Research


A couple of years ago, I undertook a research project for Footprint Media Group which aimed to work out why chefs didn’t have much nutritional knowledge. The reason was fairly simple: It’s not taught. So this became the title of my report: It’s not taught: why chefs don’t consider nutrition, and how to get nutritional education onto the syllabus and into the kitchen.

not-taught-300x200

The report, which was sponsored by Nestle Professional, aimed to identify how to improve nutritional education in catering colleges and industry to improve public health and meet customer demand for healthier options.

With the continued support of Nestle Professional, I’m thrilled to announce that Footprint are now able to continue the project and to start putting the report’s recommendations into action. A vital step when 63% of the UK adult population is overweight or obese, and we eat 1 in 6 meals out of home. Watch out for updates on http://www.footprint.digital later this Spring.

 

Some fun stories to provide inspiration:
  • Tackling food waste through social enterprise: Rubies in the Rubble turns food that would be chucked into chutneys, and is proof you can run a company with a business head and a charitable heart http://gu.com/p/39qne/tw 
  • 5 perennial veggies to plant once and enjoy forever http://huff.to/Q4AGQX 
  • How do you save a child’s life? A step by step video of how Save the Children does it in West Africa. http://bit.ly/QzGlF3 
  • Interesting article on how Pret fuels passion and positivity in its employees: http://bit.ly/MTqjSV 
  • Empty, run-down homes in Bristol to be renovated by unemployed & ex-offenders creating 200 jobs & 40 new homes – result! http://bit.ly/OEstaq 
  • Still loving Futerra’s The Greenwash Guide http://bit.ly/LQVmPx  – def worth a read if you haven’t seen it before, or a re-read if you have!
  • Don’t work more than 40 hours a week – interesting (though anecdotal) article on the benefits of working less: http://bit.ly/IVtVAg 
  • Are straw bales the building material of the future? Mark Briggs reports http://bit.ly/JcsCyj  
Some more news titbits…
  • Great quote on the business benefits of being socially responsible: ‘Organisations with social purpose written into their business models already exist and their leaders are acting and adapting fast. Among other things their businesses remain relevant, competitive, engaged with their communities, and open to new markets and consumer bases.’ Silvia Giovannoni @ Guardian: http://bit.ly/zohThG
  • Sobering article on the scale and health implications of the air pollution in China: http://bit.ly/FPKtae
  • Good Jonathon Porrit article on harnessing the power of brands to change & normalise sustainable behaviours: http://bit.ly/z9uK8J
  • Gutted that plans to ban fishing discards are under threat – fingers crossed for Monday… http://bit.ly/y0yGmI

Some interesting news stories that caught my eye recently… Enjoy!

  • Don’t sling it – refurb it. Discarded household products such as vacuum cleaners get a new lease of life w/ Electrofarm http://bit.ly/yRjNZM
  • Win:Win – paper shows its poss to simultaneously mitigate near-Term climate change & improve health & food security: http://bit.ly/yywvGg
  • Ducking good idea: Ducks replace paddy-field pesticides: They feed on insects & weeds, not rice & poo is fab fertiliser: http://bit.ly/xiPphN
  • Study finds organic farming in India provide 30% more jobs than non-organic farming & can increase income by about 250% http://bit.ly/AlzptH
  • Go Croydon NHS! Croydon Health Services pays £24k to get Burger King out of hospital: http://bit.ly/zJNzyS
  • Scientists link mass death of British bees to farm pesticides: http://bit.ly/yPfOYG
  • India to open up its retail sector to foreign brands after all: http://on.ft.com/FOUKUs
  • McDonald’s to give away books with UK Happy Meals making them briefly the nations biggest book retailer: http://tgr.ph/x4CxTT
  • Hospital Patients fed on £2.57 a day – shocking when nutrition is so vital when unwell: http://tgr.ph/zrgEFX
  • A chilling article by George Monbiot on some undemocratic goings on in British government: http://bit.ly/Adv7Uu
  • An interesting way to make use of old aircraft – turn them into hotel rooms! http://bit.ly/xIqaU6
  • M&S gives strawberries longer life with new packaging innovation http://bit.ly/x9f3hg
Ed and his new car

Ed and his new car

A selection of fun stuff and interesting new stories from the last few weeks. Merry Christmas everyone!

