Green entrepreneurship: Caring for Environment via Design

Donna M. Schaeffer, Ph. D.
Associate Professor, School of Business Adminsistration
Marymount University, 2807 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22207

Patrick C. Olson, PhD
Associate Professor, National University, San Diego, CA

In these tumultuous economic times, organizations can no longer look only at the profit/loss column in annual reports; corporate social responsibility (CSR) has come to the forefront of progressive corporate management. There is growing interest in measuring a Triple Bottom Line:

(Source: National Institute of Health)

(Source: NASA)

Issues range from:

Efforts to Define CSR:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
United Nations, 1948

The UN Global Compact
United Nations, 2000

International Labor Standards
International Labor Organization, 1918


Green Design and Technolgy

Profitable Companies:

Neuton battery-powered mowers are the #1 selling battery-powered mowers on the planet. Our belief in the environmental benefits of Neuton is a strong one. We call it our Clean Air Initiative. Since we started, we have subsidized the purchase of thousands of Neutons across America in exchange for dirty/gas-guzzling mowers. In Southern California alone, 16,000 residents have replaced their mowers with Neutons. The result has been a staggering emissions reduction of 600 tons per year. And with Neuton, reducing environmental impact extends even further. The Noise Pollution Clearinghouse rated Neuton the quietest rotary mower you can buy. The bottom line is you get big-time results, while leaving behind a small environmental footprint.

While breaking new ground with the first socially-contextualized, socially-comparative energy use information on the web, Lucid has continued to develop new and exciting ways of educating, motivating and empowering employees, students and homeowners to conserve resources and save money. So far, our team has demonstrated that real-time feedback can reduce consumption by between 10% and 56%.

C2 Paint is manufactured in a zero waste facility, utilizing such things as battery casing to recycle into paint cans. C2 is dedicated to preserving the environment through its commitment to eliminating and reducing waste at every possible stage in operations. The entire process is regulated by employees who have undergone rigorous training in all environmental issues pertaining to the manufacturing, storing, and shipping of all products.

The Enertia 100% electric motorcycle was designed from the beginning to be environmentally friendly. At just $7,995 the Enertia makes it easy to save money and the environment. Here are some of the ways that BRAMMO and the Enertia keep the world clean:
  • 100% electrical motor; no gasoline, motor oil, or other petrochemicals
  • Manufactured in the United States with 100% clean energy
  • Uses recycled materials in many components
  • Production requires less than 10% of the material resources needed for an average car
  • The Enertia powercycle can be recycled
  • The Enertia's Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are very safe and do not contain any heavy metals
  • The Enertia's batteries can be recycled for many other uses
  • BRAMMO is a 100% clean technology company

Joel and Ruth Spira founded Lutron Electronics Company, Inc. in 1961. Lutron's first product was called a "dimmer switch" and represented the world's first solid-state electronic device used to dim lights in a home, replacing bulky rheostats and autotransformers that were inefficient and unattractive. Although Lutron has grown substantially over the past several decades, the company still maintains the feel and personal closeness of a smaller firm, and to this day still operates under the guidance of the company's 5 Principles:
  • We Take Care of our CUSTOMER
  • We Take Care of our COMPANY
  • We Take Care of our PEOPLE.
  • We Always Deliver EXCELLENT VALUE.

Tanita commissions the Annual American Body Fat Perception Poll, a national research survey to measure Americans' understanding of important health and fitness issues. To date, poll findings confirm Americans' lack of understanding which may be putting them at increased risk for serious health complications. In addition, most falsely believe that reducing body fat is a short-term proposition.
Tanita sponsors a Research Networking Program to develop credible research into body composition issues. Tanita makes its equipment (professional and consumer) available and serves as a clearing house for up-to-the-minute information on weight management.
Tanita is an active, charter member of the Partnership for Healthy Weight Management, a Federal Trade Commission sponsored coalition to promote sound guidance for achieving and maintaining healthy weight. It is comprised of over 40 organizations and individuals from industry, public advocacy, government agencies, scientific associations and academia.
Together with other concerned organizations, Tanita has developed a Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign targeting the professional medical communities regarding the risks and implications of obesity and other weight management issues. The first of these messages appeared in the July 1999 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and American Family Physician. Tanita proudly donates time, equipment, funding, and other resources to a variety of community and school events at local, state, national, and international levels.

The Company Behind the Small Microwave Oven We have Engineered the Best Small Kitchen Appliances � A Compact Microwave Oven that Saves Energy

iCubed International, LLC is driven by the opportunity to invent, the luxury to imagine, and the need to innovate.

The iWavecube small microwave oven and the other small appliances that make up the iWavecube line are the result of a cutting edge design aesthetic that manages to harness the advantages of the latest in energy efficient and mobile technology. This is a line of innovative products and services that will enhance the lives of people around the world. The goal of the iWavecube company is to provide users with a safe, stylish and easy-to-use compact microwave oven line that�s ideal for the home, workspace, dorm room, or anywhere else where space is at a premium.

The two founders of Noon Solar, Jane Palmer and Marianne Fairbanks, have backgrounds in fibers and textiles. They met in the graduate MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Their company began as an art project in early spring of 2002 as a response to the impending war in Iraq. They were feeling powerless in the country's decision making process and felt the US was largely going to war for oil. They came up with a solution to give people not only personal power, but to integrate renewable solar power into daily life.

Noon Solar bags incorporate flexible solar panels to keep cell phones and iPods charged. Each bag is designed to be able to sit in a window at work or in the car to collect charges. The solar power is stored in a lithium-ion battery pack, weighing about 4oz, found inside the bag. Because the solar power is stored inside a battery pack, cell phones and iPods can be charged day or night.

Back in 2002, San Francisco began giving away green bins for free compost collection. Composting became mandatory in 2009 for all city residents. But the process of collecting and storing food scraps for weekly pickup was messy. Many well-intending residents collected their food scraps in plastic bags, which defeats the whole purpose. Others opted for backyard compost bins, compost tumblers, and worm composting, but those require constant maintenance and care. "There's got to be a better way!" thought Russ Cohn. The MIT-trained engineer and garage tinkerer vowed to build a better compost bin.

A Chance Discovery

Then a funny thing happened. Russ went on vacation without emptying the kitchen compost bin. A nasty surprise awaited his return � the smell, the flies, and a very unpleasant clean-up job. While grudgingly cleaning the kitchen compost bin, he noticed it was warm. Microorganisms were hard at work! The composting process had already begun. Just a little more oxygen, some mixing, insulation, and a powerful air filter would accelerate the composting process and eliminate odors. Dozens of prototypes and patents later, the NatureMill compost bin was born.

We're up to great things. Just watch us. Someday everyone in the world will compost, and what a difference that will make.

In 2007, Time Magazine named the Z-Bar LED desk lamp one of "The Best Inventions Of The Year" and was titled "a green light", basing on the fact that the Z-Bar generates little heat and has a long lifespan compared to traditional lamps. Since then the company has introduced the Z-Bar High Power, which uses higher wattage LEDs to achieve even more energy saving, longer lifespan, and more light output.

Our goal is to continue to design innovative products that set high standards in the industry and more importantly, make your life safer, simpler and greener.


Why is a CSR Important?
  • Organizations must provide products and services that satisfy the customer
  • Environmental concerns (see The Story of Stuff )
  • There is little agreement on what the term "social responsibility" means
  • There are individual-level efforts from individual organizations, such as Body Shop, Gap Project Red, and Intel.
  • Challenges of globalization
  • Growing awareness of abuses of human rights
  • Increase in poverty levels