Matthew Rochte's blog

Top 5 Sustainability Trends for 2012

More than a coincidental number of people have asked me in the past couple of weeks as to what I am seeing as trends in the sustainability arena, a top 5 trends of 2012, so to speak.   So, here is what I’m seeing this year.

1) Companies are overwhelmed.
2012 continues with a depressed economy with high unemployment, tight budgets, and a great deal of uncertainty.  The rules of business of business keep changing.  Then adding to this uncertainty and over whelm is a rise of new stakeholders who are on the move and actively seeking change.   James Epstein-...

LEED building complaints – are they really LEED related?

There is a great discussion on LEED apartment building tenant complaints over on the Consilience Blog. The complaints as tenant complaints go are legitimate, but have little or nothing to do with the buildings being LEED certified, rather they have to do with cost cutting and poor design, construction, and facilities maintenance.
In summary the complaints were:
  1. Inability to control Air Conditioning to a point below 73 degrees
  2. Challenged by low flow appliance and water pressure
  3. Common areas have no Air Conditioning
  4. Appear to be too few elevators and without AC and too many solar panels
  5. Time lags in underground parking illumination due to motion sensors create safety concern .
As a landlord and manager of several non-LEED buildings and as a LEED AP, I had to throw my hat into the discussion and this is what I had to say:
Every one of the complaints listed are irrespective of the building being green or LEED certified. These complaints are a result of poor building, design, and facilities management choices of the buildings not because the building is LEED.
  • Heating/Cooling complaints are universal in rental units, period. If the building earned credits for indoor air quality /climate control then these complaints are due to poor installation/design/implementation. More likely the building owner and/or contractor cut corners to cut construction costs or have implemented additional throttle controls to cut operational costs.

Volcanoes, Business, and Sustainability

Funny thing about the planet - we often forget that it is much bigger than we are and often has a mind of its own. Take, for example, the chaos being created by the volcanic ash cloud over Europe this week.

The recent eruptions of Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull volcano are disrupting business systems on a global scale. We have been reminded once again of nature's brute force and primordial beauty. The continuing volcanic ash cloud is having holistic and systematic repercussions.  Starting with air travel disruption, the impact is now ricocheting across international business and global supply chains.

"BMW in Germany and Nissan and Japan have both temporarily shut down plants due to supply chain disruption. . . Kenya, which exports 1,000 tons a day of fresh goods, threw away 10 million flowers, mostly roses, since the eruption began April 14 . . . One Boeing 747 with 110 tons of fish destined for Europe sat on the tarmac in the Middle East, among some 2,000 tons of other disrupted shipments." Associated Press

What will happen if the volcano repeats it's last (1821) eruption cycle of on-and-off spewing of ash for 13 months?
What impact will it have on the long-term viability and sustainability of companies in the region and around the world?

CSR and the Coming Talent Wars

Why do talented employees leave companies, often despite good salaries??

I keep hearing this question uttered by talent agents to news casters.  They are saying this because, despite the ugly job market, people are jumping ship.

Beyond the typical reasons of bad management, poor working environment, and lack of stimulus – I would say that the top talent are fundamentally looking for something else.

  • Engagement
  • Purpose
  • Meaning
  • Challenge
  • Leadership
  • Inspiration

They leave because of a lack of one, or...

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