Our first blog, How Sustainability Can Save Business, reframes the common purpose of traditional Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practitioners -- that of "saving the environment." Our premise: Given the social and economic frameworks and institutions of our society, more can be accomplished (and faster) by viewing sustainability as an economic opportunity relevant to business, compared to viewing it as an environmental initiative in isolation of business. Therefore the goal of "saving the environment" may be more appropriately framed as "saving business." Our perspective is pragmatic; that the worthy purpose of "saving the environment" is destined to be ineffectual, and at best immaterial, if environmental initiatives are pursued in isolation of the economic engines and structures of our society -- that is, capitalism, business, government and the active participation of other organizations and individuals within this framework. It is within this framework that companies are applying a central guiding principle to their business sustainability strategies -- "derive economic benefits from improved environmental and social outcomes." Why? Because it delivers results. We do not argue the desired outcome of healthy people and a healthy planet, and an economic framework that includes a broader social purpose. Indeed, we align on these values. After all, Jim was leader of the Green Party of Canada and Tyler used to earn his living as a conservation … [Read more...] about How Much Can Business Influence the Environment?
Join me on November 14 for 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report. Broadcast live online, it’s an event that anyone can attend. And it’s your chance to join millions around the world to demand real solutions. Taking place over 24 hours, this event will put a spotlight on every region of the globe — featuring news, voices, and multimedia content across all 24 time zones. Every hour will be different. You’ll hear from experts, musicians, comedians, and everyday people about the impacts of climate change on their lives and homes. Leading the event will be our Chairman, former Vice President Al Gore, who will conclude with a presentation on November 15 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. Most of all, we want to hear from you. During these 24 hours, we’ll ask you to sign a pledge and join a global movement to demand action. You can join the social media conversation, make connections, and send us your ideas. Find out how we can, and we must solve the climate crisis — and how you can help. Looking for ways to improve your business? Jim Harris is a professional business innovation speaker, contact him today! … [Read more...] about 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report
"Culture eats strategy for breakfast, every day." This was Tyler's response to a question during a panel session at a recent conference. The panel was discussing the challenges faced by professional managers in their efforts to implement sustainability into business. The other challenge under discussion was about finding the appropriate balance between sharing insights and strategy with others, versus holding some things back for the competitive reasons. Tyler's comment was relevant to both. His point: having a strategy is one thing, but being able to implement it is entirely another. After all, the value of a strategy is not what is written on the whiteboard or the back of napkin, it is the value unleashed by engaging the minds and hearts of motivated employees and suppliers. The key to unlocking this value is to understand and harness the corporate culture, work within its bounds and value system, while making room for new ideas. Enterprise Risk Management colleagues refer to the ability to implement a strategy (or not) as "execution risk." Tyler has been fortunate to have had the experience of developing and implementing business sustainability strategies over the past decade in three different, very large corporations: a $14 billion company, a $400 billion company and Canadian Tire, a $12 billion company. In every instance he had to tailor his approach to the culture's unique value system and the process by which ideas are accepted into the … [Read more...] about Why Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
Here is a great graphic from Think Progress Green from an article by Brad Johnson "AMS Certified Meteorologist Mark Johnson Claims ‘Earth Hasn’t Warmed In 15 Years’ ". It shows how the skeptics make deliberate misinterpretations of temperature data. The graphic can be seen originally at Skeptical Science: Going Down the Up Escalator, Part 1. … [Read more...] about How Skeptics v Realists view Global Warming
I was one of six live bloggers at the Munk Debate on climate change on Tuesday. The topic, "Climate change is humankind's defining crisis and demands a commensurate response," pitted Elizabeth May and George Monbiot on the pro side v. Bjørn Lomborg and Lord Nigel Lawson on the con side. Read more: http://bit.ly/6xX5NY … [Read more...] about Inaction risks trillions in world assets
By: Jordana Levine If the issues of climate change are not addressed, it could cost every person on earth $1000 a year, or $7 trillion worldwide, says Nicholas Stern, former World Bank chief economist. In the report, Climate Change and Green Jobs: Labour’s Challenges and Opportunities, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) stresses that taking action will cost a lot less than doing nothing. If the federal government invested $30 billion over ten years to transition to an economy that is consciously aware of climate change, 330,000 jobs would be created and Canada’s GDP would increase by $140 billion. There would be $95 billion added to personal income and $28 billion in energy savings. Just under half of Canada’s CO2 emissions come from heavy industry, mainly using coal, gas and oil. The report gives the example of the tarsands, which the CLC says are the single most destructive project anywhere in the world, consuming one gallon of oil for every two gallons it produces. The tarsands have already made a hole the size of Vancouver Island, and it is predicted to grow by 400-500% in the next ten years if no changes are made, which would make the area the size of Florida. The CLC urges Canada to stop racing to provide the US with oil and focus on slowing down the use of non-renewable energy in its own country. The CLC believes that good jobs and a strong economy will only happen if we take into account every area that contributes to a … [Read more...] about Inaction will cost $7 trillion
By: Jordana Levine To prevent global warming, Canadian experts call for a 25% reduction below 1990 levels of CO2 emissions by 2020 and 80% below by 2050. The CLC Statement on Climate Change was written for the House of Commons regarding Bill C-30: Canada’s Clean Air and Climate Change Act as a recommendation. It insists, “There will be no good jobs on a dead planet.” The statement highlights key opportunities to create new jobs that do not generate emissions. A serious program to retrofit older houses in Canada over 25 years would create 50,000 jobs a year on its own; construction jobs can substitute industrial, polluting jobs. There could also be opportunities for jobs developing efficient and renewable fuels. The CLC gives a number of ways that new industries could create more jobs that are kinder to the earth. The CLC insists on creating strategies to regulate practices, encourage public investment and get the government directly involved through taxes and spending measures. The government will need to be active, insuring that it makes useful investments that will help us transition to an environmentally sustainable, low-carbon economy. The CLC calls for eliminating tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry. Instead, the government should provide companies with tax incentives to invest in equipment that reduces emissions and that there should be a cap-and-trade system to limit emissions. Emissions caps … [Read more...] about CLC: “There will be no good jobs on a dead planet”