How we work was on my mind at last week’s Business Climate 2011 conference as the new edition of a book by my company’s CEO, Dov Seidman, launched on September 21.
The book, entitled How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything...in Business (and in Life), made me realize that Business Climate was about how businesses must fundamentally change the way they work to become more sustainable.
First, we must work within and between companies more openly and transparently. At the conference, Joel Makower, executive editor of GreenBiz Group, pointed out how the convergence of multiple technologies is creating new opportunities. This convergence requires new collaborations between organizations.
GE’s Mark Vachon agreed. He emphasized that GE’s ecomagination is breaking down traditional silos to create new solutions for customers. Andrew Shapiro, founder and President of GreenOrder, an LRN Advisory Group, also lauded the ecomagination Challenge as an example of a large company collaborating with venture capital firms and dozens of entrepreneurial portfolio companies.
By Stephen Linaweaver
I previously lived in a small town in Wyoming where winter temperatures
often reached 20 degrees below zero. Many residents only lived there
for the summer. The locals called them "90 Day Wonders," somewhat
disparagingly. How much can you contribute to community, the thinking
went, if you move on to the next thing in 90 days?
Many CEOs are
forced into a similar "90 Day" mentality. When pressed on why a mindset
of sustainable growth is challenging to adopt inside large companies,
many mention the same thing: pressure to meet quarterly expectations. It
is hard to promote sustainable growth and make decisions for the
long-term benefit of a company, and the planet, when analysts are not
interested in much beyond the next 90 days.
It’s hard to go a day without seeing fracking in the news. For a sense of how expansively this issue has captured our collective attention one need look no further than the almost parallel actions last month by the Texas House and the French government, not to mention the activist rappers.
For those who haven’t been following these stories, fracking is a process that injects pressurized fluids into shale formations to crack the rock and forcibly release the previously locked up natural gas.
I must confess that I too have contributed to this reportage. The premise of my piece focused on the need and opportunity for the industry to be proactive and address the concerns associated with fracking – think groundwater contamination from natural gas, potentially harmful components of the pressurized fluids injected, and even more significant GHG emissions -- as a way to demonstrate leadership and to capitalize on this potentially vast, untapped resource.
Posted by: Dan Saccardi /
October 15, 2010 /
Focusing solely on compliance is so 1990s, or at least pre-BP Deepwater Horizon. That’s why I was surprised by the official statements from MAL Rt. immediately following the “red sludge tsunami.”
By way of quick background for those who haven’t been following this, nearly 200 million gallons of what is euphemistically described as red sludge – noxious industrial byproduct of the aluminum-making process – escaped its containment reservoir at an aluminum factory in Hungary, killing nine people, hospitalizing more than 100, rendering 100s of homes uninhabitable, and potentially contaminating the Danube river ecosystem for years to come.
As the story broke, company officials said that “the red sludge waste is not considered hazardous waste” according to E.U. standards and that the company had “conformed to all safety standards.”
Much of my work at GreenOrder focuses on working with clients to uncover innovative sustainability opportunities. But we always caution not to lose sight of environmental fundamentals.