Is the golf industry doing enough to combat climate change?

April 9, 2021 by  
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Is the golf industry doing enough to combat climate change? Aubrey McCormick Fri, 04/09/2021 – 02:00 Sports leagues are seeing the impacts and the surge of climate-responsible athletes using their platforms to promote positive environmental and social impact — it’s something for the history books. The golf industry, for one, is increasing its efforts to promote environmental sustainability and marketing to the general public its desire to embrace a more diverse demographic. Professional golfers have started speaking out about the changing climate, leading to some corporate sponsors rethinking strategies and how they can better align. For many professional athletes, it’s no longer enough to represent a brand without purpose. The same can be said for consumers. People want to engage with companies, brands and industries that represent their values. Over the last few years, the golf industry has made strides towards being more “sustainable,” but is it enough? According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, “climate change is real and human activities are the main cause.” The future is net-zero, and re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement should be seen as a signal to step up and act faster than ever before. Nearly every country in the world, including the U.S., has agreed to voluntarily lower their carbon emissions, report progress and implementation efforts to show transparency. In the U.S. alone, 2 million acres of land are used for golf courses. As the population grows, we may see more demand for this land to be used for agriculture, parks and real estate. The UN Sports for Climate Action Framework aims to unite the global sports community to combat climate change through “commitments and partnerships according to verified standards including measuring, reducing and reporting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.” Currently, five golf organizations have joined: the United States Golf Association (USGA); Waste Management Phoenix Open; The International Golf Federation; World Minigolf Federation; and Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore. Golf is making strides both on social and environmental impact. Internationally, the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) uses its OnCourse program to help facilities, tournaments and golf course developments meet strict voluntary standards of sustainability. GEO’s influence is found around the world with partnerships spanning over 60 countries, including its new partnership with the Saudi Golf Federation, which is implementing GEO’s current sustainability strategy. New golf course developments in Asia, the Middle East and Africa are incorporating sustainability into the design and implementation phases of their projects. Particularly, Laguna L?ng Cô Golf Course and Resort in Vietnam has developed a regenerative model with a 17-acre rice field that runs throughout the property that yielded a 28-ton crop in 2020. As one of three golf courses in the world to be EarthCheck-certified , it is empowering employees to support the local community and protect the environment. In the U.S., the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) just completed its three-year plan to establish Environmental Best Management Practices for all 50 states. In professional golf, several PGA Tour tournaments are leading the way to decrease their carbon footprints by becoming GEO-certified events. Led by the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the LPGA’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, these high-profile events are the PGA’s platform to broadly engage local communities and fans while assessing and reporting the true impact their tournaments have on local ecosystems. Nonprofit organizations such as the National Links Trust , recent bid winners to take over operations of Washington, D.C.’s three public golf courses, are dedicated to protecting affordable municipal golf courses, understanding the positive impact they have on local communities. Issues of diversity and inclusion in the game are garnering more attention as investments are made in supporting golf programs managed by historically Black colleges and universities. Of particular note are the establishment of Howard University’s men’s and women’s golf teams by Steph Curry and “Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change,” an event featuring Charles Barkley and Phil Mickelson that raised $6.4 million . LPGA professional and two-time major champion Suzann Pettersen has emerged as a leading golf sustainability spokesperson, becoming the first professional golfer to openly endorse and partner with the GEO Foundation to establish new levels of awareness and action. Said Pettersen at the 2020 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, “As a mother of a young child, it is incredible how concerned you become over the future of the planet, its biodiversity, air quality and climate. These things are absolutely vital to the health and wellbeing of future generations, so we all need to do our best to make things better.” According to the National Golf Foundation 2019 Industry Report , there are about 15,000 golf facilities and 24 million golfers. This is equivalent to around one in every nine Americans playing some form of golf. The industry has significant reach and an opportunity to lead by example and align to the world’s global emission goals. In the U.S. alone, 2 million acres of land are used for golf courses. As the population grows, we may see more demand for this land to be used for agriculture, parks and real estate. Subsequently, millennials and Gen Z individuals will become the majority of the population. As these generations mature, environmental transparency and carbon impact data, among many other sustainability-focused initiatives, will become the standard. So, what’s next? We have some ideas on how the golf industry can join the green sports movement and take action.  The Golf Channel should join the U.N. Sports for Climate Action Initiative. If the Golf Channel were to become the first major American sports broadcasting network to sign onto this framework, the move would be a signifier of the golf industry’s recognition of its environmental impact beyond golf course development and tournament operations and show leadership in sustainable broadcasting and messaging. We need more sustainability commitments from golf equipment manufacturers. Incredible amounts of money are spent every year on R&D as top golf equipment manufacturers compete for consumer dollars. Implementation of transparent, ethical and sustainable practices into their supply and value chains would increase accountability and responsible sourcing of inputs, report true emissions impact and expose gaps where current sustainable initiatives can increase efficiencies. If Amazon, Waste Management (and any other Fortune 500 company) can do it, then certainly the top manufacturers such as Titleist, TaylorMade and Ping Karsten Group can, too. The PGA of America should introduce a sustainability curriculum to its member certification process. With over 26,000 members around the globe, PGA golf professionals are the lifeblood of the golf industry and serve as the industry’s experts. Giving them the tools to redesign systems to be more sustainable, innovative and regenerative would generate significant ROI opportunities while adding value to the profession and meeting global emission reduction goals. We’d love to see broad implementation of sustainable operations across professional tournament golf. The select few professional golf tournaments that have committed to zero-waste and emission goals have provided a blueprint for how to conduct largescale tournaments in harmony with local communities. However, as the sponsorship dollars driving Corporate America’s investment into professional golf tournaments shift focus to include social and environmental accountability, will the managers and operators of golf tournaments be prepared to answer the call? A tremendous opportunity to activate climate action awareness campaigns awaits as fans and sponsors begin to return to the course to watch the game’s greats.  Federal legislation should help cities reinvest and retrofit existing municipal and public golf courses. In an effort to build back better, include city-owned golf facilities in any legislation that calls for grants, policies or loans that make them more accessible, inclusive and able to incorporate renewable systems. Investment in energy efficiency, water reclamation and irrigation systems, solar technology and alternative agricultural uses of unused space present golf courses as living laboratories for regenerative and circular urban ecosystems. Imagine if golf courses could grow enough food to feed an afterschool program or provide enough energy to power a homeless shelter. The time is now. Pull Quote In the U.S. alone, 2 million acres of land are used for golf courses. As the population grows, we may see more demand for this land to be used for agriculture, parks and real estate. Contributors Andrew Szunyog Topics Corporate Strategy Sports Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock S. Wassana Close Authorship

