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Project: Evaluation of Population Services
International PUR Social Marketing Campaign
in the Dominican Republic
and (Presentation Slides)
Student(s): Alexis Olans '07, Matt Welch '09, (with Stephen Spaulding)
Overview: After conducting a three-month review of PSI’s marketing efforts for PUR in the DR, the Michigan Team found that, though PUR requires significant effort to market, full cost recovery can still be achieved while providing significant social benefits to communities where it is introduced. This evaluation examines PSI/DR’s PUR marketing strategy along the following five criteria: product, channel, consumer, promotion, and price. Within each section are included both relevant team findings as well as specific recommendations for how improvements might be made in that category. Additionally, the report includes a brief financial analysis of the sustainability of the sale and distribution of this product. Based on this analysis, the financial recommendations include: re-petitioning USAID to obtain tax-free import status for PUR in to the Dominican Republic, reducing re-order quantity of PUR through P&G to increase product turnover, reducing the overhead for the PUR project through the elimination of specific budget line items, and, in the medium term, considering an alternative micro-enterprise model for selling and distributing PUR. Lastly, the report concludes with overarching recommendations and next steps suggested by the team. Overall recommendations include: using the remaining time in fiscal year 2007 to utilize new health promoters as small scale test cases, creating a standardized entry plan for new communities based on this testing, performing an in-depth and nationally representative study on water use, exploring further expansion into new hyper/super markets, pursuing a micro-enterprise approach in the mid-term (2-3 years), and not pursuing an alternate safe water solution product as either a substitute or a compliment to PSI/DR’s current promotion of PUR.


Project: Corporate Strategies for Addressing Climate Change
Student(s): Doug Glancy '07, Mike Horn '07, Scott Pryor '07, Greg Shopoff '07
(with Mark Shahinian)
Overview: Climate change is now a bright, blinking issue on the radar screens of companies worldwide. Companies have started addressing climate change for a myriad of reasons – reasons as diverse as their respective business models. The academic and business literature has done a fairly good job of exploring why companies are addressing climate change. This study examines how they are addressing climate change. It explores the risks, rewards, opportunities and barriers surrounding corporate action on climate change and provides insight into the strategies employed by companies that have led the way in taking early action. The lessons learned by early actors can inform the efforts of those who follow. Climate change presents companies with significant risks, uncertainties, and an increasing number of market opportunities. Companies now confront a patchwork of regional regulation. In addition, most companies in our survey expect federal regulations to limit GHG emissions within the next decade. The unknowns of potential regulation create uncertainty, and therefore risk, for businesses making strategic decisions. Volatile energy prices wreak havoc on cost structures, severely impairing the ability to accurately forecast profitability.

Large storm events have caused companies to think differently about the physical risks of climate change. Accumulating scientific evidence, coupled with these large storms, has boosted public awareness, leading to changing consumer preferences. Companies are looking at these changing preferences and identifying market opportunities, broadening the traditional risk-mitigationcentered approach to climate change. The focus of this study is “climate-related strategies,” defined as the set of goals and implementation plans within a corporation that either aim to reduce GHG emissions, or that significantly reduce GHG emissions as a co-benefit. This includes strategies and measures for achieving near-term emission reductions from a company’s own operations; research, development, and investment in low-carbon production and process-related technologies; alternative products that have a more attractive carbon profile; energy-efficiency initiatives; reductions obtained through offsets and emissions trading; and activities to reduce “upstream” or “downstream” GHG emissions along their value chain.

