The Oakland A’s are showing off the newest renderings of their proposed 35,000-seat ballpark at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square.The Port of Oakland’s board of commissioners have approved giving the A’s four years to conduct an environmental review and obtain land use permits, steps needed for them to eventually lease the 50-acre site. The team plans to play ball at the new stadium by 2023.The A’s also released new renderings of their plans for the existing Coliseum site. …
25 January 2013South Africa’s Standard Bank has been ranked 98th on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list, released during the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.Standard Bank came in as one of nine banks, and the only African company, on the list of the 100 top-performing stocks worldwide according to a range of sector-specific “sustainability” measures.The list is published annually by Canadian media and investment research company Corporate Knights, which commissions independent data collection for the project through direct engagement with the 350 companies that make the project’s shortlist, chosen from approximately 4 000 global mid- and large-cap stocks worldwide.Canada and the United States led the way in country representation, each with 10 companies on this year’s list, followed by Australia, Britain and France, each with nine. Overall, the Global 100 drew companies from 22 countries on six continents.Belgium-based materials technology and recycling company Umicore topped the list, followed by Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos, Norwegian energy firm Statoil, Finnish energy firm Neste Oil, and Danish pharmaceuticals and biotechnology company Novo Nordisk.Standard Bank’s head of sustainability management, Karin Ireton, told news publication Business Day that the group had made “significant investments in renewable energy, providing both debt financing and advisory services to project developers in South African renewable energy programmes.“Our carbon finance team has also made a great contribution to cleaner development in many emerging markets countries by innovating in the use of carbon credits, by working in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme and other agencies enabling practical, life-changing opportunities,” Ireton told Business Day.Corporate Knights CEO Toby Heaps said the Global 100 companies “are leading a resource productivity revolution, transforming waste into treasure and doing more with less. They are steering our civilization away from ecological overshoot and back to a place of balance with our planet.”Doug Morrow, vice-president of research at Corporate Knights, said the Global 100 was “one of the few equity indexes that we are aware of that has outperformed the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) – the Global 100’s benchmark – by over 900 bps over the last eight years.“It turns out that our methodology for stock selection in the Global 100 is a strong proxy for corporate operational efficiency, which has been an increasingly important driver of stock returns in recent years,” Morrow said.SAinfo reporter
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by SandyWhen I was asked if I would attend a Mega-Event this summer as a representative of Groundspeak, I said two things, “Absolutely!” and “I’d like to go to Wisconsin.” I had never been to Wisconsin, but have developed a love and appreciation for the Midwest, so happily put my hand up to attend The West Bend $1000 Cache Ba$h 2011.My journey started early on a Friday morning – 4am Seattle time – which I can only blame on myself as I had booked the 6am flight to Milwaukee. Still, I don’t mind flying and caught up on sleep as I traversed the country – and I would need it. I made my way from Milwaukee to West Bend later that day, checked in to my hotel, and then headed over to the event’s HQ, where I met Craig and MJ, the event’s organizers. They had commandeered the beautiful Regner Park, with its own beach, pond, seating area and buildings, perfect for such an event.Community welcomes geocachersThe Cache Ba$h H.Q. was a hive of activity, with volunteers from the Wisconsin Geocaching Association working side-by-side with members of the town’s Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce had done a brilliant job promoting the event and as I drove through the town I saw signs everywhere welcoming geocachers.I declared that I would like to be put to work and joined the enthusiastic group registering geocachers for the two-day geocaching event. The CacheBa$h works like this; teams (of one to 6 people) register to play and receive raffle tickets for a cash drawing at the end of the event. They are also given a game card with 66 blank squares and the information – either in print or digital – to find 66 caches that are placed just prior to the event by local cachers.Cachers had a day and a half to find as many caches as they could, and in each cache they found a stamp used to fill the corresponding space on their game card. When they returned the card to H.Q., they got raffle tickets for the prize drawing based on how many caches they found. Two caches were only accessible by boat!”West Bend became Wet Bend…”As we registered teams and chatted with cachers, there was a flash of lightning and then the heavens opened. West Bend became Wet Bend in a matter of minutes. I apologized to anyone who could hear me over the rain for bringing it with me from Seattle. Still geocachers are an intrepid bunch, and certainly not put off by a ‘little bit of rain’.The next day I looked out the hotel window to a familiar site – a gray sky – and had to remind myself that I was not in