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I was fortunate enough to visit the Budweiser brewing facility in Fort Collins a few years ago and learned about some of their water conservation efforts. I completely sympathize with the argument about the company being profit-driven, but I don’t think we put enough emphasis on the fact that this business will actually cease to exist if they don’t do something about their water crisis. Additionally, decisions like the emphasis on renewable energy sources follow the same logic. By taking these steps now, they are ultimately mitigating their own risk of either going under or having to incur significant costs in the future.

Although probably not a remedy that AB Inbev would be able to use, this reminds me of an innovative water strategy that was implemented at the nuclear power plant owned by my former company. Being based in Phoenix, it is one of the few nuclear plants not on a source of water. In order to reduce consumption of clean water needed by the residents of the city, they adopted a strategy to use treated effluent (waste water) for cooling the reactors. The water is recycled through a water reclamation facility on the premises and used several times over. It protects the plant from extreme drought situations and helps the community around by ensuring their water sources go untouched. You can read more about it via the link below. I wonder if there is an even more innovative approach like this that AB Inbev can take that will be mutually beneficial.

Link: http://tucson.com/business/local/palo-verde-nuclear-plant-s-use-of-wastewater-defies-drought/article_59b758cb-1106-5197-84ee-96e3935bd208.html

On December 1, 2017, Kathryn commented on Lenovo: Utilizing the Cloud to Build the Cloud :

This topic is intriguing given that we tend to assume tech companies aren’t having to worry about keeping up with the newest digital challenges; we typically focus on other industries in this conversation. Your recommendations for Lenovo’s future seem like great ways to keep their business relevant, sustainable, and innovative. However, I do worry about the security concerns that you mentioned. We’ve seen even the biggest companies like Sony and JP Morgan get exposed to hacks and now, firms are laser focused on mitigating any cyber risks they have.

Moreover, it seems like there could be resistance from a competitive perspective because as we know, companies do not like to allow such immersive access into their supply chain needs. Would this move put Lenovo in a position to be acquired by one of these larger companies?

Based on my former company’s supply chain management system, I wonder if Oracle can also do more to educate companies on the benefits of the cloud based systems. I wonder if the real opportunity is to try and convert the businesses that, as your research suggests, are still using manual processes. It seems that cloud-first companies may not be targeting this segment as heavily and it might be the best way for Oracle to segment itself rather than try to compete.

On the other hand, Oracle could also establish itself as the most “secure” option in this cloud space. Many companies hold back from converting to this model because of security concerns [1]. As such a well known provider, they are well-positioned to be a trustworthy option for companies who are weary of the cloud.

[1] http://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/scm_races_into_the_cloud

I love the points suggested in the comments above around Ford potentially using its business strategy to influence government and be a leader, rather than being reactive and letting the current administration dictate where it will and won’t go. I completely agree. However, I do wonder if there is value in this reactive approach that Ford can capitalize on by being flexible and making short term moves that will allow them to ultimately take advantage of any incentives the current administration is offering them.

On December 1, 2017, Kathryn commented on Breaking the walls with 3D printing :

Great topic Caue, and definitely something I hadn’t considered before. I have similar concerns to Marissa regarding the scalability of the 3D printing approach. It solves some issues, but I question whether the magnitude of its effect when there are parts that simply cannot be printed. Also, given the nature of aircrafts, I am concerned that it’s a big risk to be producing these parts. Additively manufactured components currently have lower mechanical performance and durability [1]. Although technology has improved, this leads me to believe that there may be more significant capital investment necessary in order to get this many parts up to scale.

[1] https://www.roboticstomorrow.com/article/2014/08/scalability-and-the-commercial-reality-of-3d-printing-in-the-future/4458

On December 1, 2017, Kathryn commented on American Airlines: Grounded by extreme heat :

As a Phoenix native, I can absolutely relate to this topic. Even though this is the only thing Phoenix ever makes the national news for, this is something that the residents face for about 5 long summer months. We are trained to book summer flights in the early morning or late at night, just to make sure that it won’t be cancelled during the hottest weeks. In my opinion, the extreme summer temperatures are an inhibitor to business growth in the city because there is a long-term fear that events like this will prohibit travel more often and/or make the city uninhabitable. Some research suggests that high temperatures could reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century [1].

I take a bit of an optimistic view of American Airlines outlook on climate change. Although there is definitely a trade-off between profitability and fuel/sustainability improvements, if they want to stay in business long term, it’s almost a necessity that they make these investments. There are other climate change effects beyond the takeoff problem and even the risk of natural disasters. As the global temperatures increase, extreme turbulence will significantly increase on flights worldwide. Extreme turbulence is enough to throw humans and luggage around the cabin and consists of forces strong than gravity (!!). [2] The increased safety concerns add even more evidence that American and frankly, all airlines, need to do their part in the climate change discussion.

In response to your final question, I am hopeful that American will focus on the modernization of their airline fleet, rather than restructuring around “risky” cities. The increase of modern aircraft designs may allow for increases in stability to respond to the turbulence safety concerns.

[1] http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-phoenix-climate-adapt-20170327-story.html
[2] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171004120456.htm