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Wednesday 15 October 2008

Sustainable profitability and the new economic reality

The last few weeks have thrown up plenty of speculation about what the current economic crisis will do to the efforts of businesses and governments on sustainability issues. From here at More it looks as though prospects for doing sustainable business in this new environment are if anything improved - making more value at less cost is the central idea that business and sustainability share. In an environment of contraction, clients are actively looking for solutions that solve their carbon issues and their core business issues in concert.

The decks will be cleared as well: a lot of superficial practice will be shown up, and many greenwashers will let go of 'green' as they focus on short term cashflow issues. This would give a clearer run to organisations who see sustainable profitability as central to future success, and reduce PR noise around genuinely good practice. The FT have just put out a Sustainable Business supplement, available on their website, that provides a good overview of some perspectives in this broad debate.

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Sunday 22 July 2007

Getting physical with smart metering

With the energy industry, NGOs, government, meter manufacturers and others involved in the 'smart metering interoperability' process, the interoperbility conversation is getting very political, very technical, and that can lead people to miss some simple but important opportunities.

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Wednesday 18 April 2007

Monitors all round!

Interesting developments on the policy front, which we were asked to comment on in a follow-up article by the BBCs' Mark Kinver (which you can read here).

The Labour Party has announced new plans to provide 'real-time electricity monitors' to all households who request one. Electricity suppliers will be required to provide the displays free of charge to all households. According to Labour 'the plan could cut UK carbon dioxide emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year by 2010, equivalent to taking about 100,000 cars off the road.'

We'll be keeping an eye on how this one pans out...

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Monday 26 March 2007

More Associates feature in Future London exhibition

Future London is a GLA project that helps Londoners to make their city sustainable, and shows how design and planning can help. The project was launched with a large exhibition in East London designed to show the public that sustainable living is both easy and affordable. The exhibition goes beyond describing the sustainable lifestyle choices that people can make by showing the consequences of these choices, making it easy to see the link between individual actions and local, national and global impacts.

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Friday 09 March 2007

Producer vs. User Centred design?

Interesting article by Eric von Hippel writing in the Harvard Business Review (subscription only so no link to the actual piece I'm afraid).

He outlines some clear shortcomings in the way that large companies and governments fail to respond to user needs in the products they develop, and the way in which innovation in these companies is still 'producer-centred' rather than 'user-centred' i.e driven by what the company thinks is right as opposed to what users know is right. Taking up the 'open source' aesthetic, people are now prepared to adapt, play with and improve products when they doesn't meet their needs.

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Monday 19 February 2007

Ariel asks customers to do their washing at 30 degrees

In the first of a new kind of proposition in the mass market – one that we expect to see a lot more of over the coming months – Ariel launch a very cool campaign to get people to turn down their washing machines. This could begin to show that behavioural energy/ carbon marketing works, which is essential for most non-energy businesses to join in with the carbon debate. With TV, web and print applications, P&G are building green credibility and home-sense for Ariel by inviting people to change their behaviour, and strongly leading everyone to infer a key product benefit (washes better at lower temperatures, saving you money), while never actually stating it!

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