Project: Sustainable Supply Chains in the Food and Beverage Industry
Student(s): Jessica Lin '07
Overview: The food and beverage sector of the economy has faced increasing pressure from consumers to provide transparency on the sources and operations related to their products. Responsible and ethical procurement is especially challenging for food and beverage, because agricultural commodities typically rely on low-cost labor inputs and environmentally-damaging technology and practices in order to produce high volumes. These negative environmental and social impacts threaten the reputation of food and beverage firms in the short-term, and the certainty of food supply capacity in the longterm. Therefore, supply chain management in food and beverage firms is shifting from an operational activity to a strategic activity. This research identified the key categories of information that significantly determine the feasibility, opportunity, and/or perhaps urgency of working toward a sustainable supply chain in agriculture. A concise, yet suitably comprehensive analytical tool for supply chain professionals and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practitioners in the food and beverage sector was developed. The Sustainable Agriculture Supply Chain Assessment (SASCA) is a simple screening tool for large food and beverage companies to evaluate, improve, or benchmark the sustainability of their agricultural supply chains. Key findings of this research are: Prevailing supply chain incentives and norms often contradict the behaviors necessary to improve environmental and social performance. Creating a sustainable supply chain requires different models and working relationships. Although agriculture is a mature sector, there remain significant inefficiencies in on-farm resource management that present opportunities for environmental improvements through use of better management practices (BMPs). The WTO and other trade agreements are significant determinants of supply chain leverage in global agriculture.


Project: Residential Green Building: Identifying Latent Demand and Key Drivers for Sector Growth- Condensed Report / Full Report
Student(s): Brian Swett '08, Doug Wein '07, Jeffrey Martin '07
Overview: The residential green building movement is at an exciting moment in its development from a niche market to a more mainstream market segment. According to some predictions, in 2007, more than half of small and large home builders will be building at least 15% of their homes to a local, regional, or national green standard. With a variety of major firm- and market-level drivers of the green residential market, home builders and developers must thoroughly understand the characteristics and relative strengths of the green homes market within their operating locales. The purpose of this master’s project is to investigate and advance the foremost thinking in the residential green building industry. The project’s objective is to develop a strategic Market Engagement Framework (MEF) for examining a real estate market, so that a developer considering a local project can gauge consumer demand, understand the existing landscape, form partnerships for green building, and devise a marketing and sales strategy appropriate to the locale.

The MEF contains two fundamental components: Analysis and Strategy. A building market is most ripe for increases in green building market penetration when numerous stakeholders push for those increases together. The three primary elements critical for growing a green homes market are (1) consumers, (2) industry (both for profit and non-profit organizations), and (3) government. A developer intending to compete in the residential green building space must have a comprehensive strategy designed to analyze and exploit the elements specific to the potential development’s location. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the marketplace and devise appropriate entry and marketing strategies, builders and developers must investigate all three of the aforementioned elements--consumers, industry, and government--in conjunction with the resource and economic pressures influencing the overall landscape. This project develops and presents the Market Metrics Lens (MML) as an evaluative tool to help confront the complexity that this investigation necessarily entails. By following a relatively simple prescriptive process, salient characteristics for each market element are identified and included as metrics in the MML. Once completed, this MML is able to identify strengths and weaknesses in a given market and in comparing one location to another. Furthermore, it helps identify specific partnership and marketing strategies to raise overall awareness and advance the industry.

The MML was piloted in four different geographic locations: Los Angeles/southern California; Houston/Texas; Miami/South Florida; and Newark/northern New Jersey. In addition, four other markets were reviewed to add robustness to the comparison pool: Denver, Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Boston. Of the four focus municipalities, Los Angeles stands out as the strongest overall in its relative strength in all three key elements of a residential green building market. While the consumer and industry elements of Miami’s Residential Green Building: Identifying Latent Demand and Key Drivers for Sector Growth green residential market is relatively weak, the government element is relatively strong and growing. The industry element outside of the city, including a strong residential green building program and the support of a leading builder, is relatively strong. The consumer element of the Newark green residential market is relatively strong, while the government support element is moderate and the industry element is relatively weak. Other towns in northern New Jersey and the state government are making strong progress in green residential support. While Houston has a relatively strong industry element, it ranked weakest of the four focus municipalities in government and consumer elements. The “strategy” portion of the Market Engagement Framework includes two important aspects: (1) forging partnerships and alliances to help advance the overall industry and raise consumer awareness and (2) targeting purchasers of residential green homes through a focused sales and marketing effort. With the results of the MML, this project proposes specific strategies for partnership, marketing, and sales in each of the four focus geographies, as well as develops a number of green homes strategy best practices, including 12 techniques for selling green homes.

