Sustainability – Announcing the Future-Fit Business Benchmark

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Ta-dah! As promised in my last blog, Public Draft 1.0 of the Future-Fit Business Benchmark is now available for use and feedback. This free, open-source resource defines science-based, aspirational, sustainability goals for a company that desires to be fit for the future on a scarcer, more crowded, and hotter planet. We invite your feedback on the goals and your ideas on appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) by which to assess progress toward each goal. To recap, here is the what, why, who, how, and when of the Future-Fit Business Benchmark. Read More

Future-Fit Business Benchmark… It’s Time

Climate destabilization It's time for a Future-Fit Business Benchmark. The reality of planetary boundaries presents one of the most daunting challenges of the twenty-first century. We are damaging the carrying capacity of the planet faster than it can repair itself. We are exceeding planetary boundaries. We are denying our nested interdependencies. For the first time in human history, the future of a healthy resilient human society is in question. This is not sustainable, neither for society nor for business. 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 Ways to Get Credible and Stay Credible

credibility in sustainability sector In The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook, I explain seven leadership practices used by successful change agents. They are all important, but the one that tops them all is “Get Credible; Stay Credible.” Leadership gurus Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner agree. After writing their landmark book, The Leadership Challenge, they wrote Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, and Why People Demand It. Without credibility, leaders are not trustworthy. Based on my years of leadership experience and hundreds of books and articles by sustainability leaders, here are 7 ways to become, and stay, a credible sustainable champion. 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

Pay Employees at Least a Fair Living Wage

fair wage Here is another breakthrough corporate CSR idea; How about paying employees at least a fair living wage? My last blog suggested A Wild and Crazy Corporate CSR Idea: Pay Your Taxes. At the risk of being overly innovative by simply stating the obvious, I humbly suggest a second breakthrough corporate social responsibility (CSR) program: pay all employees at least a Living Wage. Otherwise, corporations may be setting themselves up for public embarrassment, like the report that went viral last October about how McDonald’s US pays its workers below-poverty-line wages while its “McResource” employee help line encourages them to use food stamps and government assistance to make ends meet. That is, McDonald’s wants the government (a.k.a. tax-paying citizens) to top up their paltry workers’ wages. Awkward. McDonald’s has since discontinued its McResource. Read More

Honored to Be a “Best for the World” B Corp

MEDIA ADVISORY, March 19, 2014 B Corp Sustainability Advantage Today, Sustainability Advantage is honoured to be recognized for creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact, with the release of the third annual ‘B Corp Best for the World’ list by the nonprofit B Lab. The ‘B Corp Best for the World’ list honors 92 businesses worldwide that earned an overall score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company's impact on its workers, community, and the environment. Sustainability Advantage has received this honor every year since the award began. Bob Willard, sole proprietor of Sustainability Advantage, is a strong supporter a B Corps: “The most exiting aspect of the B Corp movement is it verifies that re-purposed companies can thrive. Our purpose is to create economic, environmental, and social value throughout our value chains, not only today but in a Capitalism 2.0 world. Our sustainable business models work today and are fit for the future.” Read More

3 Reasons to Screen Energy Companies from Rankings

sustainability champion Did you notice anything strange about the latest Global 100 rankings and the Climate Counts rankings? The January 2014 Global 100 ranking of the world’s 100 most sustainable large publically traded companies included ten oil and gas companies. The December 2013 Climate Counts rankings of corporations with the most sustainable carbon emissions included five oil and gas companies. What the ...?! There are 3 reasons that inclusion of oil and gas companies in these rankings doesn’t pass the gut check. Read More

3 Reasons I Love the WEF “Global Risks 2014” Report

  sword of damocles copy In my last blog, I declared that it was time for sustainability champions to unleash three risk arguments for more proactive action on climate change. Last week, I discovered a goldmine of support for the company-level and society-level risk arguments in the debate about climate destabilization: a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), “Global Risks 2014.” There are three reasons that I am excited about this report. Read More

Unleashing 3 Risk Arguments in the Climate Debate

environment and risk management Any good business case for doing something new or different has two components: opportunity and risk. Governments, companies, communities, and people like you and me need to justify why we change: what’s the upside if we do (opportunity), and what’s the downside if we don’t (risk). When it comes to convincing companies to be more sustainable, we’ve done a good job on the opportunity side. We need to be smarter on the risk side. Below are 3 risk arguments in the climate debate. For twelve years, my focus has been on helping companies to size the benefits (opportunity) of sustainability-oriented strategies. Any company can use the free dashboard and spreadsheets on my website to size its potential bottom-line benefits from aggressive sustainability-related strategies. They will find that if a typical company were to use best-practice sustainability approaches already being used by real companies, it could improve its profit by at least 51 to 81 percent within three to five years. The opportunity side of the business case is robust. Read More