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Honeybees – Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons April 26, 2007

Posted by Jordi in agriculture, Organizations and Mother Earth, science.

The bees are leaving! This is so weird. Life is stranger than fiction. Where are they going?

Honeybees – Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons – New York Times
More than a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost — tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping. So far, no one can say what is causing the bees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives.

The article points out that the reasons why vary and many are a bit nutty: terrorism, cell phone towers, GM crops. This just isn’t about your Honey Nut Cheerios! Its Global. Many countries in Europe and Latin America report similar problems.

Bees are used to pollinate many food crops. They are considered a critical link in the food chain. The most important insect for agriculture. Combined with the cooler temperatures this spring, which wiped out the fruit crops in many southern states, we could be in for some rough times with food prices. Maybe inflation would start to creep up, leading to the Fed, out of fear of inflation, raising rates. The somewhat shaky demand in the US would fall, sparking a recession. A global recession. Yikes, all from some wayward bees! I want to know more about this.


Beyond The Green Corporation March 7, 2007

Posted by silviamocanu07 in Organizations and Mother Earth.
1 comment so far

  I found this really interesting article on Business Week (Link: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_05/b4019001.htm?chan=search) which I believe relates to our class discussion on organizational change and the factors which bring about change or restrict change from taking place.

  The main isssue discussed by the article is the fact that being environmentally friendly is feasible for corporations and that such corporate behavior is perfectly sustainable without harm to profit margins. A perfect example of this is a company called Unilever, which operates a free community laundry in a poor neighborhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as well as funds a floating clinic in Bangladesh, and runs a micro-loan program for women in India.

  One of the other main arguments of the article is that “embracing sustainability” can assist a company in avoiding environmental problems, human rights protests and keep a good brand image for the public.  As we were discussing in class, it is difficult to establish the main forces that drive corporate responsibility. However, I believe that the gains from behaving in a responsible manner are becoming increasingly noticeable to companies, which is likely to change their behavior. In addition, competitor behavior is also likely to influence the some companies in doing a better job of helping the communities where they operate.

What do you think? Do you believe that the desire to avoid problems will be a force of change for large corporations or do u think that competitor behavior is likely to have a greater influence?

Being a responsible organization… January 31, 2007

Posted by Abby in Organizations and Mother Earth.

So, this isn’t exactly about organization theory, but about an organization’s responsibility. The Bill Nye lecture got me thinking about it, and I found this site all about consumption: http://earthtrends.wri.org/features/view_feature.php?fid=7&theme=6

This responsibility to the Earth can now be seen as an issue of ethics. As a society, we have an interest in preventing the Earth from collapsing. We have a responsibility to ourselves, and future generations (forgive me for sounding cheesy). At the rate we’re all going, the best investment anyone can make right now is on a beach house in the middle of Siberia. It sounds extreme, but its pretty close to the truth.

Just a few ideas for an organization:
– Running a carpool for employees who work in the same area.
– Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (more)
– Switch to more efficient lighting options (LED instead of lightbulbs)

Organizations should be more aware of ‘green marketing’ and make sure their production, habits, etc are occuring with minimal detrimental impact on their natural environment. This harm is one thing a company cannot fix after it’s done. In the long run, maintaining and/or improving the environment will have a positive impact on all stakeholders.

Smart Solutions for Global Warming January 31, 2007

Posted by Kira in Organizations and Mother Earth.

Although everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and more mild winters, the rising temperatures of our Earth may be detrimental. More recently, there has been a lot of concern over the issue of global warming. With all the expressed concern for the environment and the high price of oil, any company or organization would be wise to tap into the environmentally conscious consumer market. This is a great time for companies, such as Ormat Industries located in Israel, to enter into the renewable energy market.

“A Mideast nation with no oil of its own, Israel is increasingly tapping into a different kind of resource- the inventiveness and persistence of its scientists and entrepreneurs. From shale oil to solar power, Israeli companies are becoming world leaders in alternative energy, exporting their technology to customers worldwide while at the same time reducing Israel’s dependence on costly oil imports.”

Ormat Industries has become a global leader in geothermal energy and is one of the hottest renewable energy companies traded on Wall Street. Much of the company’s success is due to a turbine design that allows renewable energy sources to be converted into electricity more efficiently. The company operates 11 plants in five countries that use its turbine technology.

This article touches on a few of the issues discussed at the beginning of Chapter 3. Ormat has dealt nicely with managing both their specific and general environment. By breaking into the renewable energy market, they have surpassed their oil competitors and have also satisfied consumer/stakeholders’ changing wants and needs for a safer environment. The company has also satisfied other outside stakeholders including the government and consumer interest groups, such as the EPA, that strongly advocate for alternatives to oil. Managing these forces from outside stakeholder groups helps the company’s ability to secure resources. Ormat has also managed their general environment well- more specifically economic, technological, and environmental forces. With their new turbine technology, the company eliminated its need for costly inputs- such as oil. This new technological development has important implications for an organization’s competitive advantage. Also, their environmentally friendly energy source strengthens the organization’s relationships with competitors, consumers, and government agencies.

This article is also relevant to the resource dependency theory. Organizations are dependent on their environment for the resources they need to survive and grow. With no oil in Israel, Ormat would not be able to survive. The absence of oil in Israel left this scarce resource to be completely controlled by other organizations. The goal of this theory is to minimize dependence on other organizations. Ormat was able to minimize its dependence on other organizations since oil is not necessary for renewable energy. This added strength to the company and has made them less vulnerable to other organizations. With the exportation of their technology worldwide and 11 plants in five countries, Ormat is increasing their influence over the global environment.

I hope that Ormat Industries sets an example that other companies will follow. The future and safety of our environment is crucial- which many people do not seem to understand. Hopefully we will see an influx of companies following suit and breaking into the renewable energy market. I look forward to hearing more about the company’s future projects that were also discussed in the article.