  •  Just spotted that Oxfam’s ethical collection has a 50% off sale in case anyone is looking for last minute pressies… http://bit.ly/t5IGmE. Also love Oxfam Unwrapped http://bit.ly/rGV0e7 & Save the Children’s Wishlist http://bit.ly/sSPfYg for planet & people friendly pressies. And, in a shamless plug, Climb the Green Ladder makes an EXCELLENT gift of course ;o)
  •  Hooray! Sales of ‘ethical’ goods & services – from produce to transport & funerals – rose by 9% says Co-op http://bit.ly/uBNaVs
  •  Excited that an eco-conceirge service I bought for my brother-in-law’s b-day led to him saving tonnes of cash & carbon! Can’t believe this car-loving carnivore now says: ‘I am now a salad munching ecocrusader in my Audi A1’ – You rock Ed – keep it up! http://bit.ly/u2qnFa
  •  Giving employees targets + letting them set own schedule makes them happier 🙂 but no info in the article on how it affects productivity which would have been helpful… http://bit.ly/uViQn6
  •  Durban round up by Reuters:http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/11/us-climate-deal-idUSTRE7BA07F20111211
  •  Heartening bbc article on why some wealthy individuals are choosing philanthropy over splashing their cashhttp://bbc.in/ue5wdG
  •  Met Office warns of UK climate risks http://gu.com/p/33pgf/tf
  •  Foreign investors might not be able to enter India’s retail sector after all to relief of small business owners http://thetim.es/vqRuU5 – heartening follow up to an article I blogged about last time.
  • http://www.peoplefund.it = an awesome idea! A website from the RiverCottage bods where people with green projects can raise awareness and funds.

I’ll be back with another round up in 2 weeks time. Have a happy and healthy December until then!

Amy

Some noteworthy news stories that caught my eye in the last week:

Good Planet Radio logoWant some top tips on how to green your company and get ahead in your career, and hear the story behind Climb the Green Ladder?

Then check out this interview with Shari and I on Good Planet Radio, which was broadcast on Thurs 15 April.

Listen now: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/planetgood/2010/04/15/climbing-the-green-ladder

Podcast summary: After conducting research with over 80 sustainability specialists Amy Fetzer and Shari Aaron have gathered the common 6 principles that all successful sustainability strategies use. These strategies are available in great detail in their new book: “Climb The Green Ladder: Make Your Company and Career More Sustainable”. Tune to hear about a preview of the strategies as well as Amy and Shari’s experiences and advice on how to make your company more sustainable.

NYC launch event, 21 January

I am delighted to report that the NYC launch event, 21 of January, was very exciting and a tremendous success!

This event focused on how sustainability provides a leadership advantage for women. The conversation was led by senior level women who have made tremendous strides in spearheading effective sustainability programs. Speakers included (as pictured left to right), Eleni Reed, Director, Sustainability Strategies, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., and me, Shari Aaron, Co-Author Climb the Green Ladder, Natalia Oberti Noguera, Executive Director of NY Women Social Entrepreneurs, Tensie Whelan, President, Rainforest Alliance and Maria Figueroa Kupcu, Director, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Practice, Brunswick Group.

According to Holly Perlowitz, a senior banking professional based in the New York area, “Gathering with Shari Aaron and other women focused on sustainability was inspiring and reminded me that grassroots efforts matter and committing oneself to carrying the message can start in our homes and our places of business – but it just has to start!”

A special thanks to Double Knot for hosting such a lively event!

Amy also enjoyed speaking at the These Young Minds conference on the 26th of January and got some great feedback from the organizers. Alim Abubakre, Founder, These Young Minds, offered these complimentary words: “Amy Fetzer, is an inspiring, remarkable and unparalleled speaker. Having a personality like Amy speak at an event is what any audience needs to be fulfilled.”

