Briefs: Environment + Sustainability

The Business of Doing Good: The New Responsibility

The Good Business of Doing Good

Eco-products. 100% organic. Ecologically friendly. All-natural. Fair trade. Locally grown. Green. These labels — which indicate a company’s, brand’s, or product’s commitment to social responsibility — are rampant. Although the meaning of these labels is not always formally defined, or even entirely clear, a broad and growing base of consumers now look for, and buy, products that proclaim their virtue.

In June 2014, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published “An Imperative for Consumer Companies to Go Green,” an article that addressed growing consumer concerns about responsible consumption.

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The Future of Portable Batteries: Li-Ions and Beyond

batteriesby Rob Nunn

Despite persistent attempts to improve ways to store electric energy in portable forms, very little has changed in battery technology over the last six decades.

Yet research and development focused on enhancing battery capabilities and improving battery performance—conducted in both university and corporate labs—remains a top priority. Driven by the flood of new mobile electronic devices on the market and in development, the demand for better ways to power those devices continues to rise.

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The Future of Cities: Smarter, Greener

flickr_Trey Ratcliff

Propelled by drivers in all five STEEP categories (social, technological, environmental, economic, and political), many of the world’s cities are striving to become greener and smarter.

A rising number of cities are pursuing environmental sustainability and embracing intelligent systems not only for their own sake (to cut costs, to run more efficiently, and to better serve their residents), but also for the sake of the greater world (to reduce carbon emissions and to inspire other cities to do the same).

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Rising Giants: Companies Welcome

Gabriel White flickr

The landscape of global business is changing. While World 1 economies still dominate the global business landscape, more and more companies based in World 2 and even World 3 are making their presence known on a worldwide scale.

These rising giants are not only serving — and in some cases dominating — their home markets, but they also are increasingly seeking to expand into other markets, both from other emerging economies and from developed economies. The growth and expansion of companies from emerging economies will dramatically transform the global business landscape in the next two decades.

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The EU Chemical Sector: To 2030

EUChem_Maarten Takens

European chemical companies face a more challenging environment in the future as Asian economies—and emerging- market chemical companies—grow more important to the global chemical sector.

This will force firms in the EU chemical sector to adapt, innovate, and forge new relationships with a variety of players in the chemical industry value chain—or face increasing pressure from Asian and Middle Eastern firms. Even if EU firms do adapt to the change in the operating environment, the chemical sector of 2030 will look quite different than today, with some two-thirds of global sales coming from Asia, compared to about 50% today.

These and other forecasts were developed by the chemical practices at A.T. Kearney and presented in its Chemical Industry Vision 2030 report.

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