Coming Soon: “The Ultimate Sustainability Advantage Workbook”

The Sustainability Advantage (2002) explained the original version of the Sustainability Advantage Worksheets. Together, they showed the bottom-line benefits of implementing best sustainability practices already used by many companies. The New Sustainability Advantage (2012) and its accompanying new version of the Sustainability Advantage Worksheets, published on the 10th anniversary of the first book, recalibrated the original business case based on more compelling best practices used by companies in the 2002-2012 time frame. In November, I will publish the third "book" in the series, cleverly disguised as an Excel workbook. The working title of this combined e-book and worksheets is The Ultimate Sustainability Advantage Workbook. The Workbook will be"ultimate" in three ways. Read More

Announcing: 5 Firsts for the Future-Fit Business Benchmark

F2B2 R1For several years, I have worked with the Future-Fit Foundation to develop a Future-Fit Business Benchmark. Work began in mid-2012. We had two public drafts, in 2014 and 2015 and received hugely helpful feedback from the sustainability practitioner community. This week, the Future-Fit Foundation launched Release 1 on a jazzy new website. Ta dah! There are 5 firsts for the Future-Fit Business Benchmark - Release 1 (F2B2 R1) that make this a significant milestone. Read More

5 Shameful Tax Avoidance Numbers

Panama Papers HQ

The Panama Papers remind us that aggressive tax avoidance is a social injustice. Exposed wealthy individuals and corporations say they did nothing wrong, equating  "wrong" with "illegal." Tax avoidance is unethical, not illegal. Tax loopholes are big enough to drive a Brinks truck through, assuming you are rich enough to own a Brinks truck in the first place. Tax dodgers are publicly shamed, not jailed.  Here are 5 shameful tax avoidance numbers that amplify their shame. Read More

3 Recent Reports on the Unsustainable Income / Wealth Chasms

Income Inequality and Wealth Distribution

There has been, and always will be, a wealth gap between the rich and the poor. It's the degree of this disparity that is the issue. The current global wealth chasm has reached a dangerous threshold. So has the income chasm. Within the last month, 3 reports on the unsustainable income / wealth chasms were released by organizations that do excellent research on the issue.  They confirm that the gulf between rich and poor is wide and growing wider.  It is now obscene enough that it is deemed newsworthy by mainstream media. Read More

3 Signs that the Sustainability Stars are Aligning

We can capitalize on sustainability stars aligning.

Things are looking up. When we are heads-down slogging away on a specific sustainability project or issue, we need to pause occasionally and recalibrate how it's all going. I did that recently. It felt refreshingly hopeful. There are 3 signs that the sustainability stars are aligning – that there is a higher readiness for required profound changes than ever before. Read More

3 Reasons the First Future-Fit Benchmark is for Business

"Global governance failure." That risk to world economies was ranked #7 of 31 risks in the World Economic Forum (WEF) "Global Risks 2014" report's. In the WEF's 2015 report, "Failure of national governance" was on the list of the 28 biggest threats to large economies – that is, multinational corporations and countries. This raises the question: "Who's running our world?" There are 3 reasons that the answer is "Corporations." They are the same 3 reasons that the first future-fit benchmark is for business. Read More

3 Strange Signs Our Government Doesn’t Want Corporate Taxes

Sustainability Champions This statement still haunts me: "This government is not that interested in increasing the government's capacity to do anything about anything. They are not interested in raising more revenue." It grabbed me when I first read it a month ago in the latest issue of Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) "Monitor" magazine. The title of the article, "The Big Heist: Canada continues to let billions leave the country tax free," should have been my first clue. The above quote was attributed to Dennis Howlett, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness. He was referring to the Canadian Conservative federal government led by Stephen Harper. I remember thinking when I read that quote, "Surely, that can't be true!" After re-reading the article several times and doing some further research, I'm starting to agree with it. There are 3 strange signs that the Canadian government is not interested in more corporate tax revenue that would give it the "capacity to do anything about anything."  Read More

5 Reasons It’s Time to Use the Sustainability Risk Stick

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  I'm screwing up as a sustainability champion. For fifteen years, I have been writing and speaking about how corporations can capture the 4 carrots of emerging business opportunities, while reducing their negative environmental and social footprints.  The good news is that, for whatever reasons, some businesses are making incremental progress on their sustainability agendas. The bad news is that not enough firms are making enough progress, fast enough, to get to where they need to be―and to where my kids and my grandsons need them to be. I've decided to click into a different gear and to lead with a "burning platform" of environmental and social risks―the stick―that businesses must mitigate if they want to be fit for the future. There are 5 reasons that it's time for me―and perhaps other frustrated sustainability champions―to change tactics. Read More

4 Improvements in Future-Fit Business Benchmark: Public Draft 2

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As many of you know, Geoff Kendall, CEO of the Future-Fit Foundation, and I are co-authoring the Future-Fit Business Benchmark. We received valuable input from dozens of experts on our first public draft, published in October 2014. Based on that feedback, we have refined our document and have just posted Public Draft 2 on the Future-Fit Business website. Following this second and final round of feedback and suggestions, we will publish Release 1 later this fall. Below are 4 improvements in Public Draft 2.

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Wisdom from Kindergarten for a Future-Fit, Sustainable Life

Bob Willard Sustainability Champion Many years ago, I read Robert Fulghum's humorous collection, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, published in 1988. These days, I am co-authoring the Future-Fit Business Benchmark with Geoff Kendall. Public Draft 2.0 will be released shortly. As part of that work, we have been wrestling with the science-based social system conditions for a healthy, resilient human society on our finite planet. We are rediscovering truth. Fulghum is an insightful, humorous story teller. Here are his 16 maxims to live by that he learned in kindergarten. Read More