While the residential green building market is rapidly growing and maturing, much remains to be understood about the dynamics of key market elements, the most likely buyer characteristics and preferences, and the most effective marketing and sales strategies. The MEF and MML presented in this project can help builders, developers, researchers, and other green residential stakeholders better understand and strategize for engagement in particular geographic markets.


Project: Michigan at a Climate Crossroads: Strategies for guiding the state in a carbon-constrained world
Student(s): Michael Edison'08, Rachel Permut '08, Kathleen Elliott '08 ( with Sarah Popp, Bernie Fischlowitz-Roberts, and Andrew Winkelman)
Overview: The Michigan at a Climate Crossroads: Strategies for Guiding the State in a Carbon- Constrained World Project (MCCP) team developed state-level greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction policies for the State of Michigan to consider as it faces an emerging carbon-constrained world. The MCCP builds upon the results of the Michigan Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990 and 2002, conducted by the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan. Approximately 180 regional stakeholders representing the industrial, commercial, higher education, government, and non-profit sectors provided the MCCP team with input and feedback throughout the duration of the project. The MCCP team used the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) State Inventory Tool, the Energy 2020 model, and the Regional Economic Modeling, Inc. (REMI) Policy Insight Tool to calculate potential GHG emission reductions and economic impacts of state-level policies. The MCCP demonstrated that enacting policies to reduce GHG emissions can positively affect the state’s economy and reduce GHG emissions. Implementing a set of the statelevel GHG emission reduction policies has the potential to reduce Michigan GHG emissions by 84 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE) by 2025, while increasing both gross state product (GSP) by an average of $380 million per year and state employment by roughly 3,400 full-time jobs. The final policy analysis will be provided to members of the Michigan State Legislature and the Office of the Governor.


Project: Renewables, Policy, and the Cost of Capital
Student(s): Michael Baratoff '08, Ian Black '08, Bodhi Burgess '07, Justin Felt '08, Matthew Garratt '08, Christian Guenther '07
Overview: Public policy has played a critical role in creating and shaping global renewable energy markets. Yet 30 years since the passage of the first federal program in the U.S., under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), renewable power generation still constitutes less than three percent of the aggregate U.S. portfolio. In spite of strong growth in project development, many risks and challenges remain, raising the price of capital in the sector and limiting acceptance of new power generation technologies.

The project team, in cooperation with the UNEP/BASE Sustainable Energy Finance Initiative (SEFI), conducted a series of stakeholder interviews and related secondary research in order to understand how U.S. renewable energy policy environments influence the cost and overall availability of private financing for renewable power projects. By distilling the perspectives of capital providers and others familiar with the project financing process, we aim to deliver new insight to policy-makers on lowering the cost of capital needed to finance new renewable power projects. Our research findings indicate that although existing renewable energy policies have been effective in driving new development in the U.S., several problems with policy design and consistency contribute to the higher cost of renewable versus conventional power projects. A series of specific policy solutions favored by interviewees are discussed in detail in the report. Overall, the findings emphasize the opportunity for policy to create a more stable, transparent, and predictable market for renewable energy, which in turn will lower financing costs and improve the flow of capital to the sector.


Project:: Investigating Opportunities to Strengthen the Local Food System in South Eastern Michigan
Student(s): Laura Kaminski '08 (with Karl Buck, Deirdra Stockmann and Ann Vail)
Overview: A localized food system is one where a greater proportion of food produced in a region stays in the region to be processed, distributed, sold and consumed. Southeastern Michigan, boasting a still thriving agricultural base as well as a major urban center including the Detroit and Ann Arbor metropolitan areas, is ripe for the development of a more localized food system.

