IUPUI Helping to Fill Green Jobs

We’ve documented the forward thinking going on at Indiana’s colleges and universities on this blog many times. Today’s offering includes Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis’ (IUPUI) new program to help future workers be more educated about green technology.

The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI is happy to announce a new “Sustainable Technologies Certificate” available to help students prepare for the changing green job market. This certificate is designed to address a growing need for professionals who can contribute to the green workforce with knowledge in sustainable practices in current technologies. The Sustainable Technologies Certificate is useful to students who want to have knowledge in areas of green building, renewable energies and sustainable design.

In the United States, sustainability has gained importance in business, industry, government, higher education, and in the general public’s consciousness. The goal of meeting today’s needs without harming future generations’ ability to realize their potential is a hallmark of sustainable practices. There is widespread interest from many disciplines and sectors in developing, enhancing, and integrating sustainability into all aspects of products, services and solutions. Thus, the need to equip students with the knowledge, skills and perspectives to make contributions to sustainable initiatives has never been greater.

Green jobs are rapidly being created as the economy begins embracing sustainable, energy- efficient and low-carbon practices. The Sustainable Technologies Certificate is designed to help guide future professionals who can contribute to the green global workforce. For more information on the certificate, contact Professor Pat Fox at [email protected].

BizVoice Adds to Awards Total

Chalk up a couple more honors for BizVoice for work completed in 2010. Of four entrants in APEX 2011, two earned the Award of Excellence in their category. Taking the honors were:

  • July-August 2010 edition, Painting Indiana Green, in the Green Magazines & Journals category. The issue profiled numerous green initiatives and programs, in addition to offering analysis.
  • Editor Tom Schuman earned the award in news writing for "Breaking Down Walls: Columbus, Richmond Show the Way." The story features higher education collaborations in the two communities.

More than 3,300 entries were submitted in a variety of categories. Fewer than 30% earned the Award of Excellence.

BizVoice has received more than 50 national and state honors for editorial and design excellence over the past 12 years.

Alcoa Behind Major Recycling Effort

Great story here out of the Evansville area. As part of Alcoa Foundation’s global plan to assist the communities in which it resides, it’s joining Keep America Beautiful (in participation with the Universities of Evansville and Southern Indiana) enhance the environment through recycling. Read the details

The Alcoa Foundation has joined forces with Keep America Beautiful to encourage greater recycling among tomorrow’s leaders by sponsoring RecycleMania, an intense, 10-week competition between colleges and universities.

In addition to the Alcoa Foundation’s support of the nationwide program, which includes more than 600 schools, Warrick Operations is sponsoring a local competition between the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana. The local university performing the best in Recycle Mania will receive a $1,500 donation from Alcoa Warrick Operations to further assist the school’s on-campus recycling programs.

“By supporting KAB’s RecycleMania, we want to educate students, professors and the entire campus community about the importance of recycling and inspire people to take that extra step in the dorm, at the library and after class,” said Paula Davis, Alcoa Foundation President.

“New” Buildings Not Always the Greenest Option

Sarah Hempstead of Schmidt Associates discusses renovation options for Indiana businesses. While green building and LEED designs are certainly positive and revolutionary concepts, sometimes tailoring an existing structure is the best option for your company and the environment.

In our latest issue of BizVoice, Rebecca Patrick looks at the issue in depth.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Helps to Green Capital City

David Forsell of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful explains his passion for his work, as well as how his organization partners with businesses around central Indiana to help keep the area clean. This includes a project that involves 8,500 Eli Lilly staffers helping to clean the Interstate. Forsell is the focus of a BizVoice story in our July/August edition.

Image is Everything in a Greener World

So who’s the greenest of them all? If perception is reality, then AdvertisingAge has the answer. This report illustrates who’s done the best job of being — check that — appearing to be the greenest companies around.

Burt’s Bees and Whole Foods lead the 2010 ImagePower Green Brands Survey’s list of top 10 U.S. brands perceived to be the greenest, with Aveeno and Microsoft joining the list this year. The fifth annual study also found that in the U.S., people are more concerned about the economy than the environment, while in developing countries, such as Brazil and India, the environment takes precedence.

Making the top 10 brands list in the U.S. after Burt’s Bees and Whole Foods were, in order, Tom’s of Maine, Trader Joe’s, Google, Aveeno, S.C. Johnson, Publix, Microsoft and Ikea.

