A Madison, Wis., inventor has created a pedal-powered snowplow that allows users to cope with the worst Wisconsin weather without burning fossil fuels. The vehicle is built from a stripped-down ride-on lawn mower chassis, with pedals and a plow attachment. You can make your own by following the video.
Lack of support from corporate management is the biggest obstacle companies must overcome to further corporate social responsibility, according to a survey from the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility. However, given recent company reports of substantial earnings -- as well as the donations they made to help flood-ravaged regions -- companies may look at corporate social responsibility as "value-enhancing."
Corporate sustainability is a two-speed affair, split between enthusiastic early adopters and less eager "cautious adopters," according to a report from the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston Consulting Group. Either way, though, almost all companies are starting green-business practices strategies. "Most companies -- whether currently embracers or not -- are looking toward a world where sustainability is becoming a mainstream, if not required, part of the business strategy," says BCG's Knut Haanaes.
Green business practices have taken root and appear set to become a permanent part of American business culture, experts say. Once companies begin see the competitive advantages they gain from sustainable practices, they start to take their efforts more seriously, executives say. "It is not just something that the do-gooder environmentalist cares about. It is something that is on the priority list of CEOs," says Citigroup Assistant Vice President Eliza Eubank.
Edward Glaeser makes the case for building up instead of out, saying that skyscrapers are greener than sprawl. "As America struggles to regain its economic footing, we would do well to remember that dense cities are also far more productive than suburbs, and offer better-paying jobs," writes Glaeser, an economics professor at Harvard. "Those tall buildings enable the human interactions that are at the heart of economic innovation, and of progress itself."