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Great post! I think another thing worth mentioning is by circumventing a wholesaler a DTC brand has more see through into consumer tastes and fashion preferences. PoS control is critical for fashion brands to stay on top of the latest trends. Everlane has the advantage vs. zara’s and H&Ms in that they dont need to invest in owning a store base. But like you mentioned, they are opening some experiential store concepts so maybe the sales split will start to lean a little more offline.

Im curious as to how you think Amazon’s approach was different/better and will they ever really make the online grocer business model successful. They certainly have the warehouse infrastructure to take a stab at it, but like you’ve mentioned in your post the 5% margins makes it difficult for any company to get it right. Thats why Amazon has actually started to build a brick and mortar grocery operation which you can read more about here. http://www.geekwire.com/2016/amazons-secretive-drive-up-grocery-store-looks-ready-for-the-holidays/

On November 20, 2016, JSG commented on Your Toaster Has Been Hacked :

Thanks for the awesome post. Very sobering take on the full repercussions of going digital. I thought of self-driving cars being hacked and how real of a threat that really was. After your article, I think its a VERY real threat and Im curious to see what the OEM will do. Will the responsibility end at Toyota/Fords of the world or go further up the supply chain? Similar to what was discussed during climate change challenge, I wonder how industries will spread out the costs of these security features throughout the entire supply ecosystem.

On November 20, 2016, JSG commented on Uber’s Bet on Self-Driving Car :

Thanks Pete, regarding the point on increased worker productivity from being able to work while being driven, Im curious as to whether this is being captured in economic statistics. With recent declines in productivity, there’s a popular view that economic statistics are not being measure correctly. This applies to uber in two ways, the first I already mentioned before and the second regarding drivers that go on uber for supplemental income.

On November 20, 2016, JSG commented on A Brief Survey of IoT Solutions for Agriculture :

Great post. A couple of things I thought about were (i) I liked your point on the how data for the sake of data isnt valuable, whats really needed is a way to interpret the data and gain valuable insights, and (ii) Im curious as to how these farmers are responding with regards to data rights. For the latter, we touched on it briefly in class on friday, but something that is limiting adoption of these technologies in farming and other fields is the undefined nature of who owns the rights to the data.

Interesting stuff. I agree with you not the expanding their farming and going up the supply chain. Financially it may not be the best decision but its difficult to disregard the strategic value of securing your sourcing supply. Starbucks has the capital to invest in new technologies and farming practices that the typical coffee farmer doesnt. Sadly. Howard Shultz has publicly stated that starbucks isnt interested in expanding this initiative. I also think coffee is going to eventually migrate to regions away from the equator as temperatures continue to rise. My family actually lives in Colombia’s coffee growing regions and the climate there has changed significantly over the last 20-30 years. But what’s going to happen to those farmers who are displaced by climate change and how much of the responsibility lies with starbucks vs. governments?

Nice job! I lover your second regarding adapting their manufacturing processes so they can operate with cleaner energy sources. It plays well into their use of cogeneration – basically producing energy from the heat in the generators to create steam and subsequently electricity. Its a very clean source of energy and the industry has been a leader in this for some time so maybe just starting a publicity campaign so they get the recognition they deserve. Im also curious how proactive their being about increasing plant rotation times. Not sure how feasible this is, but maybe investing in seed technology that makes trees grow faster. Sounds wild but I think consumers would feel less guilty about printing if the process for replacing trees became more efficient.

On November 6, 2016, JSG commented on Exxon, in Denial? :

Pretty disappointing how shortsighted exxon is being. Instead of proactively thinking of ways to accommodate an open discussion, they’re dispelling the cold hard facts. I sort of see their point though, we’re basically saying their line of business is directly correlated to the environment’s destruction. I’ve worked with oil and gas companies and some advice I would give is (i) play up the use of natural gas vs. coal for powering power plants, (ii) BP does a good job of at least acknowledging their impact and theyre proactively pushing for a carbon credit system to regulate the industry. For the first one, natural gas emits 50% of the CO2 that the cleanest coal technology does, so switching this fuel source can lead to a sig. reduction in carbon emissions. Second, I like BP’s approach of pushing for a carbon system, they understand there is a price to pay to operate in a “dirty” business and their willing to pay it. Exxon’s approach is risky and shortsighted, the last thing they want is for governments to impose stricter regulations that immediately reduces their production. They should at least insert themselves into the conversation.

Nice job! I was impressed by how far in the game Miller is with all the ways theyre approaching sustainability. Just a few things I think could also be done. Regarding CO2 emissions of their plants, not sure if you saw this but some brewers have found a way to capture CO2 (a byproduct of the brewing process) and use it for packaging or to purge oxygen from holding tanks. In this way they’re reducing their GHG emissions and also saving money in the production process. Im also curious how the vetting works for their agricultural raw material sourcing. I wonder what emphasis theyre placing in their supplier relationships for meeting sustainable quailty thresholds. Taking a page from the IKEA case, I think given their bargaining power they can really pressure farmers to adopt the latest sustainable practices.

Love the article! Dido the points on comparing this to the Ikea case. I feel a strong tension between Zara’s current business model and their approach to dealing with sustainability. Fast fashion retailers have conditioned consumers to favor the right look or style over quality, which in turn leads to higher purchase frequency and more clothing that is disposed of. I think a lot of what zara has done has focused on mitigating the environmental impact of each component of the production process without actually changing the process. For example, using organic cotton as a raw material. I’d challenge them to do more on the recycling front, encourage consumers to return old clothing maybe even at theri retail locations. This would go well with your recommendation to use sustainable materials in all campaigns.