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Process Improvement and Sustainability: Restructuring the Leadership Scholarship Program Cohort Selection

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Although the Leadership Scholarship Program has seen successful recruiting processes throughout changes in leadership of the program; the organization expressed a need for major overhaul to reevaluate the decisions of the process and to establish backing for those decisions. By

Although the Leadership Scholarship Program has seen successful recruiting processes throughout changes in leadership of the program; the organization expressed a need for major overhaul to reevaluate the decisions of the process and to establish backing for those decisions. By asking current and alumni members of the program about what they would like to see in a future member of the program as well as which parts of the process they found most important, the qualities of a future member of the program could be established and weighted. The goals of the reevaluation were to help eliminate bias, discrepancies between applications with extremely different uncontrollable factors, define points of discrepancies, and establish organizational sustainability while achieving a 100% acceptance rate from offered students. Each of these goals was achieved through methods outlined in the LSP Selection Process Manual that was written as a result of this reevaluation. The manual also outlines ways to improve the process going forward.

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2018-05

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An Analysis of the Cosmetics Industry as a Good Steward for the Sustainability Movement

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In 2016, in the United States alone, the cosmetics industry made an estimated 62.46 billion dollars in revenue (Revenue of the Cosmetic Industry in the U.S. 2002-2016 | Forecast). With a consistent increase in sales in the last several years,

In 2016, in the United States alone, the cosmetics industry made an estimated 62.46 billion dollars in revenue (Revenue of the Cosmetic Industry in the U.S. 2002-2016 | Forecast). With a consistent increase in sales in the last several years, the industry has reached continued success even during times of hardship, such as the Great Recession of 2008. The use of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), external campaigns, and thoughtful packaging and ingredients resonates with targeted consumers. This has served as an effective strategy to maintain growth in the industry. Cosmetic companies promote their brand image using these sustainability tactics, but there seems to be a lack of transparency in this unregulated industry. The purpose of this thesis is to determine if the cosmetics industry is a good steward of the sustainability movement. Important terms and concepts relating to the industry will be discussed, then an analysis of sustainability focused cosmetic brands will be provided, which highlights the extent to which these brands engage in activities that promote sustainability. This is followed by an application of findings to a company that could benefit from using such practices. Overall, the analysis of the different brands proved to be shocking and disappointing. This is due to the sheer amount that scored very poorly based on the sustainability criteria developed. The cosmetics industry is too inconsistent and too unregulated to truly act as a good steward for sustainability. Though some companies in the industry succeed, these accomplishments are not consistent across all cosmetic companies. Hence, the cosmetics industry as a good steward for sustainability can only be as strong as its weakest link.

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2018-05

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The Many Faces of Corporate Social Responsibility

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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a fascinating and complex topic. There is consensus that companies both make a large impact on the world and have a responsibility beyond profits. The challenge with this responsibility is that determining businesses' responsibility and

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a fascinating and complex topic. There is consensus that companies both make a large impact on the world and have a responsibility beyond profits. The challenge with this responsibility is that determining businesses' responsibility and measuring the impact remains unclear. Scholars most often point to the early to mid 1900s as its starting point and the increased economic growth and workers' unions occurring in the 1950s as one of the reasons for scholars paying more attention to the topic. This thesis project analyzes current examples of CSR from Starbucks and IBM. These companies have reputations for their positive CSR practices. Both companies' availability of information, the vast number of their CSR practices, and efforts to measure the impact set them apart. IBM and Starbucks stand out because of the sheer volume of CSR activities they have, and when examined closely, the mixed, primarily good, impact of these activities is revealed. Having a high number of CSR practices alone does not equate to doing CSR well. Instead, companies' CSR should be examined based on both the number of practices and their impact. Considering both of these metrics will help consumers, as well as other stakeholders, better evaluate the success or failure of CSR in a business.

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2017-05

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Doctors and Diapers: Promoting Sustainable Practices Through Pediatric Healthcare

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Incorporating sustainability education in primary healthcare practice is an important step toward promoting sustainability in the US healthcare system. This health strategy is also consistent with a renewed focus of the US healthcare system, mainly prompted by the Affordable Healthcare