In 2004, a master’s project within the School of Natural Resources and Environment investigated the costs and benefits of conventional industrial farming versus local food systems and made a compelling argument for the viability of a local food system in Washtenaw County. Building upon this previous study, the primary objective of this project was to help the Food System Economic Partnership (FSEP) develop resources and tools in support of its mission to “catalyze change in the local food system.” The project team accomplished this by conducting research on the local food system within a five-county region of southeastern Michigan (Jackson, Lenawee, Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne counties).

Research included reviewing existing food system literature; compiling regional data; developing, implementing and analyzing a multi-sector food system survey; conducting interviews with food system stakeholders; and engaging in Participatory Action Research while working with FSEP’s Leadership Team and committees. The outcomes of this research will support FSEP's work by informing the development of local, agricultural economic development opportunities, food system networks and collaborative multi-stakeholder partnerships in southeastern Michigan.

The project team found that southeastern Michigan boasts both a strong agricultural base that includes many farmers who currently sell or desire to sell their products locally and a substantial urban population eager to consume more local foods. This makes the region well-poised for the development of an intentionally localized food system. Although formidable communication and infrastructural barriers exist within the current food system structure, cross-sector demand and the presence of active local food system advocates increase viable opportunities for bridging communication gaps and developing necessary infrastructure through networking, supporting agriculture entrepreneurship, and developing systems for local food distribution. Working together, organizations like FSEP, other food system-focused groups, new and existing entrepreneurs and local governments have the capacity to turn current barriers into future opportunities.


Project: Yunnan Whitewaters Hydropower Development Project
Student(s): Nuyi (Flora) Tao '03 and Ed Chao '06
Overview: The Yunnan Whitewaters Hydropower Development Project has been registered under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. This carbon emission reduction endeavor is a 78 megawatt, three cascade stage, run-of-river hydropower venture in rural Yunnan Province of southern China. When completed in December 2007, the project is expected to displace ~274,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The project has undergone rigorous technical, financial, environmental, and social impact review by Chinese and foreign academics and consultants, including validation by Det Norske Veritas. As a run-of-river design, the project's inundation and subsequent environmental and social impact are very modest, two things both of us looked for during our due diligence and on-site visits. However, economically, the project's cashflows are weak and risky in its early years - hence the need to earn carbon credits.

Project: Strategic Transformation of Ford Motor Company
Student(s): John Gearen '08, Sarah Hines '07, David Hobstetter, Sathyanarayanan Jayagopi, Nikolaos Meissner '07, Josh Nothwang '08, Karen Putterman '07, Mitsuyo Yamamoto '07.
Overview: As the concept of New Mobility begins to take root, certain human-induced trends are putting unprecedented pressures on our global society. “Megatrends” such as climate change, increasing social disparity, shifting demographics, urbanization, and congestion are affecting the rate and degree to which populations, regions, and economies can grow and prosper. This project builds on the work of previous groups, including the Canadian think-tank Moving the Economy and a group of three University of Michigan graduate students who, in 2005, produced a report for Ford Motor Company entitled New Mobility: Future Opportunities for Ford as a Mobility Integrator. Our team consists of eight MS students at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. Through a combination of primary and secondary research, we surveyed the current and future potential for New Mobility products, services, and technologies in five global cities, vis-à-vis the growing urgency of addressing the aforementioned megatrends. Our results from each city combined a conventional Market Attractiveness Analysis with a progressive New Mobility Market Analysis. We then overlaid these results with Ford’s specific strengths, core competencies, and leadership potential in each of the five cities. In so doing, we have created a novel new approach to business project evaluation.


