5 Reasons for Hope on Climate Change, Despite Trump

trump-pinoccio-nose One of the leadership paradoxes explained in The Leadership Champions Guidebook is: “Sometimes things need to get worse before they get better.” Things really got worse on the climate change file with the election of Donald Trump. However, after we overcome our shock and denial, we sustainability champions are quickly working our way through the anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance phases in Kubler-Ross’s personal change curve. Energized by 5 reasons for hope on climate change, despite Trump’s election, we are cranking up our efforts to mitigate climate destabilization and make things better. Read More

UltBook: Answering the Big 3 “Whys”

Suppose your company launches several sustainability initiatives and then the sponsoring executives move to another company. The replacement executives are new to "sustainability" and push back, saying “Tell me again why we should bother with all this environmental and social stuff?" When executives ask that overarching "Why" question, they seek answers to the Big 3 "Whys" for any value proposition, especially sustainability initiatives. Read More

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

3 Options When Your Ship Is Sinking

Picture this. 190 people are on a sinking ship in the middle of the ocean. The bilge pump is broken. The captain announces that they are in mortal danger so all passengers – businessmen, politicians, scientists, academics, and others – agree to pitch in and help to bail the ship. They take a poll of how much each person is able to do and are excited to find that they can collectively bail 100 gallons of water a minute. Unfortunately, the boat is taking on 200 gallons a minute, so the boat will sink unless they double their efforts. What should they do? You have three 3 options when your ship is sinking. Read More

Unburnable Fossil Fuels Necessitate Zero-Carbon Goals

stopping fossil fuel depletion In their article in the January 2015 of Nature magazine, "The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2°C," Christophe McGlade and Paul Ekins confirm our global carbon budget. They quantify unburnable fossil fuels both globally and regionally. The writing is on the wall. To prepare for an inevitable low-carbon future, smart companies will integrate zero-carbon goals into their business models. The authors estimate that there are 11,000 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt CO2) trapped in known fossil-fuel resources in the world. By 2050, we can only add about another 1,100 Gt CO2 to the atmosphere before we exceed a 2ºC rise in the average global temperature above pre-industrial levels. That is the upper limit beyond which climate scientists and policy makers unanimously agree that there is at least a 50% chance of catastrophic and irreversible global climate destabilization. That means that 90% of the CO2 that is trapped in worldwide fossil resources must stay in the ground as stranded assets. Read More

Frankly, a Low-Carbon Economy Creates Jobs and Growth

low carbon economy Harper was refreshingly frank recently. As reported in the Globe and Mail, he used a June 9 joint news conference with visiting Australian Prime Minister Abbot to declare, “No matter what they say, no country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country. We are just a little more frank about that. … It’s not that we don’t seek to deal with climate change, but we seek to deal with it in a way that will protect and enhance our ability to create jobs and growth, not destroy jobs and growth. Frankly, every single country in the world feels the same way.” Read More

7 Bold Strokes to Avoid Climate Destabilization

united nations climate change summit What would we expect governments to commit to at the 21st United Nations climate summit in Paris in December 2015 if they are serious about avoiding climate destabilization? In this blog post, we'll discuss 7 bold strokes they could and should consider. Let’s suppose they take April’s last-chance-before-it’s-too-late IPCC report seriously. Let’s suppose they act on the Pentagon’s warning that climate change is a bigger threat to national security than terrorism. Read More