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Study Confirms Trend to Sustainability

BY CSA STAFF

By early 2009, but perhaps in less than a year, the American business community will have reached a tipping point in embracing sustainable practices as a cornerstone of their corporate philosophy, according to a recent study by Siemens and McGraw-Hill Construction. At that point, more than 80% of companies will have opted for sustainable materials in at least 16% of their building stock.

The report, “The Greening of Corporate America,” found that the recognition of green practices among executives is growing very quickly. The majority of survey respondents were at the CFO or CEO level (84%).

“Today’s corporate leaders are already very conscious of using green practices when considering new facilities, and they expect green building to have an increasing impact in the future,” said Brad Haeberle, director of marketing for Siemens Building Technologies. “Moreover, they believe that green building is in their company’s best interests, not only for the clear economic benefits, but for the market differentiation and competitive advantage.”

Rising energy costs were identified as a fundamental driver of green building in corporate America.

“The results show us that the market can only grow for more efficient, clean-energy technologies, particularly as they relate to building design and operation,” Haeberle said.

Notable findings in the survey include:

Sixty-three percent of CEOs recognize the financial benefits of green building, and 67% of them see a specific operating-cost benefit from green;

Sixty percent of CFOs see the market differentiation that sustainability activities and green building can provide their companies, with more than half of other respondents seeing this same benefit;

Fifty-seven percent of respondents think green fosters innovation within their companies; and

Government and internal management are strong drivers of green activities.

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Winn-Dixie team honored for turnaround

BY CSA STAFF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The team that lead Winn-Dixie Stores’ successful turnaround initiative is being honored by the Turnaround Management Association for the best ‘Mega Company Turnaround’ for 2007. Comprised of financial experts from The Blackstone Group, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Smith Hulsey & Busey, the team helped Winn-Dixie regain the market share and profits it started to lose in the mid 1990s and early 2000s to competitors Publix and Wal-Mart.

Winn-Dixie filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2005 after reporting  year-to-date losses of $552.8 million or $3.93 per share of common stock and a decline of 4.9% in identical-store sales in its second fiscal quarter over the same period in 2004.

 

Despite the difficulty of achieving a succesful turnaround, Winn-Dixie began its reorganization effort, while still continuing to operate its core business and preserving jobs. According to the Turnaround Management Association, it created new common stock for five classes of unsecured creditors, with recoveries ranging from about 96% to 53%. The company emerged from bankruptcy on Nov. 21, 2006.

For its fiscal year ended June 27, Winn-Dixie reported adjusted EBITDA of  $85.9 million compared to a loss of $27.8 million last year and an identical-store sales increase of 1.6% 

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Sears ends deal with maternity retailer

BY CSA STAFF

PHILADELPHIA Sears and Mothers Work, the world’s leading maternity apparel retailer, will not be renewing their agreement, Mothers Work announced today. Under their current agreement, Mothers Works operates the maternity apparel department in 502 Sears stores through the sale of its Two Hearts Maternity branded merchandise.

Mothers Work said it expects its partnership with Sears to end on June 20, 2008, when it current deal with the company is expected to expire.

Rebecca Matthias, president and ceo of Mothers Work, noted, “While we are disappointed about the end of our relationship with Sears, we feel the decision not to proceed with a renewal is in the best interest of our stockholders since we were unable to reach terms on a renewal which would be favorable for Mothers Work and our stockholders. “

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