Seattle, but across the country. Back at the event’s H.Q., coffee was brewing and spirits were high. It was definitely going to rain, but we’d had 700 teams and over 1200 people register to participate. As they made their way back to H.Q. throughout the wet afternoon, we were handed soggy game cards that looked more like watercolor paintings than the pristine keys we were scoring them against.Still, the smiles prevailed. Children – geokids – as young as two stood happily in their wet weather gear and regaled stories of their adventures. That they had found ‘only’ 7 caches of the 66 didn’t matter. They’d had a brilliant time. Many teams returned with full cards, which left me in awe each time they handed the game card over the counter. The rain kept coming and we watched big kids and small kids play in the puddles that were growing across the grounds. Editor’s note: Groundspeak Lackeys are traveling thousands of miles from H.Q. this year to share smiles, shake hands and make geocaching memories at more than a dozen Mega-Events worldwide. Sandy Barker, a.k.a. Sandy, attended the Mega-Event The West Bend $1000 Cache Ba$h 2011 in West Bend, Wisconsin, USA. Sandy has been geocaching since 2001 and a Lackey since 2006. This is Sandy’s account of The West Bend $1000 Cache Ba$h 2011. Playing in the puddlesThere was a group photo planned for the end of the day, and about 5 minutes before we all gathered on the stage, the sun came out.It was time for to announce prize winners. Craig Farrell, local geocacher and Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, was an excellent emcee, and as well as offering thanks yous and calling out prize winners, he reminded us all that next year will be the 5th Cache Ba$h and to think ahead to summer 2012.Geokids at West Bend Mega-EventThe raffle tickets that teams earned by finding caches could win them one of the many prizes that covered a table on the stage, everything from Lackey Coins to an electric griddle. I played Vanna White, and drew raffle tickets from a barrel. This is the first time I have done this, and it is just as cool and fun as it looks.When the bounty was handed out, we moved on to the cache prizes. Another first for me is handing over giant checks – also fun and cool. Congratulations to the winners, one of whom had also won a GPS device in the previous drawing. And congratulations to tom k. for winning the creative cache competition.We wrapped up by acknowledging the community’s local reviewers, Becky “Bec” and Dave “WisKid”, who do a brilliant job working with a passionate and dedicated community of cachers.The next morning the WGA hosted a pancake breakfast, and it was my pleasure to serve pancakes to some tired, but happy cachers. The sun even decided to make an appearance and all sogginess from the previous day disappeared. It was a perfect wrap up to the whole weekend of caching, fun and making new friends.I thoroughly enjoyed my time in West Bend. It was a privilege to represent Groundspeak and a pleasure to meet so many great people. They had come from as far as the Czech Republic and from as close as across the street. No matter where they came from, they all contributed to a highly successful, well organized and super fun event.Thank you all.Group photo from The West Bend $1000 Cache Ba$h 2011You can also find a Lackey at one of these upcoming Mega-Events:Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany – Geocoinfest EuropaCatalunya, Spain – Mega Event CatalunyaSouth Carolina, USA – GeocoinfestShare with your Friends:More Sandy from Groundspeak SharePrint RelatedGroundspeak Weekly Mailer – February 24, 2011February 24, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”7 Tips to Attending a Mega-EventOctober 26, 2011In “Community”11 Years! Oeiras – A Mega-Event Portuguese StyleMay 16, 2011In “Community”
Free Webinar Series! Create a culture of value creation. Signup for this free webinar! In three, short, power-packed webinars, you will learn what you need to do to create a culture of value creators who create and win new opportunities. Download Now Excuses Are DisempoweringThe main reason we make excuses for poor performance is to absolve ourselves of responsibility. Making excuses doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility. It only demonstrates that you are struggling to own the outcome.But excuses do even more harm. They disempower you.You are creative, even if you are out of practice exercising your creativity. You are resourceful, or you have the power to be resourceful. You have a limitless imagination, even though you may have had it stomped out of you on your journey to adulthood.Excuses rob you of the most powerful of all human attributes: resourcefulness (read: creativity, imagination, ideation, etc.)Not Facing a Difficult Reality is DisempoweringIf you are a leader, you may refuse to accept any excuses. You have no control over the economy. You have no control over how your competitors price their offerings. You have no control over dozens of factors that might be used as an excuse for poor performance. You shouldn’t accept these factors as excuses, if you’ve done your job well.Not facing a difficult reality is the same as making an excuse. It disempowers you and your people. Yes the economy was soft and you still needed to make your number. But for you to be clean here, you would have had to provide the “how” necessary to overcome that factor. You can’t control your competitor’s pricing, but you do have to provide the strategy to combat their lower price offering in the marketplace.Demanding performance without helping to provide the way forward because the problem is extraordinarily difficult is a dereliction of your duty. It’s your job to lead.Empowered by AccountabilityOwning an outcome is empowering. You get to exercise your resourcefulness, your creativity, and your imagination. You get the opportunity to exercise your professionalism in taking responsibility for getting things done. You get to make a contribution by tackling tough challenges–even if you fail.Avoiding accountability means avoiding these positive outcomes. It also means avoiding growth.