Social Responsibility

What Motivates Companies to Make Environmental Choices? The Bottom Line

Without a federal cap-and-trade program or a national clean energy standard, why do some companies evaluate and reveal their environmental impact? Because it makes good business sense. The “triple bottom line” — which measures success with an eye toward finances, the environment and social impact — is beginning to merge with the plain old bottom line. Saving money means increasing efficiency, and increasing efficiency leads to better environmental decisions.

This trend is seen with such companies as FedEx, which has announced environmental targets to lower emissions. Similarly, UPS is trimming its jet fuel use. Lessening fuel consumption, for both companies, improves the bottom line. Businesses that take such steps are often lauded for their environmental awareness, but does the bottom line — even as it now blends with the triple bottom line — deserve kudos?

An Interview with Author Dan Buettner: What Makes People Happy?

The environment, social issues and adventure are three of the big themes at Mountainfilm in Telluride, and like many of this year’s guests at the festival, best-selling author Dan Buettner encompasses all three seamlessly into his work.

Buettner wanted to understand why certain people in particular areas of the world lived longer, healthier and happier lives, so he traveled across the planet to get answers. The result is The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, which examines how people live and how lifestyle affects lifespan. The book focuses on four areas — Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; and Loma Linda, California — and demonstrates that everyday factors were involved, such as food, friends and perspective.

How Can You Be Sure Your Documentary Will Have The Greatest Impact?

At Mountainfilm, we look for films that have impact and now, there is a new study by the Center for Social Media about just that. This is a five year evaluation, funded in part by the Ford Foundation, of the best ways to make sure social issues documentaries reach and impact an audience.

"People come in as participants in a media project and leave recognizing themselves as members of a public—a group of people commonly affected by an issue. They have found each other and exchanged information on an issue in which they all see themselves as having a stake. In some cases, they take action based on this transformative act of communication.

This is the core function of public media 2.0 for a very simple reason: Publics are the element that keeps democracies democratic."

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