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On November 20, 2016, #CE# commented on Quality Food, Fast – Deliveroo and the On Demand Economy :

Great idea Rachel. I am not sure what the economics behind that type of system would be but I definitely think this would be a change to their current business model. Setting up bulk drop off seems like it would need to have more than one driver with a bag that has enough capacity to make these drop offs. It appears that current deliveries are made on bikes. If they begin doing bulk drop offs, then I would imagine the company would have to invest more into the infrastructure for executing this initiative, i.e. shift to cars or have several drivers drop off to this same location. I wonder if this could be a social program that the company engages in for certain events each quarter instead of completely shifting their business model to do bulk deliveries.

On November 20, 2016, #CE# commented on The digitization of a pill :

Very interesting! I think that I would have some hesitancy in swallowing a digital pill even though the pill is claimed to be completely digestible. I also wonder what security metrics would need to be included to ensure that patient medical data was protected. I think that this pill could be very helpful for mental health patients who a lot of times do not take their medication because they simply do not like the way they believe their medicine makes them feel. If families could receive this feedback on their loved ones’ adherence to therapy, they could be much more assured that their loved ones are supported with the proper therapy for managing their mental health.

On November 20, 2016, #CE# commented on Can retail stores also act as mini distribution centers? :

Macy’s investment in its stores fulfillment capabilities seems like a great move to counter customers’ demands for customized shopping experiences & shipping options. The internet has certainly changed the way that shoppers interact with brands, as consumers now want product when they want it and where they want. While I think that fulfillment is certainly one way for a brand like Macy’s to remain competitive in the digital retail world, is Macy’s doing anything else to digitize their in-store experience for customers? What about on mobile? People in general are shopping at malls less so I wonder if there is an opportunity to increase traffic by leveraging in-store digital experiences. Perhaps Macy’s could consider an in-store, customized coupon offering that would pop up on their app when consumers enter the store. This could work to drive traffic to stores as well as drive sales for items that perhaps the customer wasn’t even considering to buy before entering the store!

On November 20, 2016, #CE# commented on Inmate Reform Goes Digital :

What a great initiative! With the push towards digitizing content for prisoners, I am wondering how this content will be kept secure / who will monitor this closed prison network. With moving the content delivery to handheld tablets that can be used to purchased other media, I am a bit suspicious of how certain prisoners may use this connectivity maliciously, leading to a compromise to the safety of the prison system. Perhaps prisons can mitigate this risk by ensuring they have data highly secured/not allowing the purchase of additional media which may be unsecured or only allowing those prisoners that are vetted/showing good behavior to use the platform.

On November 20, 2016, #CE# commented on Just one more mile to go… :

Very interesting read Ricardo. One question that I contemplated when reading this was regarding the Uber-like routing system/implementation of the actual driving. If the vehicles follow a predetermined route, do the cars have the ability to sense and avoid unexpected obstacles, like a passing bird or a recently fallen branch or other drivers on the road?

Further, I am interested in learning more about the economics of this cargo-bot delivery system. What will be the capex investment for this system on Mercedes end? Also with more consumers looking for customized shipping options, can this variability in delivery options inflate costs for this method of delivery for Mercedes? Will they pass this cost on to the consumer? Consumers tend to be very sensitive about their shipping prices!

I think that Tyson’s diversification into plant-based meat is not a bad move in Tyson’s attempt to take a share in shifting consumer trends that are focused on more sustainably sourced protein alternatives. However, instead of solely focusing on plant-based meat alternatives to reduce its carbon footprint, I think that Tyson can also focus on partnering with local farmers who responsibly produce their meat. Instead of sourcing livestock from factory farms and other questionable suppliers, Tyson can work to improve the quality of its supply chain by partnering with eco-conscious producers. In improving its supply chain, Tyson could market to consumers that its meat is now responsibly sourced and humanely raised without added hormones, steering customers that are slipping away for better quality protein back to the brand.

On November 7, 2016, #CE# commented on Whole Foods Not Wholly Prepared for Climate Change :

Whole Foods definitely takes a “Whole Paycheck” of mine each time I visit the store, but I am a fan of the supermarket chain largely due to the variety of fresh produce available in stores. The impact that climate change has on reducing crop yields and limiting the diverse range of quality fresh produce will certainly challenge Whole Food’s customer value proposition, leading shoppers like myself to settle for cheaper grocery stores that have the same produce offerings. You mentioned that only 24% of Whole Foods produce is locally sourced. With the impact that climate change has on Whole Food’s distribution network in disrupting the delivery of products from around the world to its stores, I wonder if Whole Foods can help mitigate this risk by partnering with more local farmers at each of its stores. By harvesting supply from growers in close proximity to each of its respective stores, Whole Foods can uphold its image of supporting local farmers while also overcoming challenges that climate change brings in terms of flooding which damages roads and warehouses, creates backlogs and spoilage.

On November 7, 2016, #CE# commented on Dollar Menu in Danger :

I definitely agree Carl. McDonald’s should definitely do a better job of helping its suppliers set goals for sourcing sustainable meat. Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the implications of poor quality meat on the environment and their own health and are looking for their meat to be sustainably sourced and responsibly raised. I do not think McDonald’s will ever offer grass-fed meats (which would be way too expensive for McDonald’s operating model and generate costs that would have to be passed on to the customer, ultimately going against its customer value proposition of low priced fast food), but I do think there is an opportunity to work with more sustainable, higher quality suppliers. Getting ahead of this trend toward responsibly sourced meat is especially important as Serrena mentions that Paris climate negotiations involves collecting green house gas reports from 41 sectors, but excludes meat production, which when regulation commences could severely raise costs for this part of the supply chain.