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Is the golf industry doing enough to combat climate change?

Episode 263: Simulating transformation, investing in underserved communities

April 9, 2021 by  
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Episode 263: Simulating transformation, investing in underserved communities Heather Clancy Fri, 04/09/2021 – 01:30 Week in Review Stories discussed this week (5:05). An open letter to CPG companies on recycling Food companies must be healthy and sustainable, not one or the other From pioneers to fast-followers: Circular metrics are for the masses Features Learning through simulation (16:30) Last spring, GreenBiz teamed up with leadership development firm WholeWorks on the ” Leading the Sustainability Transformation ” professional certificate program, organized as a simulation exercise. GreenBiz Senior Vice President and Senior Analyst John Davies drops by with a progress report. Making community investments count (25:20) Catherine Berman is CEO of CNote , a woman-owned, woman-led organization focused on helping institutions invest in underserved communities. She offers insight into the model.  *Music in this episode by Lee Rosevere : “Curiosity,” “I’m Going for a Coffee,” “Here’s the Thing,” “Arcade Montage” and “Southside” Stay connected To make sure you don’t miss the newest episode of GreenBiz 350, subscribe on iTunes or Spotify . Have a question or suggestion for a future segment? E-mail us at 350@greenbiz.com . Topics Podcast Corporate Strategy Social Justice Public-Private Partnerships Collective Insight GreenBiz 350 Podcast Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 34:51 Sponsored Article Off

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Episode 263: Simulating transformation, investing in underserved communities