Amy also was welcomed into Commerical’s offices in the UK last week to do a workshop on sustainability. Simon Graham compliments included: “Amy’s work is inspirational. We had the privilege of her presenting one of our Green Ambassador seminars and she is as great a speaker as she is an author. The audience went away with a new vision and energised to do more to Climb the Green Ladder.”

We have such a great week talking about the book and getting people’s feedback. Many thanks to those who participated in our events and we look forward to seeing more of you at other events soon!

Shari

I’m super excited that Shari’s US launch for Climb the Green Ladder is happening in New York tonight. I’m so sad I won’t be able to be there, but flying over from London for the launch didn’t seem very sustainable. I can’t wait until there is a sustainable way to cross the ocean between us! (Check out, ‘Can aviation go green?’ for an interesting article on this topic).

Here in the UK, I’ve been busy helping Gloucestershire launch their 10:10 campaign.

10:10This kicked off at the University of Gloucestershire yesterday morning.

Forum for the Future’s Jonathon Porritt, 10:10’s Eugenie Harvey, Gloucestershire Green Guru (and Climb the Green Ladder case study) Sarah Daly and I all gave talks. The crowd included the local mayor and other business leaders, and our talks explained why they should and could take on the challenge to reduce their emissions and impacts by 10% in 2010. To find out more, check out this an article on the event here.

Jonathon Porritt

The feedback from the event so far as been hugely positive so I’m reallylooking forward to getting updates as people start toreduce their impacts.

Next, I spent a really enjoyable afternoon hosting workshops on ways to win with sustainability for local businesses in the area, going first to Ecclesiastical Insurance Group and next on to Commercial.

Sarah Daly

Both companies have made great strides in making their operations more sustainable, but it was lovely to be told that they thought the Climb the Green Ladder toolkit would help them take things to the next level.

That’s all for now folks! And keep getting in touch to let us know how you’re getting on in making your workplace more sustainable!

Amy

It’s been another exciting week for Climb the Green Ladder!

Climb the Green Ladder in Waterstones

In good company in Waterstones' window

First, we were thrilled when our publisher, Wiley, told us that, despite being published for just two weeks, initial sales have been so good that they have ordered a second print run!

I was also excited to spot Climb the Green Ladder taking pride of place alongside SuperFreakonomics and Too Big to Fail in a central London Waterstones’ window display. We want to say a huge thank you to all of you who have bought the book, and please, keep your feedback coming in!

One company nearly cleaned out Wiley’s warehouse when they ordered a copy of the book for every single member of staff for Christmas. Other organisations have told us they are giving the book as a corporate gift, or that they’re interested in giving it out during green campaigns in the New Year. Do get in touch if these are ideas you’d be interested in too.

Amy Fetzer LSE 3 December 09

Amy Fetzer

We’ve also had hundreds of individuals sales from everyone from students and consultants to MDs, and the book has had orders from as far afield as Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong! The feedback coming in is that people are really enjoying the book and finding it helpful and inspirational – click on the links to read (or add!) reviews on Amazon or our website and keep telling us your thoughts.

We’ve also launched a new events section of our website so you can keep track of when we’re speaking near you.

Plus, we’ve updated our services page to explain a little bit more about us and what we do – when we’re not writing books that is!

Victoria Hands LSE 3 December 2009

Victoria Hands

The week has also ended on a high with the second Climb the Green Ladder LSE lecture.

After I introduced the Climb the Green Ladder and the six principles of successful sustainability initiatives, Dr Victoria Hands took to the stage.

Victoria, the Sustainability and Environment Manager from LSE, was one of the first people I interviewed during the research for Climb the Green Ladder. Her achievements in helping to get London universities recycling are a real example of how one person can make a difference and it was clear she left the audience inspired.