Practicum: Changing Corporations: An Assessment of the Indicators of Environmental Behavior in the Chemical Manufacturing Industry.
Student(s): Christina Turney '07 and Sarah Winkeller '07
Overview: This paper presents a statistical model that quantifies the influence of various stakeholders on chemical manufacturing companies’ environmental performance. We based the model on a framework outlined by Andrew Hoffman in Competitive Environmental Strategy: A Guide to the Changing Business Landscape.1 The model uses actors from the following four categories: Social Drivers, Resource Drivers, Market Drivers and Coercive (Regulatory) Drivers as independent variables to explain the variation in Toxic Release Inventory Emissions (TRI) across the 50 states in the years 1995 through 2004. Our final model indicates that the number of ISO 14001 certified chemical companies contributes to lower TRI emissions and that higher NGO membership contributes to higher TRI emissions: NormalizedTRIdata = 213,051.5 – 1,125.7*ISOcertifiedcompanies + 4.05* NGOMembers. This model highlights the action channels that most influence companies’ level of TRI emissions. Our hope is that it may help corporate executives and activists understand how to use their time and resources to effectively influence the environmental performance of chemical manufacturing companies.
 

Thesis: Building Trust: Lessons From Collaborative Planning on State Trust Lands
Student(s): Student(s): Matt Stout '07 (with Stephanie Bertaina, Alden Boetsch, Emily Kelly, Eirin Krane, Jessica Mitchell, Lisa Spalding and Drew Vankat)
Overview: This report examines collaborative planning within the context of state
trust lands. By analyzing eight case studies, the report aims to inform
trust land agencies, local communities and other interested parties about
the benefits, costs, challenges, facilitating factors and lessons learned
associated with these collaborative planning efforts. The report concludes
with a look ahead to future collaborative planning opportunities on state
trust lands, providing a set of best management practices and
recommendations for overcoming barriers to this trust land management
approach. The full report is available from the project's website:
http://www.snre.umich.edu/ecomgt/trustlands/index.htm


Thesis: Some Benefits of Nearby Nature for Hospital Visitors: Restorative Walks in Nichols Arboretum
Student(s): Katy Levine '06
Overview: The natural environment has restorative and stress reducing benefits. This study analyzes the use of nearby nature by hospital visitors, a group of people who are typically at risk for stress and mental fatigue. Study participants were visitors of the University of Michigan Hospital System (UMHS) who were residing at the Ann Arbor Ronald McDonald House (RMH), a residence for family members of hospitalized children. The study involved suggested walking routes in Nichols Arboretum (Arb) and a series of before and post walk survey instruments to measure mental fatigue and stress. In addition, a survey instrument to measure awareness and perception of the Arb was administered. The results of this study indicate that walking in nature is restorative and stress reducing for hospital visitors. In addition, these results indicate that there is a need to better inform hospital visitors about nearby nature. The results also suggest that longer-term visitors may take more walks in nearby nature and that walk materials, such as short defined routes and guidelines, may be particularly useful for hospital visitors. It should be noted that the results of this study are based on a small sample size. Additional research should be conducted to provide greater statistical evidence. This paper concludes by recommending methods to increase hospital visitor awareness of nearby nature and ways to enhance hospital visitors’ experiences in nearby nature.
 

Project: A Business Case for Sustainability at Cummins, Inc.
Student(s): Rina Horiuchi '06, Sara Nosanchuk '06, Alexis Olans '07, Kari Walworth '06
Overview: This report presents the business case for why Cummins Inc., a 10-billion-dollar diesel engine and power company, should adopt a sustainability strategy, and provides suggestions for how the company can incorporate the concept of sustainability into its existing processes. To explain how Cummins can integrate a sustainability strategy, we develop a sustainability vision statement for Cummins. We then draw upon the Four-Question Sustainability Framework to systematically analyze existing processes and suggest enhancements for how the company can become more sustainable. We recommend implementing these changes through four main channels: overall company objectives, planning processes, operational practices, and financial analyses.
 

