Operations Buzz

5 Products, 5 Supply Chains, 5 Carbon Footprints

April 11th, 2010

by Ram Ganeshan

Individuals, corporations, even governments have adopted carbon emissions as an indicator of our impact on the environment. As part of the Earth Day 2010 series of articles, this article will explore the “carbon footprints” of 5 common products: Tropicana Orange juice, a Big Mac, iPhone 3GS, Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket, and Nika Bottled water.

A carbon footprint of a product measures the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that it produces from “cradle to grave.” This typically includes the amount of CO2 produced in the extended supply chain: from the extraction of raw material, to the manufacture, transport, and use of the product; ending eventually in the disposal and recovery of the product. Read, share, and enjoy (and yes, next time you buy something, take a look at its carbon footprint).

Our Energy Grid

April 5th, 2010

by Ram Ganeshan

When President Obama recently announced the opening part of our shores to drill for oil and gas, everybody, both from the left and right, was up in arms. The Sierra Club’s response: “There’s no reason to drill our coasts. We can achieve real energy independence and economic vitality by investing in clean energy like wind […]

Sustainability: A brief timeline

March 26th, 2010

by Tonya Boone

Earth Day 2010 is approaching and for the month of April, I am going to feature multiple articles on Sustainability. To kick things off, today’s entry is a short history of Sustainability. The first entry is in 1824, with Fourier first discovering what will later be called the “greenhouse effect.” You will notice that this […]

In Conversation: Smith Barney’s James W. Brinkley

March 15th, 2010

by Ram Ganeshan

In this edition of the Thought Leadership Project, I talk to James W. Brinkley, who is the Vice-Chairman of Smith Barney’s Global Private Client Group following Citigroup Inc.’s acquisition of Legg Mason Wood Walker, Incorporated (LMWW). He was previously CEO of LMWW.

He talks about leadership, operational challenges, and gives advice to graduating MBAs. As a professor, I could not resist giving him a quiz: I asked him “Say you were to write a letter to Alexander Hamilton explaining the current state of the financial industry, what will you write about?” Go on, read his wonderful response.


Operations Buzz is a resource that explores what it takes to run smart and sustainable business operations. Thought leaders, articles, and visuals add to the knowledge base. Professor Ram Ganeshan of the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary edits this site.