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Commerce

ORLANDO: AN ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CITY

By | Commerce, Community, Environmental | No Comments

Orlando, Fla., is shifting how the world eats through fleet farming – a small scale farming revolution to increase urban food access. As a result, the city is considered one of the eco-friendliest in the nation.

Chris Castro, director of sustainability and resilience for the City of Orlando, joins host Tetiana Anderson to discuss efforts to make Orlando a national leader in sustainability.

Mobile Greens Wellness is Launching in Central Florida

By | Business, Commerce, Community, Environmental | No Comments

Mobile Greens Wellness, a health food growing and delivery service, will soon be hitting the streets of Central Florida, bringing nutrient-packed microgreens to farmers markets, restaurants, schools and even neighborhoods all around Orlando. The eco-friendly trailer will also offer healthy smoothies and cold brew coffee.

Microgreens are one of the newest crazes in health, green living and fine dining. Seedlings from plants such as peas, kale, broccoli, amaranth, radishes and sunflowers are grown in trays and harvested when they are less than 14 days old. The entire plant can be eaten, and they can be added to smoothies, put in salads, or added to dishes for delicate texture and incredible flavor.

Experts say they are a superfood packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, even offering up to 40 times the nutrition of an adult plant.

With Mobile Greens Wellness, people can purchase their trays and pick them up at regular stops throughout the week around Central Florida.

“Mobile Greens Wellness turns people’s pantries into a living pantry,” said Sherri Eisenhuth, the company’s COO. “We not only want to help people get healthier, we’re on a mission to inspire and empower by promoting local food, water and energy production through our methods, products and education.”

The Mobile Greens “Superfood Wellness Wagon™” is powered by solar technology and equipped with atmospheric water generation and a water filtration system that will allow operators to use the purest water possible in all of its offerings.

“Sustainability doesn’t have to be hard. Delicious and nutritious food should be growing everywhere,” Eisenhuth said. “Our CEO, after planting over 4,000 fruit trees and edible landscapes in his time in Costa Rica, has realized how important and easy local food production can be. We have learned a lot.”

Customers can also purchase the equipment used on the truck for their own homes. Microgreen trays will be ordered in advance and will be available in half and full trays.

Mobile Greens Wellness’ “Superfood Wellness Wagon™” is a proof of concept, self-contained demonstration and education platform providing sustainable food, water and energy solutions.

Our “Superfood Wellness Wagon™” is made up of five essential ingredients that allow the production of the five quintessential specials that can be served at farmers markets, schools, businesses and anywhere the Superfood Wellness Wagon™ can park.

Utilizing its on-board state of the art technology including solar array panels, atmospheric water generation, and water filtrations systems, you can enjoy some of the freshest and healthiest fare available, reconsidering the way you eat and think about food. MGW’s initial offerings will include microgreen trays, smoothies, cold-brew coffee and salads.

Mobile Greens Wellness is as focused on nourishing the body as it is about educating the mind on the possibilities, opportunities and solutions that are readily available to change the current state of how we all see food, water and energy today. For more information, please visit www.mobilegreenswellness.com.

Shocker: Investors get purpose. They now want B Corps

By | Business, Commerce | No Comments

When I ask entrepreneurs about investors, they often go politely silent. Some go stone-faced. When pressed, they confess to a strained or love/hate relationship with the investment world.

Here’s what they say: “In theory we’re supposed to want the same thing—a strong company that grows in value over time. But in my experience all investors ever do is either insist on dividends now or ask for a really low valuation that takes advantage of us. And they balk whenever I invest in employees or R&D.”

This tension between theory and real life experience leads many businesspeople to forego trying to attract investors. This can deprive their companies of capital they can need for success and growth.

The tension is more acute for some entrepreneurs than others. For those who unapologetically define success as more than money—who, for example, take pride in creating livelihoods for people and don’t treat employees as “cost centres” to be contained—the narrow short-termism of many investors is to be repelled, not pursued.

Wall Street discovers B Corps

Get this: Long-term company success takes not just financial success, but “a contribution to society.” This is from the mouth of Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of Blackrock, the world’s largest investment firm.

You read that right. A titan of Wall Street—a place hotly, obsessively interested in money, not society—is arguing that the purpose of a companyshould include things like inclusive, local prosperity, robust communities and a clean environment. What on earth is going on?

It appears investors have discovered B Corps. In a recent report titled Just Good Business: An Investor’s Guide to B Corps, the Yale Centre for Business and the Environment, in collaboration with usual sustainability suspect Patagonia and wealth advisory firm Caprock, explains the distinct financial value created by certified B Corps and Benefit Corporations.

Here’s a sample of what they say:

Through greater appreciation of the real motives that drive and excite people, B Corps provide significant opportunity for investors. I think they could make more profits than any other types of companies…

A simple formula

Does this mean that Wall St. and mainstream business schools have also adopted the purpose that fuels the B Corp entrepreneurs we know? No. Some, certainly. But even if they don’t give a toss about broader value, they’ve learned that the B Corp certification is a rigorous, comprehensive lens through which to evaluate a company.

Not in the Yale report but too good to overlook is a recent €2 billion loan that a syndicate of mainstream bankers gave to Danone, a century-old company and freshly-minted B Corp. What’s striking about the loan is its condition: a lower interest rate predicated on Danone maintaining its B Corp status.

In other words, large banks and other mainstream investors are slowly figuring a simple formula we BDCers have known for years.

B Corp = better managed = lower risk = safer investment

B Corp: the most interesting, necessary movement of entrepreneurial people in the world. Also a novel, robust lens with which to evaluate a company.

Disney promises to ban plastic straws, stirrers, cups and more

By | Business, Commerce, Environmental | No Comments

And what Disney does, little kids want to emulate! This could be big.

The latest corporation to jump on the plastic reduction bandwagon is none other than the Walt Disney Company. In a press release, the company has announced its intention to reduce the amount of plastic generated by its stores, parks, and cruise ships.

By mid-2019, all Disney-branded locations around the world will phase out plastic straws and stirrers, a move that is estimated to save 175 million straws and 13 million stirrers from being tossed every year.

On Disney cruise ships, “refillable in-room amenities” will be added to the guest rooms; the press release does not specify what exactly these are, but we’re imagining refillable shampoo, conditioner, and soap containers, perhaps reusable cups instead of water bottles, and cloth hand towels. Whatever these may be, the company says it will lead to an impressive 80 percent decrease in the amount of plastic waste in guest rooms.

Improving matters even further, Disney says it will “complete [its] work to eliminate polystyrene cups across our global owned and operated business.” That means disposable plastic cups, gone! And we’re big fans of that.

In the words of Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International,

“Disney has always been inspired by nature – and it is a uniquely powerful brand that inspires, educates, and entertains, all at the same time. Today’s announcement is more than about reducing single-use plastic waste, it’s also about showing millions of kids and adults from around the world the many ways we can change our daily habits to care for the oceans and protect nature that sustains us all.”

I think this point is crucial. Disney does have a powerful influence on the youngest generation of humans, and is well-positioned to inspire and effect change in ways that perhaps other, more adult-oriented efforts cannot. Particularly if it pairs these plastic-reduction efforts with clear messaging that educates kids, it has great potential to spread awareness further afield.

Way to go, Disney!

Don’t Boycott Bad Companies, Spend More With Good Ones

By | Activism, Business, Commerce | No Comments

Just as in political elections, people would rather take action to make a statement.

Especially this past year, the idea of “voting with your wallet” has taken on a certain cache as consumers have looked to connect their spending habits with their larger ethical stance. The #GrabYourWallet movement, for instance, took President Trump’s lewd comments as a springboard to encourage consumers not to buy from more than 50 Trump-affiliated brands. And new financial tools, like the impact measurement score from the company Aspiration, help consumers to track the environmental and ethical implications of where they shop.

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