ICR Conferences, Seminars & Panels
- The Tower Companies: Solar Power Portfolio Expansion
The Tower Companies: Solar Power Portfolio Expansion
By Jereme Altendorf
The Tower Companies (TTC) is a privately held firm founded in 1947. Today, The Tower Companies remains a premiere family owned real estate and property management firm that develops, owns and manages commercial and residential properties throughout the DC area. Over the years, they have differentiated themselves in the commercial and residential development and real estate market as a leader in the Green Building industry. They have been recognized nationally by organizations like the Green Building Council and the National Resources Defense Council for their commitment to sustainability in development and property management. This presentation will review their research activities, information gathering and define a clear decision pathway with regards to expanding their solar power portfolio at several of their properties.
- Garden to School
Garden to School
By Patrick Drennan
The overreaching goal of this project is to assist in making a sustainable impact on food systems in the elementary school environment. The history of school lunch programs in America appears to be one that started with the best intentions, but later, led to an influx of products and services from companies such as Coca-Cola and other large food providers such as Sysco. Food in the lunchroom is no longer nutritious but an amalgamation of frozen pizzas, French fries and other foodstuffs that are over processed and not nutritious enough. The effect on the health of children has been studied and the conclusion that has been reached by many pediatricians, environmentalists, and food scholars, is that foods such as these are not good for children, they are not good for communities (especially lower income and developing communities) and they are not good for the environment.
- Inclusive and Responsible Supply Chains: Supplier Diversity Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing
Inclusive and Responsible Supply Chains: Supplier Diversity Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing
By Victoria Fulkerson
Corporate Supplier Diversity practitioners should leverage sustainability, not fear it. However, most corporate environmental sustainability practitioners do not view supplier diversity as a related responsibility. Corporate environmental sustainability efforts typically have larger budgets and staff than corporate supplier diversity programs. These areas of focus must merge for sustained success and maximum impact. The future of responsible corporate procurement relies on both sustainability and supplier diversity. Practitioners must become proficient in both areas to drive impact in the future. This project focuses on four key practitioner recommendations for inclusive and responsible supply chains that leverage supplier diversity leadership in sustainable purchasing.
- Sustainability in the Federal Government
Sustainability in the Federal Government
By Rachael Schiftan
On March 19, 2015 President Obama signed Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade. It sets ambitious sustainability mandates with an overarching goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% across federal operations and the federal supply chain. The Council of Environmental Quality issued 2016 Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings to assist all federal agencies in becoming more sustainable. The 2016 Guiding Principles apply to existing buildings and new construction or modernization. Currently, buildings are responsible for 43% of GHG emissions from federal government operations and the 2016 Guiding Principles hopes to assist in decreasing this amount.
- Asylum Seeker Support & Employment Training Services (ASSETS) - Benchmark Analysis
Asylum Seeker Support & Employment Training Services (Assets) – Benchmark Analysis
By Julie McTernan
The Asylum Seeker Assistance Project (ASAP) is a proposed nonprofit born out of my classmate Joanie Hodges-Wu’s experience working with survivors of torture. 90% of her clients are asylum seekers, and the vast majority seek treatment not because of what happened to them back home but because of the hardships they continue to endure now in the U.S. Unfortunately, the government will not provide support to these individuals until they are granted asylum, and the nonprofit sector is constrained by funding limitations. Recognizing we’re at a crossroads of government and nonprofit market failure, the goal of our project was to investigate whether or not there could be a way to leverage the private sector to fund an organization dedicated to holistic client care. Focusing our attention on asylum seekers with work permits, our team conducted a benchmarking analysis of DC Metro employment placement agencies to gain a better understanding of the local job market, placement processes, agency performance, and best practices.
- Minimizing Plug Loads in Multi-Tenant Buildings
Minimizing Plug Loads in Multi-Tenant Buildings
By Pia Engel
Case study on plug and process load (PPL) reduction with Tower Companies & Institute for Market Transformation (IMT).
- Commercial Real Estate Water Management
Commercial Real Estate Water Management
By Laura Michela
Created a Water Analysis Tool for Shorenstein Realty Services to better track and manage water consumption across the portfolio. PFA the final presentation for this project as well.
- Salon Series - Part I: “A Path to Conflict-Free Chocolate?”
Salon Series - Part I: “A Path to Conflict-Free Chocolate?”
April 26, 2013
The first webcast in our Salon Series discussed the topic of “Conflict Free Chocolate.” Our guests for this program included: Tim McCollum, co-Founder of Madecasse Chocolate, one of the only chocolate companies that produces the entirety of its’ product in Africa; Joe Whinney, founder and CEO of Theo Chocolate, a company that has focused on improving the conditions for the farmers it employs; and Mike Godfrey, vice president of Sustainable Agriculture at the Rainforest Alliance and an expert in international development. In a roundtable discussion, our experts discussed the concept of promoting peace in chocolate producing countries through possible actions that could be undertaken by chocolate manufacturers.
In case you are wondering whether to watch the webcast, here are a few major points our panelists touched upon over the course of their discussion. For those wishing to read a more in depth analysis of the webcast, please download the full summary at the bottom.
- Impacts the cocoa industry has on these countries societies, economies, and environments.
- The possibility of creating more value upstream for the farmers could result in a better product downstream for the consumer.
- Using smaller companies who have a more personal connection with the farmers and local peoples as a model for larger corporations to follow.
- The implementation of a certification system for the product as a possible solution to addressing these countries challenges.
- Social entrepreneurs who are willing to take on “development risk,” therefore opening up new locations and new business models for larger investors to use.
Keep posted for our next conversation where we will be looking at the same themes but with different stakeholders, those ‘closer to the ground’ working with farmer groups or co-operatives themselves.
Tim McCollum, co-Founder, Madecasse Chocolate
Joe Whinney, Founder and CEO, Theo Chocolate
Mike Godfrey, VP, Sustainable Agriculture, Rainforest Alliance
Dr. John Forrer, Associate Director, ICR, GW School of Business
- Salon Series - Part 2: “A Path to Responsible Chocolate”
Salon Series - Part 2: “A Path to Responsible Chocolate”
“A Path to Conflict-Free Chocolate?” is the second event in a series that takes a comprehensive look at how various policies, practices and future challenges facing the global cocoa industry affect what can be done to promote peaceful cocoa production. We consider areas of overlapping interests across the cocoa supply-chain, exploring feasible cross-sector collaborations in the process. In our first event, Tim McCollum from Madecasse Chocolate, Joe Whinney of Theo Chocolate, and Mike Godfrey from Rainforest Alliance shared their knowledge, history, and experience working in the cocoa industry. Themes touched upon during the event included: promoting peace through business; issues of poverty and economics of cocoa farming; and, cocoa certification as a possible solution to addressing problems in the industry.
Our second event in the series will explore how changes in the way cocoa is grown, harvested, processed and marketed could promote peace. Our guests will be Han de Groot, Executive Director, UTZ Certified, Daniele Giovannucci, CEO, Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), Alex Whitmore, Co-Founder, Taza Chocolate, and Dary Goodrich Chocolate Products Manager, Equal Exchange. They will share their knowledge and experience in the industry.
Over the last decade, the global cocoa industry has drawn negative attention by claims of its association with forced labor and human trafficking, environmental damage, and limited economic ‘spillover’ for local farmers. At the same time, global demand for certified cocoa continues to expand. These challenges are being addressed to varying degrees by governments, international agencies, corporations, associations, investors, NGOs and community organizations. Our goal is to have an authentic and unrestrained dialog with these multi-sector stakeholders to address five key questions:What are the challenges and trade-offs of responsible cocoa sourcing? What is the impact of certification on communities where cocoa is grown?
In addition, a survey of GWU students related to these issues will be conducted by ICR and the responses will inform our discussions.
- What is the impact of public-private partnership programs on cocoa growing communities?
- What is the market for cocoa products that meet higher, certified standards?
- Can consumer demand effectively lead us toward addressing these issues?
- Uncommon Alliances: Real Partnerships - Real Experiences - Real Impacts
Uncommon Alliances: Real Partnerships - Real Experiences - Real Impacts
We are now in an era of partnerships: business is partnering with business, government is working in collaboration with business, and both are working with civil society. In today’s new marketplace of partnerships, the alliances are bigger than ever, the stakes are high, and successful partnerships inspire us to build more partnerships. But what about the challenges? What can be learned from existing partnerships to guide and inform the future?