The Road to Powering Amazon on 100% Renewable Energy by 2025

March 31, 2021 by  
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The Road to Powering Amazon on 100% Renewable Energy by 2025 Date/Time: April 29, 2021 (1-2PM ET / 10-11AM PT) Amazon has been investing in sustainability for many years. Back in 2014, Amazon started making major investments in renewable energy. Most recently the company committed to powering global operations on 100% renewable energy by 2025 as part of The Climate Pledge, a commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. How will the company get there five years ahead of the initial 2030 target? How does a company like Amazon with operations worldwide navigate policies in global markets? How is the company thinking about buying renewable energy and turning on projects during a pandemic? Join us for a panel with Amazon’s team of experts and partners to uncover how you can apply these learnings to your business and sustainability strategy. Moderator: Heather Clancy, Editorial Director, GreenBiz Group Speakers: Chris Roe, Renewable Energy & Sustainable Operations Lead, Amazon Daniela Fitzpatrick, Energy Procurement Manager, Amazon Web Services Miranda Ballentine, CEO, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) Alana Kühne, Head of CE PPAs & Merchant Products, Ørsted If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the archived webcast footage and resources, available to you on-demand after the webcast. taylor flores Wed, 03/31/2021 – 11:12 Heather Clancy Editorial Director GreenBiz Group @GreenTechLady Chris Roe Renewable Energy & Sustainable Operations Lead Amazon Daniela Fitzpatrick Energy Procurement Manager Amazon Web Services Miranda Ballentine CEO Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) @renewablebuyers Alana Kühne Head of CE PPAs & Merchant Products Ørsted gbz_webcast_date Thu, 04/29/2021 – 10:00 – Thu, 04/29/2021 – 11:00

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LEED-targeted Pirelli 39 features a carbon-absorbing vertical forest in Milan

March 23, 2021 by  
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Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Stefano Boeri Architetti have won an international competition to regenerate Milan’s Porta Nuova Gioia area with the sustainable renovation and expansion of the Pirelli 39 tower. Commissioned by real estate investment fund company COIMA SGR, the mixed-use project will not only inject new life into the region with the creation of over 5,000 jobs but will also be designed to meet high sustainability standards and target LEED Platinum, WELL Gold and WiredScore certifications. The project will include a vertical forest — a skyscraper wrapped in 1,700 square meters of vegetation — topped with solar panels and capable of producing nine tons of oxygen and absorbing 14 tons of carbon dioxide a year. Developed as part of a larger urban regeneration project that will include Pirelli 35 and Gioia 20, the Pirelli 39 project occupies a strategic location between Central Station and Scalo Farini. Rather than tear down the structurally problematic Pirelli 39 tower and start anew, the architects instead decided to thoroughly renovate the building to meet modern office building standards and high-performance sustainability targets.  Related: France’s first Vertical Forest will add a “hectare of forest” to Paris’ skyline The renovated Pirelli 39 tower will be paired with a wood-framed residential tower planted with seasonally interesting vegetation on multiple floors. The densely packed landscaping is expected to function like a 10,000-square-meter forest. The tower will also be topped with 2,770 square meters of photovoltaic panels expected to generate 85% of the building’s energy needs. The final feature of the mixed-use project is the Bridge building, which will house an events space, meeting and wellness areas and a biodiverse greenhouse . The greenhouse will be a dedicated laboratory that serves as an extension of the Biblioteca degli Alberi (Library of Trees), a popular park and botanical garden. The project’s overall level of operational carbon dioxide emissions are aligned with the EU 2050 objectives. + Diller Scofidio + Renfro + Stefano Boeri Architetti Images via Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Stefano Boeri Architetti

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Experimental ILOW to follow the suns trajectory for less energy use

March 8, 2021 by  
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International design office Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) and Bouygues Immobilier have revealed designs for ILOW (pronounced ee-low), an experimental and sustainably minded building that aims to bridge two different socio-economic neighborhoods near Paris. Proposed for the commune of Nanterre, the project would be located between La Défense — the financial powerhouse for Paris that’s also Europe’s largest business district — and a neighborhood home to Tours Nuages (Cloud Towers), a pioneering post-war social housing project designed by architect Émile Aillaud. Designed with a parametric approach to resemble a pair of open arms, the curvaceous ILOW references the Cloud Towers’ mimetic form while introducing new energy-efficient construction. Named after the pun on the French word for “small island” often used in the phrase “an island of greenery,” ILOW makes social cohesion and sustainability its two main design objectives. The curvaceous building consists of two wings that frame a central green courtyard, which connects to an adjacent public park. Topped with a lush roof garden , the 134,550-square-foot mixed-use building would primarily house office spaces stacked atop a publicly accessible and transparent ground floor with a restaurant and a café. This building would serve as a physical “common ground” for the two socially separated neighborhoods. Related: Vincent Callebaut proposes a green, food-producing footbridge for Paris “We are trying to use design promote social encounters — between different people, cultures and social groups,” said Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA and director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “This is what is unique about physical — as opposed to digital — space, something which the pandemic made us all too aware of. We can use architecture to bridge across different social worlds.” To minimize the building’s energy consumption, the architects have used a parametric approach to inform the arrangement and sizes of the facade’s prefabricated modules, which are engineered to follow the sun’s trajectory to ensure optimal natural light indoors and minimize energy use. CRA has filed permits for ILOW to the local municipal authority. + Carlo Ratti Associati Images via Carlo Ratti Associati

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US officially rejoins Paris Agreement

February 23, 2021 by  
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As promised, President Joe Biden has helped the U.S. rejoin the Paris climate accord after Donald Trump’s reign of eco-terror. As of last Friday, it’s official. But now comes the hard part: getting the U.S. to set and meet a national target for cutting fossil fuel emissions. Although the U.S. president is also busy with COVID-19 deaths surpassing 500,000, the climate just can’t wait. As Biden said to the Munich security conference, “We can no longer delay or do the bare minimum to address climate change . This is a global existential crisis, and all of us will suffer if we fail.” Related: Biden signs executive order to rejoin Paris Agreement Biden’s challenge is to set a realistic target while balancing tricky financial and political realities in a country where many citizens deny the climate is even changing. His administration wants to settle on a U.S. emissions goal by April, in time for the Earth Day summit Biden is hosting. Climate leaders are hoping that a strong U.S. plan will serve as a good role model for other countries figuring out how to cut their emissions. Many Republican leaders are skeptical. “Returning to the Paris climate agreement will raise Americans’ energy costs and won’t solve climate change,” tweeted Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, the Senate energy panel’s top Republican. “The Biden administration will set unworkable targets for the United States while China and Russia can continue with business as usual.” Paris accord leaders want to keep global warming from reaching 3.6°F (2°C) higher than pre-industrial times. Already the world is up 2.2°F (1.2°C), leaving us very little wiggle room. Thanks to Trump’s stance on the environment, the U.S. was officially out of the Paris Agreement for 107 days. Some environmental leaders worried that when a Trump-led U.S. abandoned the accord, other countries would follow. Fortunately, none did. Now, Biden has the challenge of reversing Trump’s four years of climate inaction. The world awaits the nation’s new emission -cutting plan. Via AP Image via H. Hach

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A modern cabin in rural Washington celebrates indoor/outdoor living

February 23, 2021 by  
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Eager to relax and unwind from city living, a retired aerospace engineer reached out to Seattle-based David Coleman Architecture to design a modern, energy-efficient cabin on a 10-acre rural site in Sultan, Washington. Located about an hour outside of Seattle in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, the idyllic meadow property inspired the client’s vision for a playful home deeply connected to the land with an emphasis on indoor/outdoor living. As a result, the architects created a dynamic, single-story dwelling — dubbed Field House — that embraces nature from multiple directions and sits lightly on the land with a small energy footprint. In addition to sweeping panoramic views, the client had a long list of design features he wanted for his new home. One of the more unusual requests was the organization of the cabin on an offset grid with acute angles to create “dynamic spatial experiences” enjoyed both inside and out of the home. To strengthen its relationship to the surroundings, the cabin features an exposed wood structure that pays homage to the region’s timber heritage as well as an indoor courtyard surrounded by glazing that blurs the line between indoors and out. Three sheltered porches extend the footprint of the 1,500-square-foot Field House to the outdoors, with the most dramatic of the three topped by a triangular roof punctuated with a large, open oculus.  Related: ÖÖD prefab glass cabin immerses you in nature while you work To meet high-performance energy standards, the home features well- insulated glazing and walls, an on-demand water system and a mini-split heat pump system. “The resulting building is essentially a platform for viewing the rise and fall of the sun, the change of the seasons , and the natural beauty that flows by and through the site,” the architects explained in a project statement. Approximately 50 horses and 20 ponies roam the open pasture lands surrounding the home. + David Coleman Architecture Photography by Lara Swimmer via David Coleman Architecture

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Joe Biden can be the president for a sustainable private sector

