The Green Side of Business: DODOcase Plans for the Sustainable Road Ahead

With the help of green business consultants, DODOcase evaluates where they are—and where they want to go—with their sustainability efforts.

This post is in partnership with UPS

This is part two in our Green Side of Business series, which chronicles one company as it strives to do business more sustainably.

DODOcase, the winner of the Green Side of Business program, makes hand crafted eReader and tablet covers and are on a mission to change the way they do business. And if they achieve their goal, San Francisco will become a bit more sustainable as a result. “There is no sustainability leader we aspire to be like,” says DODOcase’s Co-Founder, Craig Dalton. “We’d love to have that reputation associated with us, we just don’t know what it would take to get there.”

DODOcase has already enacted some green methods. Well, some of those methods actually came out of necessity. “We’ve been paperless since we started,” says Dalton. “Initially, this was due to having no office or printer.” Moving forward, Dalton says the company will be looking for other ways to impact day-to-day consumption.

Transportation is also one of DODOcase’s focuses. “We’ve made choices to work with local vendors,” says Dalton. “For most, we can walk product to them on a handcart or ride them up the block on a cargo bike.” Many DODOcase employees are also cycling fans, with 100% of the company participating in Bike to Work Day. “Through our sustainability project, we’re going to explore a better bike rack system in an exclusive area,” Dalton says. “We’ll also look into lockers for people who need clean clothes and storage.”

As for employees, DODOcase has 12 full-time staff and around a dozen contract workers depending on the season. Most are already on the sustainable bandwagon, using their own mugs and water bottles while on the job site. The company’s kitchen also stocks bamboo flatware and plastic plates that can be washed after use.

Based on a recommendation from Nurit Katz, UCLA’s Sustainability Coordinator and an instructor for its Global Sustainability Certificate Program, Dalton has explored San Francisco Green Business for ideas. One has already caught his eye. “We already have recycling bins for office paper, but now we’d like to add a an area for composting, recycling and garbage, complete with instructional placards.” Weekly employee lunches will also be a forum for co-workers to voice sustainable ideas.

A more far-reaching goal DODOcase is considering involves the products themselves. “We now use renewable bamboo trays to hold eReaders and tablets,” says Dalton. “We’re looking into including a recycled plastic tray in the mix. The effort would be an expensive one.” Thanks to the backing of GOOD and UPS, Dalton thinks they can move more quickly to an even green-friendlier product.

As DODOcase undertakes its sustainability mission, they’ll have input from both UPS and sustainability experts. What Dalton hopes will come from DODOcase’s efforts: “We’d like to make lasting changes in DODOcase's modus operandi on a daily basis and impact change in our employees as well. If we set a bar and educate employees on how we need and want things done at work, there should be a trickle down effect at home. In a very microcosm sort of way, there are 24 people or so we can effect. Hopefully, we’ll have a broader effect in the city.”

Below, we’ve asked green business experts for their advice on improving DODOcase’s sustainability strategy.

P. Simran Sethi, University of Kansas Associate Professor of Journalism with a focus on sustainability:

It would be interesting for DODOcase to explore the use of alternate, lighter weight materials (many of us are using iPads and Kindles to reduce the number of books we're schlepping) and explore low-impact glues and dyes if not already doing so.

In terms of transportation, it would be great if DODOcase not only encouraged bike use, but subsidized public transportation passes as another means to encourage low-impact commuting.


Amit Jain, Sustainability Consultant at AmitJain310:

DODOcase should consider cradle-to-cradle design. The idea is to either recycle, repurpose or refurbish. One way to do this is by taking back broken DODOcases, or giving discounts to customers who want to exchange old ones for new ones. DODOcase could in turn use the pieces from broken or returned products and retrofit them into a new style. Everything is so retro and custom with their current designs, it should be easy to do a remix of an old style.

They should look at other ways they can utilize recycled materials. Can they incorporate hemp or other materials that are sustainable?


Jeff Hayes, Independent Certified Integrated Reporting Specialist, formerly of Opportunity Green:

If they’d like to be leaders in the sustainability arena, they might want to come at it from greenness for profit. That would be a leadership position. Other people have done it, but only the leaders have come at it from that perspective. With business that tends to resonate well. It’s great to feel good operating sustainably, but if you’re not feeling an upside you’re going to drive yourself out of business.

DODOcase should think about how they’re going to measure their greenness? It can only be measured in something quantifiable, like paper use avoided. There are lots of ratio and key performance indicators. Pick one, or three at the most, and focus on reporting on that for a cycle, maybe a quarter, maybe a year. Ratchet it up from there and set benchmarks along the way.


Check the Green Side of Business series next week for DODOcase’s progress with the experts’ advice.

via Collection of the New-York Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. At the age of 10 he was given to the Auld family.

As a child, he worked as a house slave and was able to learn to read and write, and he attempted to teach his fellow slaves the same skills.

At the age of 15, he was given to Thomas Auld, a cruel man who beat and starved his slaves and thwarted any opportunity for them to practice their faith or to learn to read or write.

Keep Reading Show less
via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

Keep Reading Show less
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?


Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet