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- Wednesday, 11 April 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
Max Burgers, long time partner of The Natural Step (read our case study here), is once again making headlines. The restaurant was highlighted in TIME World for their sustainability efforts in the article Why Going Green Can Mean Big Money for Fast-Food Chains.
In late 2008, a fast-food burger restaurant in Sweden received an odd complaint letter. It was from a mother of two, asking the chain to get rid of the boxes that its kids' meals were packaged in. Her children only wanted the fries and toys, she said, and she was annoyed at having to throw the boxes straight into the recycling bin. It was an unusual request with an unusual outcome. Max Burgers — Sweden's No. 1 burger chain — decided to do away with the kids'-meal boxes in all of its 75 restaurants, explaining to customers that it was reducing waste. No one complained. In fact, sales of kids' meals rose. The company had turned sustainability into a selling point.
- Tuesday, 03 April 2012 | Submitted by Simon Harvey
Imagine projecting the mega trends of un-sustainability onto a building project. We would see all the symptoms of unsustainability; climate change impacts, ecological degradation; escalating energy, water and travel costs; inefficient HVAC (air) creating uncomfortable houses and offices that make you ill; risk aversion at every stage, creating silo solutions and a race to the bottom of the cost & quality barrel.
What would a building look like that addressed all these issues and responded strategically to these constraints? Imagine that it went even further and used bio-mimicry design to generate solutions that positively improve our society, environment and economy? Well these buildings exist already. They are called Living Buildings.
- The New Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line (Tenth Anniversary Edition)Tuesday, 03 April 2012 | Submitted by Josh Snider
- The world sustainability leader in the fast food industry Max Burgers share their story at Planet Under PressureMonday, 26 March 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
One may ask how it is possible to open a chain of Burger restaurants that outperforms the international fast food giants. Max Burgers not only made McDonald’s close down restaurants in the northern towns of Sweden but they also try to seed a revolution for a sustainable fast food industry. Max Burgers are the first chain of restaurants in the world to provide carbon labeling for all its meals and fully offset the environmental impact of its operation by planting trees in Africa. The Max reforestation program is the largest in the entire Plan-Vivo certification system. The goal is to make the whole operation fossil fuel-free and to become a fully sustainable enterprise in a sustainable society. They can however, not reach their goal without help from their industry colleagues.
- Sunday, 25 March 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
Illustration text: At Max Burgers you can see exactly how much carbon impact your meal has all the way from the farmers land to the guests hand directly on the menu. This has resulted in a 15 percent increase in sales of carbon efficient alternatives.
“Enabling consumers to make sustainable choices and advance responsible behaviour individually and collectively” is according to a fresh UN report something that supports a future worth choosing. In a restaurant such as Max burgers, a partner of The Natural Step, it comes down quite literally to menu options. That’s not enough however.
At Max we know that we, along with our entire industry and society as a whole, are unsustainable. But we are also, as anyone else could be, a change agent for a better future. And here clear results do matter. Since 2005 we have been recognised as the healthiest in the industry in Sweden where we have our operations. In 2008 we became the first in the world to put climate on the menu. But to further assist our guests we decided to carbon offset all of our products through reforestation in Africa through Plan Vivo certificates. Of course we are also simultaneously working at reducing the impact of our products.
- Thursday, 08 March 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in Karlskrona, Sweden is looking for prospective students for a Master’s degree in Sustainable Product-Service System Innovation (MSPI). Do you know an engineer, designer or product innovator looking to enhance their skills and expertise?
As our world becomes increasingly complex and the need for more sustainable products and services becomes essential, designers and engineers on the cutting edge of sustainable innovative practices are increasing in demand. Industry needs people who understand what the world wants: innovative products and services delivered in the most sustainable way possible.
At BTH, we believe that combining an overarching approach to socio-ecological sustainability with a disciplined focus on meeting market and human needs through product-service systems is the way of the future, and we are doing our part to show the way. By closely collaborating with our industrial partners (to see our industrial partners click here), we are preparing people to be the next generation of innovators. They will be bringing together engineering, innovation, and sustainability competence through this unique master's programme.
The MSPI programme supports the sustainable development of global economy and society. Check out our programme design here.
- Wednesday, 07 March 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
Max-Hamburgers Teams Up with The Natural Step to present their case at an interactive session at The Planet Under Pressure conference. This interactive workshop will invite participants to develop fresh perspectives on how businesses, organisations, and science facilities can strategically plan to reduce pressures on our planet. For more information on the workshop, please visit Integrating sustainable development into strategic planning in any organization. Part 1: The planet.
written by: Pär Larshans, Chief Sustainability Officer, Max Hamburgerrestauranger
Max hamburgers from Sweden is the first business that has put the carbon on their menus, they have done a lot to reduce emissions and they are focusing on trustworthy business behaviour. They are also the worlds largest carbon off setter within the Plan Vivo system with planting trees in Uganda. Even so they are also one of the most profitable fast-food company's globally when it comes to EBITDA.
- Monday, 06 February 2012 | Submitted by Josh Snider
- Tuesday, 31 January 2012 | Submitted by Chad Park
It’s been quite a couple of weeks for the sustainability movement in Canada, since Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver’s comments about “environmental and other radical groups” and their opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline project.
The unfortunate result of the government and media’s framing of the pipeline issue is that we are presented with a false choice: save the economy or save the environment. It is an age-old myth that many people have been working hard for years to overcome by promoting the idea of sustainable development. We should not have to choose between jobs and the environment. As a native Albertan with many personal and professional connections to the energy industry, an academic background in commerce from the University of Alberta, and now a role leading what some might call an “environmental NGO” based in Ottawa, you would think by this framing that I would be very conflicted: Am I on the side of the economy or the side of the environment? But I am not conflicted.
- Monday, 30 January 2012 | Submitted by Josefin Nyström
We at the Natural Step think it's important to empower leaders of the future, to unite and engage through the framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. One way of doing this is through the courses we host all around the world, below is Anna Bengtssons own experience, Anna particitpated in a recent Level 1 course hosted in Stockholm. One early Tuesday morning in January a group of people met at The Natural Step (TNS) office in Stockholm for a two day course in Sustainability for Leaders. Together we were representing a range of backgrounds and professions; one participant was from India and another from Åland, some people had worked with sustainability issues for decades and some of us were quite new in the field.