Dr Martin Blake, Royal Mail

Dr Martin Blake, Royal Mail

Martin Blake is another incredible individual who shared his experiences with us during the research for Climb the Green Ladder. His achievements at helping Royal Mail become more sustainable – for example by showing them that making their buildings energy efficient could save £20 million a year – are hugely impressive. The audience appeared fascinated by his accounts of presenting the business case for sustainability and facilitating real change at Royal Mail.

It was really great to take questions, and then to meet and chat with members audience afterwards. Again, the main feedback from the event was that people really appreciated and were inspired by an approach which gave them tangible tips and examples of how they could put sustainability into practice in their working environment.

I’ll be putting some video footage of the lecture up soon – so watch this space!

Thanks again to those of you who attended, and keep your thoughts, feedback and successes coming in. We love hearing from you.

With best wishes,
Amy

 
And the winner is...

And the winner is...

 You cast your votes, we listened, and a cover has been chosen! To find out which one won, click on this link: 

and the winner is…

Thanks so much to all of you who took part in our poll!

We’re sorry to have kept you waiting. We’ve had our heads down finishing the book.

 

Amy submitting Climb the Green Ladder at Wiley's head office

Amy submitting Climb the Green Ladder at Wiley's head office

But, we’re thrilled to announce that the final manuscript of Climb The Green Ladder has been submitted to our publishers, Wiley!

 Now we’ve had a chance to come up for air, we’ll be back soon to give you updates from our work and our research, so watch this space!

Thanks for all your support!

Amy & Shari

Cast your vote in the polling box below and help us choose the Climb the Green Ladder book cover! We can’t decide between the white or green sky!

Two covers

As more and more employees try to take action on sustainability in their workplaces, our research has revealed the important role that values play. A key component in a company or organisation’s success in addressing climate change lies in their ability to connect to an employee’s sense of personal responsibility or values around the issue of sustainability.

This is demonstrated by our survey findings. In the Climb the Green Ladder Sustainability in the Workplace survey, a majority (66%) of the 425 respondents choose ‘I try to be as sustainable as possible – at home and at work’. And, in a recent study by Tandberg/Ipos MORI of over 16,000 employees around the world almost 1 out of 2 employees (45%) say they, ‘have taken personal steps to reduce climate change’. The Tandberg study also shows that one quarter of employees (24%) believe, ‘that their individual actions are a key to driving environmental change’.

As we review the hundreds of responses from our survey, one thing is clear: it is vital for companies or organizations to tap into an employee’s sense of personal concern and responsibility regarding sustainability. If you are working to get your boss or co-workers interested in your initiatives, you will ensure greater success by connecting your ideas to both the business case and to your co-workers’ personal values around sustainability.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Keep on sending them in!

Amy & Shari

Want to hear the latest findings from Climb The Green Ladder from the horses mouth?

Amy will be speaking on the Sustainable Business Initiatives Panel at UK Aware (www.ukaware.com), Olympia 2, London at 4.15pm on the 17 April 2009.

For your free Climb The Green Ladder ticket, visit the UK Aware website and enter this promotional code: UA09spe.

Do come and say hi if you can make it!

See you then,
Amy

Breaking news just in!

Climb The Green Ladder: Make Your Company and Career More Sustainable is available to pre-order on Amazon now!

Be one of the first to get your hands on a copy when the book comes out on 1 November 09 and pre-order your copy now!

As I pour through the hundreds of responses that are coming into our Climb The Green Ladder Survey, I am struck how powerful and important praise can be to help employees move the sustainability agenda forward at their firms.

In conversations with Dave Stangis from Campbell’s, Yalmaz Siddiqui from Office Depot, Tony Gale from Ecology and Environment and many others, the message is coming through loud and clear that praise is a powerful tool.

Praising employees – and using little rewards like gift cards or recognition at company meetings – helps to inspire more employees to engage in efforts to rideshare, turn-off computers at night, or to ensure factories significantly reduce their waste output.

Pointing out and recognizing the efforts of those who have taken part in sustainability initiatives motivates them to continue their efforts. Meanwhile, the public recognition inspires others who have not previously engaged to take part.

