Elle W.

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Thank you for writing such an interesting article—I was happy to learn about a scotch distillery taking proactive action to address climate change. I was especially fascinated to learn that Glenmorangie actually partially benefits from the effects of climate change with more harvesting days and an increase in barley yields.

Furthermore, I also found it interesting to learn that Glenmorangie is adversely affected by global warming mostly due to its impact on yeast; however, the actions taken by Glenmorangie do not directly address this issue. Like fdelabalze, I am curious to learn more about exactly why Glenmorangie decided to hire Aquabio to start a water-recycling program. Was the motivation to make a statement about the need to reduce human activity resulting in global warming since Glenmorangie’s yeast is affected? Did Glenmorangie want to be the trailblazer in the scotch industry to start a trend in hopes of inspiring other distilleries to also reduce their carbon footprint? Or, more cynically, did Glenmorangie just note a huge cost savings by reducing its reliance on fossil fuels? Regardless of Glenmorangie’s motivation, I am happy to see more companies making efforts to reduce usage of fossil fuels.

Now that I’ve read this interesting article, I am also inspired to want to learn more about companies like Aquabio too. It appears there is now a growing market for sustainability-conscious consulting firms to help companies like Glenmorangie make more economically-friendly changes. I am curious to learn more about how the sustainability trend can actually result in more job creations.

On December 1, 2017, Elle W. commented on Which cow provided the milk for my Hershey’s chocolate bar? :

This is such an interesting article–thank you so much for sharing this information with us!

As I was reading the article, I was thinking about the additional implications that might be had by a brand should it leverage industry-wide technology such as Sourcemap. For example, by being able to better trace a product’s ingredients from the farm to the final product, a brand would be better able to recall products in the event of a situation where one of the ingredients was known to have issues. For example, last year The Kashi Co. (Kashi) had to recall products that contained sunflower seeds due to potentially Listeria monocytogenes contamination. [1] If Kashi sourced its sunflower seeds from various locations but was able to identify that the Listeria monocytogenes only came from one supplier due to technology such as Sourcemap, Kashi would be better positioned to recall the specific products coming from the affected supplier. Not only would this reduce costs for Kashi, but it would also help to contain potential hysteria from customers.

Alternatively, I can also see this fueling some customers’ hunger for even more information, which might come at a greater expense to both the brand and the brand’s suppliers. For example, some customers might not be satisfied with just knowing what exact farm the milk in their Hershey’s bar came from. They might also demand knowing what the cows on the farm ate, how the cows were treated, and how much open grass the cows had to roam on, etc. While this might be extreme, in a growing age of technology and data, there is a potential for customers to want to know even more. Like trying to eat only one piece of chocolate, digesting small bits of information could lead to a bigger craving.

[1] http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/06/kashi-products-added-to-recalls-because-of-sunflower-kernels/#.WiGrJbQ-cWo

On November 30, 2017, Elle W. commented on CARNIVAL CORPORATION: Cruising To A Cleaner Planet :

This is such a great article!

I am really happy to learn that government and non-profit agencies are targeting cruise lines and pressuring them to care more about reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While fuel is probably a big driver of profit margin in the cruise industry, I would imagine that food and entertainment costs are larger drivers. This differs from airlines where fuel is the number one driver of profit margin.

For companies like cruise lines that do not have to worry about fuel being the number one driver of profit margins, tension can arise from the misalignment of a cruise line’s profitability goals and environment sustainability requirements. This tension is further exacerbated when the only way to reduce a cruise line’s GHG emissions is to either buy more expensive low sulfur fuel or install expensive scrubbers on ships.

This brings up a point that, for most companies, if a profit can’t be realized due to adapting a more sustainable practice, the company is unlikely to adopt these practices without government regulation.

Perhaps another way to look at this issue is questioning: How can we change customer behaviors such that the cruise line that has a better sustainability focus is more profitable? Is there a way to educate customers through marketing and have them select the cruise line (and be willing to pay a premium) that has better sustainability practices? This might be another way to further the sustainability practices of cruise lines without necessitating more government and non-profit regulation.

This is a really interesting article! I had no idea that UPS was considering entering into the 3D-printing model. Nevertheless, I shouldn’t be surprised because UPS has a history of looking for creative ways to better serve its clients in an effort to create value for its customers while also creating more client reliance on UPS.

For example, reading this article reminded me of UPS offering in-house repairs and support for Toshiba PC laptops back in 2004. Under this deal, Toshiba customers would be able to drop off PC laptops at a UPS store location and have the laptops repaired and shipped back to them the next day. Essentially, UPS’s 3,300 retail locations and certified technicians would be used to help Toshiba outsource the improvement of its inventory and service operations. [1]

Knowing that UPS at one time allowed its client to outsource the repair of a laptop makes the idea of UPS entering into the 3D-printing manufacturing market less shocking. While I applaud UPS for creative solutions to maintain an advantage over growing competition from Amazon and FedEx, I also worry that moving too far away from its core business also involves many risks/things to consider to include:

• Large upfront capital expenses
• Questionable reliability and durability to parts from 3D printers
• Brand dilution
• Chance that they will not be able to perform this function cheaper than other locations, even with reduction in transportation costs factored in

[1] https://www.cnet.com/news/toshiba-taps-ups-for-laptop-repairs/

On November 30, 2017, Elle W. commented on In Seoul, the future of transportation is here. :

Bismah, this is such a fascinating article! I have spent so much of my career in the Republic of Korea (RoK) and never realized how much the RoK government has invested into its public transportation in Seoul. I am curious to know the full coverage area of these changes for the public transportation in Seoul and if, perhaps, more efficient transportation could incentivize more Koreans to live in suburban and rural areas outside of Seoul. Urbanization of the population since the 1950s has caused many issues for Korea including, but not limited to [1]:

• Overcrowding
• Pollution
• Increasing economic disparity and income gap between rural and urban areas
• Increased prices to fight over limited space for housing and businesses
• Less available labor in rural areas as younger generations flock to cities for better opportunities

As more people move to suburban areas outside of Seoul, more economic opportunities will arise in once economically stagnant locations. Furthermore, the high concentration of RoK’s population in such close proximity to the firing range of North Korea’s long range artillery makes the Seoul metropolitan area a significant target. [2] Overall, more efficient public transportation might not only help to make local Koreans’ commute to work less stressful, but also might help the RoK government to better spread its population to address urbanization and force protection issues.



Very interesting article! I was pleasantly surprise to learn that Walmart is making giant strides towards global reduction of green house gases (GHG) in its massive supply chain. We typically think of Walmart as a company that leverages its economics of scale to squeeze margins out of its suppliers. In this instance, Walmart is leveraging its economies of scale to influence UP the supply chain, incentivizing suppliers to adopt more sustainable practices. But can we assume that Walmart is acting completely with altruism? It costs Walmart very little to dictate new sustainability practices to its suppliers, yet Walmart is able to take all of the credit when it comes to the PR benefit. Moreover, when it comes to reducing packaging waste, there are additional lucrative benefits for Walmart reap in that less packaging presumably means smaller, lighter items that require cheaper transportation, less inventory cost, and more items that can fit into the shopping carts of its consumers. Nevertheless, while Walmart’s actions might not be entirely selfless, it is a win for the planet when Walmart’s profitability incentives align with sustainability practices.