Incorporating sustainability education in primary healthcare practice is an important step toward promoting sustainability in the US healthcare system. This health strategy is also consistent with a renewed focus of the US healthcare system, mainly prompted by the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010, toward preventive care and patient wellness. The major challenge, however, is an effective implementation of sustainability education in the healthcare industry. This honors thesis project developed a sustainability education model, in which primary healthcare providers or the physicians educated the patients about sustainability and its connection to public health issues. The main purpose of this thesis project is to analyze the effectiveness of this sustainability education model and to evaluate its impact on the individuals and households in terms of sustainable attitudes and practices. The study was conducted with 26 parents of newborn babies at Estrella Pediatrics PC using a classic randomized control-group pretest-posttest design. The Pre- and Post-Surveys were completed to evaluate change in their knowledge and attitudes toward sustainability practices covered in the sustainability education model. In the research, the relationships between sustainability-related issues and their negative impacts on the health of human beings were established in the sustainability education pamphlet provided to the physicians, which they shared with the patients during the wellness visits. This pamphlet focused on waste management, air pollution, and locally grown food. Moreover, samples of environmentally-friendly diapers were given to the study respondents to complement this education. The study demonstrated positive trends with the intervention protocol, though the level of statistical significance was marginal. More specifically, it was observed that the respondents placed the highest significance on the education provided by the pediatricians. Interestingly, the receipt of the diaper samples by itself did not generate any significant effect. However, the education provided by the physician and the pamphlet coupled with the diaper gave very positive results. In conclusion, physician led sustainability education has significant potential in promoting sustainability in primary healthcare practice, and further inquiry should be pursued.

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2015-12

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Marketing to Millennials Within the Airline and Finance Industries Across Cultures

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Millennials are the group of people that make up the newer generation of the world's population and they are constantly surrounded by technology, as well as known for having different values than the previous generations. Marketers have to adapt to

Millennials are the group of people that make up the newer generation of the world's population and they are constantly surrounded by technology, as well as known for having different values than the previous generations. Marketers have to adapt to newer ways to appeal to millennials and secure their loyalty since millennials are always on the lookout for the next best thing and will "trade up for brands that matter, but trade down when brand value is weak", it poses a challenge for the marketing departments of companies (Fromm, J. & Parks, J.). The airline industry is one of the fastest growing sectors as "the total number of people flying on U.S. airlines will increase from 745.5 million in 2014 and grow to 1.15 billion in 2034," which shows that airlines have a wider population to market to, and will need to improve their marketing strategies to differentiate from competitors (Power). The financial sector also has a difficult time reaching out to millennials because "millennials are hesitant to take financial risks," as well as downing in college debt, while not making as much money as previous generations (Fromm, J. & Parks, J.). By looking into the marketing strategies, specifically using social media platforms, of the two industries, an understanding can be gathered of what millennials are attracted to. Along with looking at the marketing strategies of financial and airline industries, I looked at the perspectives of these industries in different countries, which is important to look at because then we can see if the values of millennials vary across different cultures. Countries chosen for research to further examine their cultural differences in terms of marketing practices are the United States and England. The main form of marketing that was used for this research were social media accounts of the companies, and seeing how they used the social networking platforms to reach and engage with their consumers, especially with those of the millennial generation. The companies chosen for further research for the airline industry from England were British Airways, EasyJet, and Virgin Atlantic, while for the U.S. Delta Airlines, Inc., Southwest Airlines, and United were chosen. The companies chosen to further examine within the finance industry from England include Barclay's, HSBC, and Lloyd's Bank, while for the U.S. the banks selected were Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. The companies for this study were chosen because they are among the top five in their industry, as well as all companies that I have had previous interactions with. It was meant to see what the companies at the top of the industry were doing that set them apart from their competitors in terms of social media marketing content and see if there were features they lacked that could be changed or improvements they could make. A survey was also conducted to get a better idea of the attitudes and behaviors of millennials when it comes to the airline and finance industries, as well as towards social media marketing practices.

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2016-05

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Austin City Limits: An Ethnographic Analysis of the Modern Music Festival

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This ethnographic study explores the music festival phenomenon in the context of the Austin City Limits music festival, held in Austin, Texas with a total attendance of over 450,000 people annually. Using Glaser and Strauss' grounded theory method (1967), central

This ethnographic study explores the music festival phenomenon in the context of the Austin City Limits music festival, held in Austin, Texas with a total attendance of over 450,000 people annually. Using Glaser and Strauss' grounded theory method (1967), central questions concerning structure, community identity, sustainable consumption, and waste were generated from the ethnography. These topics were analyzed with supporting theory in cultural anthropology, sociology, and sustainability. The findings are the basis for our "local-washing" theory, suggesting that localness is utilized to create a sense of authenticity. It is our shared conclusion that local-washing is a prevalent phenomenon at the modern music festival and presents the impact of commercialization on the public sphere. The research conducted includes collecting ethnographic fieldnotes pertaining to festival-goers behaviors that we observed at the festival as well as an investigation of the waste at the festival. By attending the Austin City Limits music festival and utilizing the ethnographic research method, we gained a deeper understanding of what motivates and bonds people in the unique context of the music festival. Through this we found basis for an analysis of the sustainable consumption of food and beverages at the festival as well as waste behaviors and theories behind them including the idea of waste having an absent presence in society.