Thanks for listening. If you add a comment or send us an email sharing your top praising tips, we will make sure we sing YOUR praises at our next meeting.

Shari

We are excited to share the latest news from Climb The Green Ladder!

To date, hundreds have taken our Sustainability in the Workplace Survey providing excellent examples of how employees who care about sustainability are able to impact their workplaces.

All across the globe, from the UK and US to China, Spain and Mexico, employees are sounding off about what activities and programs have been the most effective for them. 
 
The great news is that initial results indicate the downturn is actually increasing many companies and organisation’s commitment to sustainability

The survey is not closed yet, but so far, 80% of the 250 respondents have said that their employer is committed to sustainability while 11% have said the economic downturn has increased their company or organisation’s efforts. A further 41% said the downturn hadn’t affected their employers sustainability strategies, choosing the ‘no change seen’ option. Just 4.9% said it has decreased efforts.  

Participants are drawn from across the globe from the UK and US to China, Spain and France, and employers ranged from small publishing houses and sustainability consultancies to PWC, Abbey National and the UK’s Department of Treasury.

So it’s heartening to see that sustainability is going some way to becoming part of the status quo whatever the industry or organisation size.

Our findings support research published in the State of Green Business 2009. Their survey of 100 companies revealed that nearly 47% were increasing their investments in green product development in 2009.

It’s common sense after all. Businesses need a healthy society and a stable environment in order to thrive. Many major businesses from Wal-Mart and the Guardian to Unilever, HP and Marks and Spencer have realised that embracing sustainability and taking a leadership role makes excellent business sense.

Thinking sustainably means focussing on reducing waste, increasing efficiencies and considering the human and ecological outcomes of corporate behaviour. True sustainability thinking is embedded in every part of business and means the long term viability of all business behaviours are considered rather than just being a beneficial ‘add on’ dealt with by the corporate social responsibility or sustainability department.

Taking sustainability thinking to the heart of business is seriously beneficial for the bottom line as resources are used more efficiently. It also increases positive environmental, social and economic impacts while reducing risks and strengthening brand reputation and competitive advantage.

It’s easy to talk about corporations and organisations as though they were faceless entities that we as individuals have little power to affect. But companies and organisations are just made up of people and people have power. Individuals have power – we all have power.

Our research has also shown this power in action, demonstrating how many of us are working to transform our organisations from within.

In addition to the survey, we are busy conducting interviews with sustainability advocates, thought leaders and employees at every level of companies – big and small.

Interviews have been conducted with Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development and Director of Resolve, Jennifer Woofter of Strategic Sustainability Consultants, Martin Smith of JustMeans, Victoria Hands of LSE, Shelley Rowley of Speechly Bircham LLP, Neil Turner of RES, Wood Turner of Climate Counts, Frank Dixon of Global Systems Change and Europe Systems Change. Plus there are lots more lined up and we’ll be posting updates on who’s said what soon!

Over 300 people have already taken the Climb the Green Ladder survey making sure their voices are heard.

Add your voice to theirs so we can share knowledge to reveal what works and what doesn’t so together we can find ways to ride out the downturn while building a more successful, more sustainable future.

Take the survey!

Bye for now!

Amy and Shari

Take part in the 2009 Climb the Green Ladder: Sustainability in the Workplace Survey and receive a sneak preview of study results to help you and your company get ahead!

Our survey will only take a few minutes and findings will be immortalised in Climb the Green Ladder: Making Your Company and Career More Sustainable (Wiley, Oct 2009).

Climate change and the global financial crisis have shown companies and organisations MUST think sustainably in order to survive.

We want to hear from people at every level of every business from sales staff and CEOs to government officials and teachers.

YOU can help us reveal what works and what doesn’t, so we can share knowledge and work towards a more sustainable, more successful future.

Your voice matters as together we are finding new solutions!

Take the Survey!

Thank you for your time,

Shari Aaron & Amy Fetzer
Co-Authors & Co-Founders, Climb The Green Ladder