Thesis: Life-Cycle Optimization of Residential Clothes Washer Replacement
Student(s): Richard Bole '06
Overview: The purpose of this study is to quantify this trade-off and determine optimal replacement intervals for residential clothes washers. The Life-Cycle Optimization (LCO) model employed to answer this fundamental research question uses as inputs separate Life-Cycle Inventory (LCI) and Life-Cycle Cost (LCC) profiles for each model year clothes washer from 1985-2020. These profiles represent four life-cycle phases of a washer: Material production, manufacturing and assembly, use, and end-of life management. The results of the LCI and LCC studies showed that the use phase of the washer’s life cycle accounts for 96-99% of energy, carbon dioxide emissions and water use, but just 61%-86% of total costs over an anticipated 20 year life. From an energy or carbon dioxide emissions perspective, any average washer, regardless of model year, should be replaced with a new horizontal-axis washer in 2006, 2011 and 2016. From a water use and cost minimization perspective an average washer should be immediately replaced with a horizontal-axis washer which should be held until the end of the study period.
 

Project: An Economic Analysis of the DTE Energy Hydrogen Technology Park
Student(s): Ed Chao '06, Marshall Chase '06, Kriss Jadd '07
Overview: Hydrogen has received great attention in recent years as an energy storage and transmission medium, given its potential environmental, national energy security, and performance benefits. DTE Energy and the United States Department of Energy have established the Hydrogen Technology Park (“Park”) in Southfield, Michigan, a technology validation program consisting of an operating, demonstration facility with hydrogen electrolysers, compressed hydrogen storage, dispenser, and fuel cells. An engineering-economic analysis developed in this study, based on Park operating data and costs, estimates the current levelized cost of hydrogen ranging from $12.33 to $21.32/kg H2 (for hypothetical Park-like facilities with output of 1,200 and 100 kg H2/day, respectively), which is significantly higher than estimates made by other studies. Combining a fuel cell array with a neighborhood hydrogen filling station would result in an estimated current levelized cost of fuel cell electricity ranging from $2.09 to $2.13/kWh (for power generation of 5,000 kWh/day). The study concludes that the Park, with its current demonstration-stage technologies and costs, is not cost competitive in commercial hydrogen, utility-scale energy storage, or hydrogen vehicle markets.
 

Project: Offshore Wind Energy Development in the Great Lakes: A Preliminary Briefing Paper for the Michigan Renewable Energy Program
Student(s): Scott Pryor '07, Matt Stout '07
Overview: The State of Michigan possesses significant wind resources, especially within its boundaries over the Great Lakes. Technological advancements combined with government incentives have made wind energy fully cost-competitive with traditional sources of electricity. The advantages of offshore wind in Michigan include higher average wind speeds compared to onshore sites, proximity to population centers and grid connections, at least somewhat mitigated aesthetic and noise concerns, and the ability to transport and deliver very large pieces of wind energy equipment using a well-established water transportation infrastructure. However, environmental and regulatory uncertainties have continued to impede progress and to date there has been little serious interest in offshore development in the Great Lakes. Significant opportunities exist, however, for Michigan to learn from developers of offshore wind energy in Europe and other U.S. states.
 

Thesis: The Implements of a New Empire: Deforestation, Community Forest Management and Microfinance In The Forests of Cambodia
Student(s): Michael Hokenson '05
Overview: Currently, there are over 200 Community Forestry Management Plans in Cambodia which address the spiritual and economic needs of rural villages. An official Su-Decree under the Forestry Law recognizes this synthesis of development and conservation. Funding is provided by international NGOs who maintain a large presence in Cambodia. Ultimately, the success of Community Forestry will be judged on their individual financial sustainability. We recommend that CFM groups expand their efforts to target High Value Forests and incorporate microfinance, an effective tool of poverty alleviation, to provide the financial infusions for appropriate income-generating activities. Our recommendations and strategies were based on research and interviews conducted with microfinance institutions, conservation agencies and independent monitors of the logging activity.
 

