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A toast to thinking globally

When companies collaborate to decrease environmental impact, traditional barriers built on competition and profits come down, and everyone benefits. At this year’s seventh annual GreenBiz Forum, to be held Feb. 17-19, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz., companies will come together to share their green successes and fresh ideas for developing more sustainable enterprises.

The event will take place at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, a destination designed to enhance visitors’ appreciation for the natural beauty of the American West. The historic resort originally opened in 1936 and enticed celebrities and wealthy East Coast and Midwest travelers with the novelties of horseback riding and outdoor excursions in the surrounding Sonoran Desert.

The resort was the first acquired by the Marriotts in 1967, and has since been recognized with numerous awards, including the Meeting & Conventions’ Gold Key and Gold Tee Awards, Corporate Meetings & Incentives’ Paragon Award and the Successful Meetings’ Pinnacle Award. Conscientious about preserving its cultural and natural heritage, the resort is committed to green policies in both its daily operations and event execution.

In this scenic location, sustainability professionals from leading companies around the globe will come together to discuss trends and strategies for minimizing their environmental impact. The event is produced in partnership with The Sustainability Consortium and The Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a unit of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. The program will include a constellation of leading corporate lights and will feature speakers from Unilever, The Sustainability Consortium, Johnson & Johnson, Target, Levi Strauss & Co. and adidas.

The Forum’s programming centers on collaboration and innovation both inside organizations and between companies in order to increase ROI while decreasing strain on environmental resources. The comprehensive issues being discussed this year include a broad range of topics, such as the leveraging of social media for sustainable collaboration, enabling cost-effective renewable energy use, operating in water-scarce areas, social innovation and employee engagement and recycling for the circular economy.

Paperboy Wine is contained in 100 percent recyclable packaging.

Paperboy Wine is contained in 100 percent recyclable packaging.

I recently encountered one of the most impressive examples of green business innovation that I have seen in a long time – the sort of idea that I believe eco-think tanks like the GreenBiz Forum are attempting to spark. Paperboy wine is the first wine to appear in 100 percent recyclable packaging that is 80 percent lighter than glass. No glass. No cork. No guilt. It is nothing short of amazing!

The wine is contained inside a plastic bladder encased in a paper “bottle.” A product of collaboration, the bottle was designed by Stranger & Stranger, a boutique designer of packaging and labels for alcoholic beverages and manufactured by UK-based GreenBottle.

The elimination of glass wine bottles is ecologically significant for several reasons. First, glass is heavy and takes more energy to ship. Second, while glass is arguably one of the most recyclable packaging materials, in practice glass recycling is fraught with particular challenges. Glass must be sorted and processed according to type and color and must be free of contaminants. Safe transport and handling of glass, as well as cost of shipping, pose difficulties, especially when measured against its market value.

Wine purists may reject the idea of drinking wine stored in alternative packaging, but the Paperboy bottle does a great job of protecting wine from its two greatest enemies – light and air.

The delicious contents of the Paperboy bottle come from the Truett Hurst winery in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County, Calif. Using biodynamic growing principles, the winemakers have 25 acres under cultivation. The estate also includes five acres of gardens and a wine tasting room built of eco-friendly materials. The vineyard hosts regular events and is open to private functions in the tasting room or outside in the olive groves – a great alternative destination for weddings or corporate functions.

A toast to all of those forward thinkers who are eager to share their ideas and change the world!

Green Tip:
To register for the GreenBiz Forum 2015, visit greenbiz.com/events.
Paperboy wines are available on shelves at Safeway, Raleigh’s and Mollie Stones. For more information about how to acquire Paperboy wines, visit paperboywines.com.

 

Posted in Columns, The Green Piece
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