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 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 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

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

3 Reasons I’m Excited about My New Website

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Ta dah! I am delighted to announce that my new website is ready for prime time. After months of ingenious design and coding work by a couple of very talented folks, Joanne Burgess and Andrew Gray, it looks fabulous. It has great graphics in the homepage slider, rotating graphics on other pages, it's generally easier to navigate and has a much cleaner look and feel. I love it. There are 3 aspects of the new site that will be of most interest to visitors. 1. It is now fully responsive on multiple devices Internet access by mobile devices is exploding, especially by smart phones. Several of my web pages did not display well on smaller devices, especially the blogs. So we have converted all of my years of blogs to a format that is mobile-device friendly, and reworked other web pages to be the same. Gorgeous. 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