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Airbnb & Nest Partnership – A Huge Win for Google, Airbnb and Hosts, but is it Good for Guests?

By Scott Kirk We recently discussed Airbnb’s partnership with Nest (acquired by Google in January 2014 for $3.2B). The nuts and bolts of the partnership include Airbnb providing selected hosts with the Nest Learning Thermostat free of charge ($250 retail value) and access to Nest’s MyEnergy platform that allows hosts to track energy consumption, learn […]

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Velib’s Bicycle Sharing Program

By Hai I think the program has a bright future because it addresses a mega trend in the world. Bicycle sharing is the solution for congestion, pollution, and high density transportation. In fact, bicycle sharing is one of the most important components in the entire transportation system. In the foreseeable future, the more cities we […]

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The Circular Economy – Who Should Be Participating?

By Ashleigh The phrase itself – the circular economy – is easy enough to understand. It generally represents the concept of using recycled materials as inputs into manufacturing processes with outputs in turn later recycled themselves. Massive potential benefits are possible with large-scale adaptation to a closed-loop system such as this, from environmental (reduced deforestation […]

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Increase fuel prices to increase the number of alternative fuel vehicles on the road

By Jessica During our class on EVs, we spent some time talking about ways to increase the number of alternative fuel vehicles on the road. One thing that wasn’t discussed but has a significant impact on consumers’ vehicle choice is the price of gasoline. Let’s cover the facts first—a number of studies have shown that […]

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Changing Consumer Behavior

By Jair H. Many of the topics that we’ve covered are solutions to the underlying problem at stake. Consumers will not change consumption behavior easily, or at all. EnerNOC tackles this challenge by offering a monetary reward to consumers who are willing to diminish their consumption at a specific time. EnerNOC’s solution is actually saving […]

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Sound Group China & Woolf Farming: A Few Common Themes

By JMK The two recent cases on Sound Group China and Woolf Farming & Processing yielded several insights regarding scaling businesses that face sustainability challenges. Although these cases differed in geography and protagonist motivations (e.g. Wen Yibo was actively looking to solve environmental challenges vs. Stuart Woolf’s view of the environmental movement as contributing to […]

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There’s room at the table for restaurants to help the environment

By A. Amos One of the questions we’ve discussed in class is how firms can improve their operations to use resources more efficiently. We observed how both Maersk Line and Walmart reduced their operating costs and their environmental impact by optimizing their supply chains and leveraging their vast networks of suppliers, distributors, and customers. These […]

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Building Efficiency and Big Data

By Ryley P. Groom Energy, as with many energy consultation firms, is currently missing an opportunity to provide a service widely underserved; the provision of data collection and analysis in relation to energy utilization, loss, demand, and efficiency. In the development of major projects today the utilization of BIM (building information modeling) has opened the […]

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Parallels from Maersk to other industries: container ships, chemical plants, and energy storage

By Helen Our introductory case on Maersk Line raised several important questions related to innovation in business, energy, and environment, which I hope we continue to explore throughout the semester. 1. Can firms create and capture value from public goods? Are firms the BEST equipped entity to do this (vs. governments, NGOs, communities, etc.)? 2. […]

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Pumped storage offers Colbun and renewable generators additional options

By Jason W. The Colbun case brought to light many of the issues facing power generators today. Fuel price fluctuations, growing energy demand, and changing regulatory environments have made capital investment decisions in the power generation space increasingly difficult. These issues coupled with climate change concerns and the desire to increase generation from renewable sources […]

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