When it comes to manufacturing sector employment, women are falling behind men. A look at recent statistics reveals that even with the expansion of 530,000 jobs between February 2010 and April 2013, women actually lost 28,000 jobs during that same period. The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee Report, released by Vice Chair and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, and a recent report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute highlight several solutions to attract more women to the manufacturing sector.
While the national college dropout rate remains high, new evidence shows that students who leave school before graduation still have significantly higher lifetime earnings than students who end their education after high school.
The manufacturing sector is doing a great job improving energy efficiency, said a group of researchers from MIT and other institutions in a recent study. There’s just one problem, the authors cautioned: The laws of thermodynamics are going to make progress on individual materials increasingly difficult and eventually impossible.
MIT mechanical engineering professor Timothy G. Gutowski and colleagues analyzed the energy requirements of making steel, cement, paper, plastics, and aluminum, the five materials “that dominate energy used in material production.” What would it take, they asked, to double production of these materials between now and 2050, while cutting in half the energy required to make them — in other words, a 75-percent reduction in energy intensity? This goal would be in line with economists’ projections that global demand for materials will double by 2050, as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recommendation of a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by that time. Read more
“The Sustainability Impacts of Fuel: Understanding the Total Sustainability Impacts of Commercial Transportation Fuels,” the first report from the Future of Fuels group of the organization known as BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), zeroes in on a concern that is vital to industry: the life-cycle sustainability of road freight transportation fuels.
The report’s authors, Eric Olson and Ryan Schuchard, say that the growing needs of the world’s population result in “intense pressure to restart economic progress and raise global standards of living — which will mean an increase in our global fuel use.” At the same time, the world’s “reliance on current and emerging energy products implies trade-offs that are not always clearly visible or consciously determined.”
Through its Future of Fuels initiative, BSR expects to provide a research base that will help decision-makers in business and government navigate this dilemma. The “Sustainability Impacts” report pulls together various data sources to paint a picture of what is currently known about both the fuel market outlook and the sustainability impacts of road freight transportation fuels in North America. Read more
Yesterday branding consultancy Brandlogic released its 2012 Sustainability Leadership Report comparing what it terms as real versus perceived sustainability performance for 100 leading companies. Brandlogic’s report found that any gap between a company’s real performance and its perception among consumers and stakeholders poses risks to its competitive health. Read more