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by Aman Singh Das | January 04, 2011


Warning: This blog will test your knowledge of sustainability as well as 2010's key developments in sustainability. Be prepared or fall by the wayside (Can you identify the companies [Go ahead and click on the links at the end otherwise!)?

In 2010, I witnessed the completion of the first LEED Certified high rise building in Nashville, which just so happened to be in the first LEED Certified neighborhood in the south.

This neighborhood was just down the street from Tennessee’s first LEED Gold certified building, and only a few blocks from the first LEED Gold Certified dorms in the southeast.

Meanwhile, this was all taking place in a city that wants to become the "greenest city in the southeast," and is just twenty minutes north of the city that is aiming to become one of the top 25 sustainable cities in the US.

2010 has been a Busy Year for Sustainability

Within these cities are two companies: One is the world's largest company and has two stores here, and the other is the recipient of a major government bailout.

Both companies made major commitments in 2010 to reduce millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide. This commitment was made as an effort to promote energy savings, reduce supply chain impact, and invest further in clean energy technologies.

One company pledged to reduce 20 million metric tons while the other promised 8 million metric tons of clean energy.

Both companies are positioned well to benefit from these commitments since both invested heavily in clean energy technology.

Nissan's Leaf is a zero-emission electric vehicle

The coincidences get better: Just down the road in Pulaski is a clean energy technology company experiencing rapid growth in the EV Infrastructure and Solar Markets. The EV Infrastructure and Solar markets can be most attributed to the release of the first 100 percent electric, no-gas automobile in 2010. The facility that manufactures this automobile is located 25 miles north in Smyrna, Tennessee.

Also in Smyrna is a company who should be making the tires for the 100 percent electric, no-gas car but to my knowledge is not. 

For a tire manufacturer, sustainability throughout the supply chain is a major issue. In fact it's such a big issue that the same company who pledged to reduce 20 million metric tons from its supply chain is now asking this company along with the company's other 100,000 suppliers to answer 15 sustainability-related questions.

2010 was a Year of Firsts But 2011 Must Be the Year of Advancement in Sustainability

One of these questions asks if the supplier has established publically available sustainable purchasing guidelines. If you were able to identify every single company so far, I want you to know that I never went more than 30 minutes from my office. I live and work in Nashville Tennessee and sustainability is all around me.

2010 has been a year of firsts, lessons and growth in sustainability. The conversation improved considerably in 2010 and must continue to advance in 2011.

We rescued the Chilean Miners, endured a midterm election, and have already forgotten about the BP Oil Spill. But there has been some unequivocal good news as well:

    •We have 1,044 Mayors who have made climate commitments
    •676 universities bringing sustainability and climate neutrality to their student body
    •More LEED Certified buildings than I can shake a stick at

I guess it is a good time to be working in sustainability.

--By William Paddock

William Paddock is the Founder and Managing Director of WAP Sustainability Consulting, Adjunct Instructor of Sustainability at the Institute for Sustainable Practice at Lipscomb University, and Climate Adaptation Instructor for Climate Solutions University.

















CSR 2010, Part VI: 5 Reasons Why Sustainability Grew Up in 2010

CSR 2010, Part V: New Times; Old Challenges

CSR 2010, Part IV: Corporate Social Responsibility Shifts From Cubicle to Boardroom

CSR 2010, Part III: Don't Let Your Job Search Define You

CSR 2010, Part II: Emerging Career Choices in Supply Chain & Sustainability

CSR 2010, Part I: The Sudden Explosion of Commentary on Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR 2010: Lasting Impressions From a Volatile Year


Filed Under: CSR