12 Trillion Reasons To Be A More Sustainable Company

(This blog was originally posted on the Sustainable Brands website.) The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) define a world that promises a flourishing future for human civilization on spaceship Earth. Some companies already embrace the SDGs as their aspirational environmental and social goals. Other companies hesitate, in case attaining some or all the goals’ 169 associated targets by 2030 would be at the expense of company success. There are 12 trillion reasons why their hesitation is unjustified.  Read More

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

The 6-Point Publishing Strategy for “The Ultimate Sustainability Advantage Workbook”

The situation is urgent. We need to accelerate corporate action on sustainability issues, especially on climate destabilization. So far, we have been ineffective in marshaling sufficient corporate leadership on impending social and environmental challenges. One reason is that sustainability champions have been ill-equipped to convince hard-nosed business executives that it is in their company's interest to help. We need a more usable, complete, and compelling business case tool. My new book will will fill that need. My last blog,  Coming Soon: “The Ultimate Sustainability Advantage Workbook," provided three reasons why the "ultimate" descriptor is appropriate. Here is my 6-point publishing strategy for The Ultimate Sustainability Advantage Workbook to ensure that it is available to, and usable by, worldwide legions of sustainability champions by November. 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

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

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

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

Future-Fit Companies Require Future-Fit Boards

future fit boards and sustainability (This blog by Geoff Kendall and Helle Bank Jorgensen was originally posted to the Sustainable Brands website on March 9, 2015, entitled “What Makes a Board Fit for the Future?” It is reposted here with permission. In the interest of full disclosure, and as the blog references below, Geoff and I are working together on the Future-Fit Business Benchmark. Bob)
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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