February 15, 2021 by  
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Joe Biden can be the president for a sustainable private sector Lisa Woll Mon, 02/15/2021 – 01:00 Like no president in recent times, Joe Biden assumed office facing multiple interlocking crises. His ability to achieve his agenda will require action from key sectors across the country, including the investment and business community. Biden already has rejoined the Paris Agreement, committed to advocating for environmental justice and rolled out a government-wide focus on racial justice. He is advocating for a higher minimum wage, among other policies to address economic inequality. To accomplish this ambitious agenda, we believe the time is right for the president to establish a White House Office of Sustainable Finance and Business. It would create a focal point to engage the private sector to contribute to current and future priorities and to further accelerate the private sector’s focus on sustainability. The Office of Sustainable Finance and Business would develop a national strategy for U.S. leadership in sustainable finance and business. Here’s how it could work: The Office of Sustainable Finance and Business would develop a national strategy for U.S. leadership in sustainable finance and business through collaboration with the fast-growing network of businesses and organizations promoting such goals. Here’s why it can’t wait: The magnitude of the challenges facing the United States requires that the new administration leverage all sectors of society. Biden needs the private sector to help move this important work forward. This new office would significantly strengthen the administration’s government-wide approach to tackling urgent social and environmental issues. The sustainable investment community already is engaged in this effort, channeling dollars to companies with better environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. One in every three professionally managed dollars in the United States — $17 trillion — is invested with an ESG focus. Sustainable investors were among the early voices urging companies to take action on climate change. They engage with companies to improve policies on issues ranging from human rights to diversity and water use. They also have been long-term investors in community banks and credit unions that are addressing economic and racial inequality in urban, rural and Indigenous communities. In parallel, more companies are embracing the shift to sustainable business practices that deliver important societal benefits as well as a strategic advantage. This includes committing to net-zero climate targets and changing their business models, products and services to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. In the last year, leading companies have made new commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. Today, 90 percent of S&P 500 companies publish sustainability reports, up from 20 percent in 2011. Companies are being urged to transition from a shareholder primacy model to one focused on multiple stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities, the environment and shareholders. This is often referred to as stakeholder capitalism. In a July speech, Biden noted that “it’s way past time to put an end to shareholder capitalism.” We agree that this shift is overdue. A new White House Office of Sustainable Finance and Business would accelerate the growth of sustainable investment and catalyze the shift to stakeholder capitalism, both of which are critical contributions to Biden’s pledge to “build back better.” Advancing policies that support the growth of a sustainable American economy also supports U.S. economic competitiveness and our broader national interest. The office, in fact, could serve as an important tool for the restoration of American “soft power,” decimated by the past administration. Such an office also would reflect the priorities of an increasing number of Americans, particularly millennials and members of Gen Z, who expect that the places at which they shop and invest will be focused on positive outcomes for society and the environment. A White House office also will allow sustainable investors and companies to partner with the administration to achieve a more sustainable and equitable economy. By highlighting the critical role of the private sector, Biden can further drive alignment of investment capital and corporate actions with his administration’s policy priorities. Pull Quote The Office of Sustainable Finance and Business would develop a national strategy for U.S. leadership in sustainable finance and business. Contributors Aron Cramer Topics Policy & Politics Collective Insight BSR Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz photocollage

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Community investments pay dividends

