power company based in the Northwestern United States, actively works to rectify the damage their industry inflicts on the environment. They have created several programs to reduce their environmental impact, with a focus on wildlife protection and reducing the impact of hydroelectric facilities on fish migration.
In terms of wildlife management, PacifiCorp has recently contributed the Merwin Wildlife Habitat Management Program; this twenty-two year old project is now only one part of the larger Lewis River Wildlife Habitat Management Program, which ranges over ten thousand three hundred acres. Both management programs provide additional protection and enhancement for fish and wildlife. A geographic information system has also been put in place, which allows for site-specific information to help preserve species.
PacifiCorp has also sponsored the Oregon Biodiversity Project—an effort to map and identify conservation areas in order to direct development in a way that simultaneously flourishes the environment without extracting high costs. For their final effort towards management of wildlife, PacifiCorp has worked with Bridgerland Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy to preserve land for future generations of wildlife. PacifiCorp has addressed the issue of wetlands conservation as well; the company manages Cutler Marsh in Utah’s Cache County, including the on-site hydroelectric project and the recreational activities provided to the public.
As the corporation’s focus is on hydroelectric projects, fish management is also a big endeavor for PacifiCorp’s leaders. Their general goal is to reduce the impacts hydroelectricity can have on fish that migrate—specifically, salmon and steelhead trout. They have created and implemented a very unique system in two separate locales that allows for fish to migrate safely towards the Pacific Ocean. The floating surface collector operates in a way that allows PacifiCorp to complete their job without any harm coming to the fish.
Land preservation and reclamation has also been a focus for the company. Glenrock Coal Corporation, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, restored four thousand six hundred acres of land that has been mined for over forty years; the land has now returned to its original state, due to their efforts.