On November 7, 2016, #CE# commented on Going bananas over climate change :

As an avid banana lover, I was surprised to learn of both the headwinds and tailwinds that climate change will bring for banana crop yields. I found the contrast between rising temperatures serving as a favorable condition for increasing yield by 50% and rising temperatures causing a hike in demand of water therefore straining banana production to be extremely striking. Further, you noted that the biggest challenge to banana production will be the increase in spread of pests and diseases which is accelerated by increased temperatures. We read a case previously on Indigo Agriculture, a company that focused on the plant microbiome to improve crop yields and drought resistance. I wonder if there is an opportunity for Dole to get involved with partner organizations such as Indigo, who is researching ways to improve crop yields among dramatic climate changes and the challenge that pests bring with these changing temperatures.

Great read! It seems as if the city of Miami is merely accommodating climate change impacts rather than proactively taking measures to prevent climate change from happening in the first place. Do you think that the city of Miami can take responsibility in some part for the rising sea levels that are impacting the city? I read another post from another section that mentioned a similar topic but with respect to the rising water level’s impact on the city of Venice in Italy. It seemed as if the number of cruise ships coming in and out of its ports had some part to play in contributing to the rising water levels. In this case, with the high volume of tourists that visit Miami, I wonder if there are similar impacts, not only from cruise ships, but other impacts from tourism, that impact the rising sea levels?

This was a very interesting read! I knew that the apparel industry had a huge carbon footprint, but it is interesting to see how fast fashion contributes even more significantly to the footprint, especially since fast fashion clothing articles are held on average for 35 days and worn fewer than five times during their product lifetime. While Zara seems to be considering several alternatives to reducing its footprint, one thing that I am wondering is if Zara can institute some sort of recycling program with customers to take back the end of life cycle clothing that remains after five wears. Zara could reuse the material to sell recycled t-shirts for example or even partner with other organizations who can leverage the recycled materials for other products. Nike does something similar with its tennis shoes, so I think Zara could certainly take some lessons from this giant who has found a way to re-purpose its customers worn shoes! This would also help Zara’s image in the eyes of its consumers who are becoming more educated on the impact that retailers are having on the environment and upholding companies to becoming more sustainable in their practices.

On November 6, 2016, #CE# commented on Venice – the risk of the disappearance of an entire city :

I do not believe that the article is stating that cruise ships are the sole responsibility for the sinking of Venice, just a contributor to the overall problem. In relation to the impact that cruise ships are having on the well-being of Venice, however, I find it interesting to see how these companies have taken an opposite, negative response to the sinking problem of Venice. Because Venice is such a popular tourist destination, it seems as if these cruise lines would want to preserve the city for as long as possible in order to continue squeezing tourist dollars. Are these cruise lines aware of their impact on the environment in Venice? I agree that setting a quota for the number of ships arriving each year could help alleviate the impact that cruise lines are having on the flooding. Customers may respond negatively with the lack of options in travel dates, but if cruise lines are transparent about their business decision to limit travel dates in an effort to preserve the beauty of Venice, I think that customers will accept this honesty and modify their travel behavior accordingly.

From this read, it seems that Chipotle is doing very little to save avocados! Guacamole and chips are such a key product offering to Chipotle, so they can’t ignore the implications of climate change, especially as it affects one of their major customer value propositions. I agree with you that a big opportunity is for Chipotle to become more deliberate and conscious about partnering with more eco-friendly, globally responsible avocado growers. Companies such as Starbucks ensure that their supplies and products are sourced from sustainable partners, so I am not sure why Chipotle thinks that they can ignore the impact of their business model on the well-being of our environment. As the company begins to locate environmentally friendly suppliers, I think that in the interim, Chipotle could be more thoughtful about the amount of guacamole that their assembly lines slap on to each burrito bowl. Limiting the quantity distributed to each customer could help alleviate some of the pressure that is coming from reduced avocado yields. There is no need to dump that much guacamole on each person’s burrito bowl, especially since often times, people are unable to even finish an entire burrito bowl!

On November 6, 2016, #CE# commented on Traveling to Iceland? Perhaps think twice. :

This is a very interesting post. I think that a partnership between Icelandair and the government could be a major solution to managing the carbon footprint of Icelandair. Perhaps the government can work with the airline company to specify designated travel months for consumers that will help protect the environment. The decrease in volume of flights would obviously have a huge impact on Icelandair’s revenues. To account for this drop in volume of flights, Icelandair could respond with dramatically raising prices, deterring consumers away from traveling to this destination at all. However, because of the rich beauty that this country has to offer, I think that a majority of tourists would not negatively respond to an increase in price. If Icelandair is transparent about why their prices have increased and if the company states its effort to preserve the beauty of Iceland, I believe that consumers will appreciate the company’s sustainability efforts and even begin to realize their own impact on the well-being of the environment (the idea that they should be more conscious of their own travel and its impact on the environment). Customers care about fair pricing, and if Icelandair is transparent and public about their efforts to maintain the beauty of its country, I think this can help mitigate the potential customer attrition from price hikes.