Thesis: Policy Impacts on the Relationships between Environment, Public Health, and Regional Economic Development in Poyang Lake, China
Student(s): Howard Lin '05
Overview: Poyang Lake is the largest freshwater lake in China and is home to millions of migratory birds, including the endangered Siberian Cranes. It is also home to millions of farmers and fishermen and is an endemic area for schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease known as snail fever. Because of a major flood in 1998 that affected millions and incurred damages in the billions, the Chinese government has implemented a 32-character mandate which included a Return Farm to Lake Policy that aimed to increase the flood storage capacity of the this lake by 2003.
 

Project: Building Green for the Future: Case Studies of Sustainable Development in Michigan
Student(s): Bryan Magnus '05, Aaron Harris '06 (with Zeb Acuff, Larissa Larsen and Allyson Pumphrey)
Overview: A study of the status of Green and Sustainable Development throughout the state focusing on 11 different case studies of commercial, residential, educational and institutional buildings. In addition to the case studies, the report contains information on; the market for and benefits of green buildings as well as specific information on the integrated design process and perceptions and realities of green building practices.
 

Project: Encouraging Transformation and Leadership For Sustainable Plant Management
Student(s): Emily Collings '05, Liz Hamilton '05, Laura Flanigan '06, Kate Napolitan '06, Nancy Poderycki '06
Overview: In the 21st century, companies that are engaged in multinational operations face increasing pressures to be sustainable: to improve environmental and social performance while continuing to maximize economic profits. An essential component to implementing sustainable business strategies is to develop and train those individuals who make important operational decisions each day, the present and future plant and operations managers. This team worked with Ford Motor Company and Alcan, Inc to develop a framework for a Professional Development Program (PDP) to provide plant management with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to achieve sustainability goals at the plant level.
 

Project: BP - Future Fuels
Student(s): Nick Cucinelli '05, Ruth Scotti '05, Eric Wingfield '05 (with Eric Hesse and Carrie Pasch)
Overview: Through joint systems thinking exercises, primary research, and focused system dynamics modeling efforts, our project seeks to expand the existing corporate understanding of the barriers to and benefits of engaging in a significant advanced biofuel implementation effort. We are actively modeling the interactive roles of the agriculture and energy sectors in the evolution of U.S. ethanol and biodiesel markets through 2030. Our model consists of four parts: aggregate farmer decisions for crop allocation, market allocation of feedstock (corn, waste residue, and switchgrass) to food/feed or fuels, aggregate corporate investments in production/refinery capacity for biofuels, and future transport demand.
 

Practicum: Economic Impacts of Parks, Rivers, Trails and Greenways
Student(s): Rebecca Nadel '05
Overview: Parks, rivers, trails, and greenways are traditionally recognized for their environmental protection, recreation opportunities, and aesthetic values, but they also provide economic benefits. Such areas have the potential to attract visitors, create jobs, enhance property values, expand local businesses, attract new or relocating businesses and residents, increase local tax revenues, decrease local government expenditures, improve health and enhance a local community.
 

Project: Aveda's Product Distribution System: A Strategic Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy Consumption
Student(s): Edward Ekkers '05, Tony Baptista '05, Heather Kirshman '05, Jonathan Forrester '05, Nathan Arbitman '06
Overview: The team assessed the energy consumption and GHG emissions associated with Aveda Corporation's product delivery system (PDS), which is defined as the tertiary packaging and transport required to deliver products to salon and retail customers. Cost-effective and operationally feasible recommendations were made to reduce the impact of the PDS.
 

Practicum: The State of Paper - Will a Partnership Model Still Work?
Student(s): Shelly R. Foston '05
Overview: The practicum is collaborative with the Alliance for Environmental Innovation, the business partnerships arm of Environmental Defense. It includes a "State of Paper" report that details the environmental, economic, and legislative status of the paper industry as well as criteria for determining if paper is an industry that the Alliance should continue working with through its partnership model.