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2016-05

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Zero Waste Efficiency: Small Business Analysis

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In this paper, I analyze the costs and benefits of waste prevention and zero waste initiatives that are inflicted upon society. The problem lies in the amount of human municipal solid waste (HMSW) resulting from human activities, especially as growing

In this paper, I analyze the costs and benefits of waste prevention and zero waste initiatives that are inflicted upon society. The problem lies in the amount of human municipal solid waste (HMSW) resulting from human activities, especially as growing global urban population estimated to be producing three times as much waste as it does today (Goto, 2014). Landfill externalities are addressed to explain the purpose of this research. Additionally, the efficiency of diverting waste from the landfill is assessed; these diversion methods are recycling, composting, and the uses of TerraCycle. It is important to note the difference between waste prevention and zero waste: Waste prevention is simply reducing the amount of waste, whereas zero waste is aiming to divert HMSW for other uses other than going its final destination, the landfill. This research highlights tax policies and incentive-based approaches that cities currently enforce, as well as repercussions of these approaches. Waste prevention is explored from the user perspective and reactions to taxes on waste that were implemented to promote global sustainability, which can be seen from the primary data collected. I analyze the success of zero waste initiatives in the online marketing agency, Vertical Measures, comparing landfill waste diversion with the implementation of zero waste initiatives. This paper highlights the observations and results from this two-month analysis. With both the analyses of city regulations and first-hand application of zero waste and waste prevention methods, the findings suggest that the success of these initiatives depends on various factors including location and participant attitudes. This research and data can help provide insight for other small businesses for a more sustainable environment and workplace.

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2016-05

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Trade Liberalization and Economic Degradation

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This thesis looks at the theory and empirical evidence that surrounds the debate between environmentalists and economists regarding the link between trade liberalization and environmental degradation. The main points of the theory are the scale, composition, and technique effects which,

This thesis looks at the theory and empirical evidence that surrounds the debate between environmentalists and economists regarding the link between trade liberalization and environmental degradation. The main points of the theory are the scale, composition, and technique effects which, when aggregated, are ambiguous as the harm or benefit of trade's effect on the environment. The empirical evidence studied ranges in time periods from the early 1990s to 2011 and mainly focuses on the existence or absence of an environmental Kuznets curve for certain pollutant. However, the data still proves to be inconclusive. The debate about the possible link between trade and the environment is as important as ever, especially in regards to carbon dioxide emissions. Going forward, it is extremely important that international cooperation regarding emissions targets and abatement goals increases. Trade will prove to be an invaluable tool in this endeavor as it provides a mechanism for the spread of green technology as well as can be used as a method of environmental policy enforcement.

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2016-05

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A Partial Life Cycle Assessment of Oranges Grown Locally and Afar: An Evaluation of the Significance of Food Miles

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This thesis was conducted in order to determine the role played by food miles metrics in making the agricultural industry more sustainable. In an effort to analyze the importance of eat locally this study utilizes a partial life cycle assessment.

This thesis was conducted in order to determine the role played by food miles metrics in making the agricultural industry more sustainable. In an effort to analyze the importance of eat locally this study utilizes a partial life cycle assessment. This study looks at oranges grown in Arizona and California and inputs such as water, energy, fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, frost mitigation, and distance in order to conduct the partial life cycle assessment. Results of this study indicate that food miles are not as significant, in relation to overall energy input, as the locavore movement claims. This is because production processes account for a larger portion of the total energy used in the food chain than what these claims suggest. While eating locally is still a significant way of reducing energy use, this thesis shows that decisions about eating sustainably should not only focus on the distance that the products travel, but place equal, if not more, importance on energy use differences due to geographic location and in-farm operations. Future research should be completed with more comprehensive impact categories and conducted for different crops, farming, and locations. Further research is needed in order to confirm or challenge the results of this thesis. With more research conducted regarding this topic, ecological labeling of agricultural products could be improved to help consumers make the most informed choices possible.

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2014-05

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Sustainability Assessment of a Local Coffee Shop

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Derived from the idea that the utilization of sustainable practices could improve small business practice, this honors thesis offers a full business assessment and recommendations for improvements of a local, family-owned coffee shop, Gold Bar. A thorough analysis of the

Derived from the idea that the utilization of sustainable practices could improve small business practice, this honors thesis offers a full business assessment and recommendations for improvements of a local, family-owned coffee shop, Gold Bar. A thorough analysis of the shop's current business practices and research on unnecessary expenses and waste guides this assessment.

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2015-05