February 15, 2021 by  
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Community investments pay dividends John Davies Mon, 02/15/2021 – 00:00 This article originally appeared in the State of Green Business 2021. You can download the entire report here . Corporate community investment historically has been the realm of philanthropy and volunteerism departments, but there are a growing number of examples where direct investment by businesses benefits operations as well as the communities in which they serve. In 2019, the Business Roundtable redefined the purpose of a U.S. corporation as being “to promote an economy that serves all Americans.” In a survey of 2,511 registered U.S. voters by Real Clear Opinion Research, 77 percent of respondents agreed: “The purpose of a corporation is to maximize financial returns for its shareholders, but also to deliver value to customers, invest in employees, deal ethically with suppliers and support the communities where they work.” When it comes to investing in employees, Tyson Foods faces the challenge of its plants being predominantly in rural areas with limited labor pools, and with many of its front-line team members recent immigrants. To address this labor shortage, the company launched the Upward Academy , offering free and accessible classes in English as a Second Language, High School Equivalency, U.S. citizenship, financial literacy and digital literacy. The program is still in its early stages but all signs point to the investment paying off in terms of employee engagement and retention, and leading to a stronger local community. Purchasing and sourcing strategies are also getting realigned to support local communities as well as smallholder farmers around the globe. Supply experts at Sodexo, a French foodservice and facilities management company, have worked with the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council to target local and seasonal produce, working with local farmers and producers around each of its client sites. This approach evaluates environmental, social and economic impacts on the community and helps local businesses to thrive, which in turn benefits the company’s clients. Corporate sourcing decisions can drive change for communities around the world. Companies such as Mars and Griffith Foods have established sustainable sourcing programs that seek to create societal value while generating business benefit. As noted in its 2020 annual report, Griffith receives high-quality raw materials from trusted partners while farmers receive on-farm and in-community support from a consistent buyer. The alignment of capabilities and community is a growing business trend as companies move away from pure checkbook philanthropy. In these and other examples, community investments typically start with nonprofit engagement, aligning with on-the-ground resources that provide local knowledge and connections. The alignment of capabilities and community is a growing business trend as companies move away from pure checkbook philanthropy. Companies such as HSBC and PwC have shifted to a more strategic approach by integrating their giving and volunteering. HSBC envisions a Venn diagram of urgent needs and financial literacy, where the overlap identifies opportunities to help the underserved develop soft skills to boost employability and financial capability. PwC took a similar approach to combining philanthropy with volunteering, providing employees paid time to support educational initiatives in entrepreneurship and financial literacy, leveraging their consulting skills to better the community. AT&T has reinvented its philanthropic approach so that it looks more like its store franchise model. AT&T Believes is a localized effort to create positive change in the communities where it operates, letting local employees determine how to best have an impact. Wells Fargo has launched pitch competitions to fund breakthrough ideas that promise new ways to create urgently needed affordable housing nationwide. Such initiatives are part and parcel of recent efforts to measure the social contribution of business. There are currently few standards to guide and measure community investment and other social impacts.  Danone, Patagonia and others have been certified as B Corporations , identifying them as businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Lab, the organization behind the voluntary standard, offers an assessment tool that can start companies on their journey toward strategic community investment. Pull Quote The alignment of capabilities and community is a growing business trend as companies move away from pure checkbook philanthropy. Topics State of Green Business Report Corporate Social Responsibility Social Justice Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Image: Shutterstock/Rawpixel

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BREEAM-Excellent Le Monde Group HQ by Snhetta opens in Paris

February 3, 2021 by  
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French media company Le Monde Group has recently welcomed its 1,600 employees into its new headquarters, a striking Snøhetta-designed building that’s not only certified BREEAM Excellent but has also been awarded the prestigious French real estate prize, Grand Prix SIMI, in the category “New Office Building Larger than 10,000 square meters.” Located in the city’s 13th arrondissement, the curvaceous office building draws the eye with its bold plaza, soaring archway and semi-transparent outer skin that comprises over 20,000 pixelated glass elements in a pattern with nearly 800 possible configurations. The facade’s sophisticated, text-like pattern evokes the printed letters of newspapers and magazines.  Located at the intersection of Paris ’ old historic parts and the more modern district on the Rive Gauche, the 23,000-square-meter Le Monde Group Headquarters unites the company’s six newsrooms, which had been previously scattered across different sites in the city, under one roof. Transparency, accessibility and a sense of open dialogue with Paris drove the design of the building’s translucent, dynamic facade and public plaza with ground-floor retail spaces. The site also features over 300 bicycle parking spots and easy access to a neighboring train station. Related: Snøhetta completes stunning Norwegian cabins for glacier hikers “Since its inception the Le Monde Group Headquarters has embodied an architectural and symbolic counterpoint to the many challenges our societies face today,” said Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, founding partner of Snøhetta . “The building is primarily about opening up in a time where fear and uncertainty pushes our societies to increase barriers and strengthen security enforcement. In this sense, the project invites us to reflect on how architecture can create spaces that can be both public and private, exterior and interior, transparent or opaque. Like so many other of our projects, it is a hybrid building that explores the interstices of architecture and that is conceived to be at the service of the public.” Solar panels cover almost the entire roof of the building, while a portion of the building is pulled back to make room for an open-air terrace framed in vegetation. Accessible from both sides of the structure, the elevated terrace provides stunning views of the surrounding cityscape and the Seine River. Inside, the light-filled interiors include high-quality, expansive offices with a variety of flexible workspaces and meeting rooms as well as amenities such as a library, a staff restaurant, an auditorium and a Le Monde Group analogue archive. + Snøhetta Photography by Marwan Harmouche, Ludwig Favre and Jared Chulski via Snøhetta

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