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been tidying up in my house. This is something I only periodically get an urge to do, and not always at the appropriate time of year – before Diwali, or in the spring, or whatever. I’ve been getting rid of clothes I don’t wear very often, even putting aside books that I’m not quite sure why I own and don’t need to keep, all of which someone else may have more use for than I do.These binges of order are infrequent in me, but satisfying when they occur. Sometimes they become excessive; in a zealous moment many years ago I threw out a whole heap of papers that I assumed were notes and some of which turned out to have been exam certificates.Tidying up the house, and examining all the stuff I seemed to have, made me think about the relation I have to the material world; about the inside and the outside, if you will. I’ve been buying fewer books, and things in general, avoiding shops and the centre of town, and not even deliberately, but because they didn’t appeal to me.Book I started using the library more. It was a relief to be able to hand back a book once I’d read it. (And sometimes when I hadn’t.) I read a book by the French writer Dominique Loreau called L’art de la simplicite. It’s a seductive blend of common sense, the ancient wisdom of ‘Orientals’ – the author has lived in Japan for a long time – and inverted materialism.Essentially it advocates simplifying your life, by reducing the amount of possessions you have, but paradoxically also buying some expensive and beautiful stuff according to what philosophers now know as the L’Oral argument: Because you’re worth it.I was googling the author of the book, which doesn’t seem to be translated into English (odd, as it has sold a lot in French) and found a blog in which a woman talked of trying to implement these precepts. She had, inspired by the book, given away most of her things and now effectively lived out of a suitcase.Most of us would experience some alarm at this, but she said she was much happier. One of the changes she noticed was that she judged others less on what they wore, the car they drove, or what they owned.That remark returned to me in the last few days, as riots in London escalated from violence in Tottenham, the area where a black 29-year-old man, Mark Duggan, was shot in the head by police and killed, to general looting and theft from shops across different areas of London and then other cities. Buildings were set on fire; some people lost their homes, but in general, the attacks were on things, not people.Method The kind of shops raided were department stores, neighbourhood shops, and even discount stores like Primark.Appalled-sounding BBC journalists described the violence. One said teenagers in Brixton, a predominantly black area of south London, had been filmed on security cameras trying on trainers in a sports shop before looting them. This parody of normal consumerism was funny, but it was an image that remained in my mind.Looting is supposed to be an impulse, or a brief moment of criminality or bad judgement: smash and grab. But smash and dawdle? The humour in the moment didn’t seem unintentional; it was as though the looters at Foot Locker were consciously parodying the leisureliness of ordinary shopping. (“Yes, I do believe that after all I will take these athletic shoes. Wrap them up, my good man.”)Anyone who has been young knows how boring it is when older people tell you how much less well- off they were at your age. I remember, for instance, my parents deciding to give me a watch when I was about eight, for my birthday.Its arrival was preceded by a lot of lectures from each of them about how old they had been when they got their first watch, and how useful it would be to know the time at all times of day, and so on and so forth.But, nevertheless, it’s apparent how much more obsessed with stuff people are now than twenty or thirty years ago.It’s worse in the west, and it’s worse in cities. But we’re not immune to it in India. In a small town, people still tend not to shop recreationally. They buy new things when they can, or for festivals or occasions, but there is a rhythm to this.In the cities, going to the mall is something to do if you’re middle-class and affluent. If not, you probably won’t get past the security guard.Danger So what? Does it matter? It might, not now but in the next twenty or fifty years.The more we allow ourselves to get focused on stuff, even ‘branded’ stuff, stuff from malls, stuff imported from here and there, stuff with logos, the more unfit, stupid and unkind we will become. And less aware of other people, especially those who don’t also have the kind of stuff we do, or that we aspire to. People who visit India for the first time always talk about “the contrast between rich and poor”. Exasperating, yes, especially when they think nothing of the homeless person they walk past every day in London.But also true. I don’t know why we don’t yet have riots in Gurgaon or Mumbai or Bangalore, but since we still have time to do something about it, why not try to become a little bit more human, and make our country a little bit less unfair? In the process we might achieve a less cluttered existence, and more freedom for ourselves.advertisementadvertisement