Green Business

Joel Makower: Two Steps Forward: The State of Green Business: Good News and Bad:

If you’ve been engaged in the green business world for any length of time, you know the short story: there’s good news and bad. Herewith is a top-ten list of sorts: five reasons for optimism, and five reasons for concern, about the state of business and the environment.

An excellent read, outlining the challenges facing the environmental movement and it’s relationship with business.

Gil Friend chips in with some related thoughts:

When I addressed San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club (the nation’s largest public affairs society) this spring, speaking about “Risk, Fiduciary Responsibility, and the Laws of Nature,” I offered that assessment and challenge, and suggested that Boards of Directors, CEOs, and CFOs — not environmentalists — should be leading the sustainability revolution.

Not that environmentalists aren’t important — they provide critical market drivers as well as political pressure that impact corporate behavior. But the leverage, the capital spending commitments, the infrastructure investments — and the consolidated support or opposition for political initiatives — live in the boardroom and the executive suite. And the view from on high is changing, as a new understanding of risk and reward takes root.

Which in turn parallels sentiments expressed by WWF-Australia’s CEO, Greg Bourne, when he presented the 2005 Annual Hawke Lecture late last year (be sure to check out either the transcript or podcast of the speech – I’d love to hear your feedback). From the linked article:

[Mr Bourne] said Australia, as a resource superpower, is “the perfect place to start a lucrative revolution towards sustainable living and wealth creation.”

“If we reject pessimism, there are massively exciting challenges and opportunities for Australia at this time. We need to be in the vanguard of a sustainability revolution.”

I’ve long felt that engagement (as opposed to criticism) with business is an important front in the environmental movement. These quotes definitely point in the same direction.

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