The survey, released this week, was done by WPP companies Cohn & Wolfe, Landor Associates and Penn Schoen Berland in partnership with Esty Environmental Partners, a corporate environmental strategy consultant. They did online interviews from Feb. 27 to March 24 with 9,022 people in the U.S., Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, U.K. and, for the first time, Australia.

The survey found that more than 60% of consumers around the world said they want to buy from environmentally responsible companies. In the U.S., though, 35% of those surveyed said they plan to spend more on green products, down 4% from 2009. That reflects the U.S.’ focus on economic worries. "Almost 80% of the [U.S.] consumers said they were more concerned about the economy that the environment. That’s the highest of any other country," says Russ Meyer, chief strategy officer for Landor, San Francisco.

In developing countries, however, the split goes the other way. Of those surveyed in Brazil, for example, 72% were concerned about the environment while 25% cited the economy. "India’s got a split like that, too—59% and 32%," Meyer says. "It’s interesting to see. There’s a bit of a Western bias that the West is further advanced in thinking about sustainability. India, China—those economies are already on their way to mending, and not so in Europe and the Americas."

When Green Isn’t as Green as it Seems

In today’s world of carbon footprints, sustainability and simply all green all the time, there’s a lot of greenbacks to be made by advocating your environmental friendliness. And, like most other similar concerns, the vast majority of people on the green bandwagon are there for the right reasons and being upfront about their products and services.

As we have the last two years, we’re going to highlight some of those companies, organizations and communities in the July-August BizVoice magazine. (Check out the last two years: 2009 and 2008 issues). There are good stories to tell, and we’ve got excellent writers on staff who will do just that.

But the growth of green was closely followed by "greenwashing," defined as misleading information about environmental practices or benefits. Recently, Energy Star products that may not be as efficient as advertised and green buildings that don’t always live up to that label have been in the news. Are there other "not so fast on the green claims" that are out there? Let us know your thoughts and any leads would be appreciated.

It will be another great "going green" issue, but if some green initiatives are leaving you feeling blue, we want to report on those too.

Sometimes It’s Easy Being Green

With apologies to Kermit the Frog, I learned recently how to make my job easier by being green.

Each year, I produce the Chamber’s popular Legislative Directory by collecting, editing and assembling biographical information for all 150 state legislators. The collection process usually goes something like this:

  1. Send form letters and questionnaires via snail mail to every legislator
  2. Get 30% of the materials back from legislators before contacting their assistants to receive the remaining 70%
  3. Spend a week deciphering handwriting and converting the paper questionnaires into the appropriate format for publication

Enter the digital world. Abandoning the formality of printed envelopes and 44-cent stamps, I e-mailed the necessary documents directly to those who can really get things done in Indiana politics – the legislative assistants. In two days’ time my response rate was through the roof and the savings in time, paper, printing and other costs is substantial. This experience has encouraged me to “green” the marketing approach for this publication as well – likely to result in even more savings.

I have always been more an advocate for “going efficient” than “going green,” but in sharing my example and hearing from others, I’ve learned that environmental friendliness and efficiency often go hand-in-hand.

What examples do you have of environmental responsibility saving you time and/or money in the workplace?

Green Living Isn’t for the Birds

Recycling, gardening, composting … all fairly standard for the environmentally conscious Hoosier. But raising chickens in your backyard?

That’s one I never considered. When Tony Nicholas told me a few months ago that was his family’s latest venture toward sustainability, I knew I had to learn more.

After spending an afternoon with the Nicholas clan, the chicken thing started to make sense. Tony’s family rarely needs to buy eggs, and they say the taste is incredible. Taking care of chickens is fairly easy when you only need a few. Read more about how the Nicholas family is living the green life in the July-August issue of BizVoice magazine.

It seems the backyard coop is becoming increasingly popular. The New York Times recently featured a story about the growing number of families raising chickens to increase self-sufficiency.

Now, where can I find some chicken wire?

Greening Indiana

There’s no doubt – green has moved into the mainstream. No longer for just the Birkenstock-wearing, peace-sign-yielding, organic-eating population (not that there is anything wrong with that). Just check out the number of people who have rejected plastic bags on your next trip to the grocery store. Case in point, Whole Foods announced in April it has seen use of reusable bags triple in the last year.

And this is just the beginning.

While green is here to stay, how does Indiana fare in its efforts? Four panelists with varying backgrounds weigh in on how the Hoosier state is doing and what the business community needs to know going forward. Read the entire article here.

Also, our BizVoice video segment features David Steele of The Steele Group discussing the developments and challenges in Indiana’s greening process: