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The Sustainable Brands conference took place last week in San Diego, with some of the world’s biggest brands coming together to discuss new ways of developing more successful sustainable business practices and better understand how to meaningfully communicate those efforts. With a few out of state events keeping me away, I have been keeping up with news, emerging trends and keynote speaker highlights through the conference’s excellent website.

Sustainable Brands first launched back in 2006, the year after when we made our first official foray in sustainability with a project involving green urban planning and a delegation from the Netherlands. Since then, Sustainable Brands has become a global force as an educational, collaborative and commerce-oriented community. It also provides a fantastic and free resource year-round with its online library – well worth a look if you have a moment.

As this year’s conference draws to a close, here are my picks for some of the most interesting and innovative ideas showcased at the event.

EDGEHome

EDGEHome is a smart-home management system, and the brainchild of two former Motorola executives inspired to find a way to lower their home energy bills. As co-founder Scott Steele says, “EDGEHome delivers all the benefits of a smart home lifestyle you see on TV, through a cloud-based network of inexpensive and intelligent wireless sensors and controls.” As data builds, EDGEHome learns the user’s energy habits and from there makes recommendations for using energy more efficiently, thereby saving money and helping your home be more environmentally friendly.

Sprint’s Carbon-Negative iPhone Case

Sprint announced that it is to be the first telecommunications company that will use AirCarbon™, a new carbon-negative, methane-based plastic in its iPhone 5 cases. Smartphones are double-offenders in terms of the precious components they are built from and the plastics the protective cases are made from, so to see a company the size of Sprint taking this step is heartening news indeed.

WeHateToWaste.com

This is a great blog and informational website full of easy-to-adopt tips and ideas on how we can all be less wasteful. The whole notion of doing more with less is so central to sustainability in an irreverent yet practical way. There’s also the opportunity to become an official ‘waste watcher’ by blogging about your own waste-limiting experiences and sharing your own ideas.

Energy Upgrade California

Like many other states across the nation, California is facing some major natural resource challenges brought about by an ongoing drought. With the tagline of ‘Help California Stay Golden’ Energy Upgrade California is a statewide educational initiative with the aim of helping Californians manage their energy usage more efficiently, save money and help the state meet its climate goals. The Energy Upgrade California website offers a wealth of practical tips and advice but goes one step further by providing programs such as the Home Upgrade and financing and rebate information that should be very effective at driving people to action.

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  1. Peter Bussey

    Great observations Barbara.  Not to mention that SAP was a sponsor of the Sustainable Brands 2014 conference, and hosted the Supply Chain Lounge with an exhibit space on the show floor.  This was a collborative effort with our customer Walmart and The Sustainability Consortium, and highlighted the SAP Product Stewardship Network and how Walmart is using it to exchange product sustainability data with thousands of suppliers.  Great example of how SAP is enabling customers to run more sustainably by reducing risk, improving productivity, optimizing sustainability initiatives across global supply chains!

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