This blog will cover some news items related to Sustainability: Corporate Social Responsibility, Stewardship, Environmental management, etc.


Sometime things starts from small actions...: USB batteries

Thanks to Pietro for these nifty little pieces ofinnovative gadgetry

just in case you didn't note these... are from a small company:


[CSR newsclip] Yale to Train Corporate Directors on Climate Change

[Energy newsclip] China turns others green

[Energy newsclip] Shareholder Activists’ “Most Wanted” List: ExxonMobil, Wal-Mart, Chevron are targets.

[CSR newsclip] Survey Shows MBA Students Believe Business Should Be Agent of Social Change

[CSR newsclip] Starbucks, the coffee beans and the copyright row that cost Ethiopia £47m

[CSR newsclip] Junk-food ban shows ambivalent attitude to business

[CSR newsclip] No water, no business

[CSR newsclip] Stakeholder management: Stakeholder Letters Push Corporate Sustainability Improvements

[CSR newsclip] Concern over cancer group's link to drug firm

[CSR newsclip] Scientists Set Sights on 'Green' Chemistry

Canada must boost fuel cell R&D, says industry

Kyoto and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) newsclips

[CSR newsclip] Stakeholder management - CERES pitch

[CSR newsclip] Ethical trading agreement 'has had little impact'

[CSR newsclip] Used Mobile phones - Hello green Moto

Warning -- lots of upcoming CSR and Energy newsclips

You might have noticed I haven't much in the past little while, but I have been collecting news items. They'll get sent later today and in the course of the week; sorry for the backlog and ensuing deluge (I got a little busy).

In case you haven't seen it, here is a short tutorial on setting up a Lotus Notes rule to sort through newsclips. If you haven't set a rule up before, I encourage you to do it -- otherwise your inbox might be a little crowded tomorrow :-)

Setting up a Lotus Notes rule for CSR newsclips

Note that I use Notes 7; By memory, I believe Notes 6-6.5 are not that different, but you might have to improvise if the interface changes.
Also, Outlook has a filter/rule function, but since I don't have Outlook on this machine, you're one your own if that is what you are using.
I will ask one favour of you, though: do not simply sort "all mail coming from me" to your clips folder. If I ever send you an email that is not a newsclip, it can sometimes hide in that folder for too long! ;-)

So... on with the instructions.

1. Create a folder to store your newsclips:
When in your email inbox, select 'Create -> Folder...' from the top line menu. You can then create a folder where your newsclips will be stored.

2. Next, create a rule... Back in your inbox, select the 'Tools' folder on the left, below which will appear the 'Rules' subfolder (see bottom left of picture)

3. Click on the 'New Rule' button (labeled button 1 in the next picture)

A new window will pop up, which allows you to create the conditions for the rule, and the actions that will happen if the conditions are met. In this case, I would suggest the following conditions. (select the right variables from the drop down boxes, then press the 'Add' button)

Importance -- contains --  Low
Delivery Priority -- contains --  Low
        (CSR newsclips are sent with those settings)

You can also add another condition, in case you already get many Low Importance, Low Delivery Priority emails:
Sender contains Barsoum

(The only Low priority and Low importance emails I send are newsclips, so having the three conditions together should be safe :-)

4. Next, you'll 'Specify the actions': Choose Move to folder, then press the 'Select' button to pick the folder you created in Step 1.

You should end up with something like this:

5. Ensure the top part of the window shows that the Rule radio button is "on". Finally, Press OK to activate your rule.

When the newsclips come in, they should automatically end up in the folder you created.

Voilà! Write me if you have questions.

[CSR & Energy newsclip] Environmental doom and gloom... and opportunities

[CSR newsclip] Blow for banks as Enron chief takes the stand

[Energy newsclip] Utilities, energy conservation and renewables

[Energy newsclip] Niger Delta bears brunt after 50 years of oil spills

[CSR newsclips] Retailing and marketing CSR news

[CSR newsclip] Ethics and HR policy newsclips

[CSR newsclip] Global Warming: Who Cares? A survey of mutual funds indicates that investors care.

[Energy newsclip] "Big Oil" news

IBM Jams: Big Blue Can Innovate, Too

[CSR & Energy newsclips] Government regulation and policy news

[Energy newsclip] The greening of the CIO

[CSR newsclip] The world's biggest cola companies have won their legal battle to overturn a ban on their products in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

[CSR newsclip] Mobile industry aims for greener phones: Nokia unveils new industry group that aims to make mobile phones more environmentally friendly

[Energy newsclip] Automotive, transportation and biofuel news

[Energy newsclip] The CIO, Electronics and Energy consumption...

[Energy newsclip] Clean Energy & Sustainable Investment newsclips

[Energy newsclip] Branson to invest $3bn in climate fight

[Energy & CSR newsclip] Emissions trading, CDM, pollution taxes, carbon neutrality/offsetting, and carbon market news

South for the winter: IBM employees help monarch butterflies take wing

Congratulations to Susan for making this project such a success! [-JFB]

South for the winter

IBM employees help monarch butterflies take wing

Monarch butterfly at Toronto LabAs winter slowly tightens its grip on much of North America, millions of monarch butterflies have gathered together in the Oyamel fir forests of central Mexico. They congregate at the end of a migratory journey that can take them thousands of kilometres from their native habitat in Canada and the northeastern United States. This year, some of these monarchs began their migration from the grounds of the IBM Toronto Software Lab, where the International Butterfly Migration Project is nurturing these beautiful creatures in preparation for their arduous journey.

The idea for a butterfly safe haven on the grounds of the Toronto Lab was first proposed this past spring by Susan Smith, a media designer and nature lover who has worked at the Lab since 1998. She formulated the plan to establish butterfly "way stations" as she watched the monarchs flutter about the meadows that surround her own home, north of Toronto. Realizing that urban sprawl was rapidly encroaching on the monarchs' habitat, Susan wondered if the preserved natural environment surrounding the Lab might be used to attract and nurture these delicate winged insects.

Taking flight

The Toronto Lab's Wildlife Habitat Council was quick to offer its support for her proposal. As she researched the monarchs, she learned of established programs of study at Cornell University and the University of Kansas. Coincidentally, the two universities had been actively attempting to develop contacts with various organizations to help track monarchs and contribute to the understanding of their migratory patterns. Encouraged by the academic interest, Smith and the committee introduced the idea for butterfly houses at the Lab on, fittingly, Earth Day.

Using rough specifications provided by the universities, the habitat council built their first set of butterfly houses and, with the help of their Real Estate Site Operations team, installed them on the Lab grounds. Monarchs are particular about where they gather, so the houses were made to resemble the tree hollows that the butterflies prefer, with narrow openings and bark-lined inner walls. Monarch Butterfly HouseThe plentiful milkweed already growing on the Lab grounds meant that the monarchs had both a food source and a place to lay their eggs -- eggs which somehow manage to survive the harsh Canadian winter, and hatch in the spring to produce the next generation of monarchs.

Throughout the summer, Susan and members of the habitat council monitored the houses, recording the monarchs' development from eggs to caterpillars to the familiar orange and black butterflies. The monarchs took flight from the grounds around the end of September, beginning their long, perilous journey to Mexico.

Butterflies without borders

Encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response from the Toronto Lab community, Susan and council chairman John Yip decided to try to expand the project within IBM. "We just didn't want to stop there," she says. "We wondered if we could grow the project and get other labs to build butterfly stopovers."

Susan contacted the Silicon Valley Lab in San Jose, California, and the response was both enthusiastic and immediate. She sent everything she had, from house blueprints, to plant information, to suggestions for butterfly feeders to supplement the native milkweed in California's drier climate. With participation firmly established in both Canada and the United States, the International Butterfly Migration Project was born, or, more appropriately, hatched.

Interest in the project continues to grow. At last count, six different IBM locations are actively taking part, and Susan is talking with several others. "The response has been overwhelming," she exclaims with a wide smile. "I'm especially touched by the IBMers who work from home who have been calling and asking if they can get involved by building butterfly houses on their own property. And I'm very proud of IBM for encouraging this project."

Flowers with wings

With company support and momentum on her side, Susan is continuing to enlist fellow IBMers to her cause. She is also busy planning next year's field work. "There's so much to do," she says. "We want to encourage the planting of milkweed, build and maintain more butterfly houses, and increase awareness about the dangers of habitat destruction."

As the number of planned activities grows, steering the International Butterfly Migration Project could well be a full-time occupation by itself. So what drives Susan to put in all those extra hours on top of her own regular IBM job? "There's something special about butterflies," she says quietly. "People respond to them. They're a symbol, a personal metaphor of transformation and growth. And they play a key role in our natural environment, helping to pollinate all kinds of plants and flowers. They're like flowers themselves really, flowers with wings."

For more information concerning this article, please contact MacKinnon, Neil (N.J.) (

[CSR newsclip] Measuring sustainability

IBM wins Corporate Social Responsibility Award (in Ireland)

[CSR newsclip] More energy investment and market newsclips

[CSR newsclip] More retail CSR news

Energy Could Eat Up to 40% of IT Budgets