3 Videos About the Power of a Few

Sustainability issues can be overwhelming, depressing, and almost traumatizing. At times we may feel powerless to make a difference. In The Cult of Impotence: Selling the Myth of Powerlessness in the Global Economy, author Linda McQuaig provocatively suggests that helplessness is exactly what some large institutions want us to feel, so that they can get away with
solutions that are more in their interests than ours. She encourages us to take more personal responsibility for global sustainability challenges. The following three videos strongly support our capitalizing on our ripple effect. Read more

3 Videos about Innovating Our Way to a Sustainable Future

Our current business models, energy solutions, and transportation approaches are unsustainable. If we are to become a sustainable society, they must be changed. Change requires doing things differently—creatively inventing innovative ways to do things differently from how we are doing them today. Innovation gives us hope.

Here are three videos that give me hope about possible solutions to the energy and transportation dilemmas. To view these videos in full screen, click on the arrows in the bottom right corner of the video.    Please note that video 2 is only available for viewing by clicking on the title (The Renata Rail Public Transit System) of the video.  If you are receiving this blog post via email, click on the title of the video to view it
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3 Videos about the Climate Change Crises

When I reflect on the current corporate interest in sustainability, I am increasingly convinced that a root cause is global concern about climate change. Despite the best efforts of well-funded climate change deniers, people around the world believe the scientific evidence—we are in a climate change crisis.

Awareness of the climate emergency by customers, employees, and other important stakeholders is raising their expectations that companies will proactively reduce their carbon footprints and provide products and services that help mitigate the impacts of climate change. Here are three videos that support the urgency of the situation and suggest a way forward.
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4 Videos about Sustainable Business Models

Can a company that uses today’s business model actually become a sustainable enterprise? Or, do we need entrepreneurs to launch new companies—with new business models, purposes, and measures for success which align with sustainability principles? This can be an emotionally charged debate. Sometimes, viewing a video allows people to reflect on points of view put forward by spokespeople in the film and to refine their own perspectives accordingly.

Here are four videos that are helpful catalysts to the dialogue about corporate business models. They are intended to support the possibility of companies making the transformation to being sustainable enterprises.
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3 Videos about Our Unsustainable Economic Model

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Today’s business model demands continuous growth. It is designed to foster ever-higher levels of consumption of our increasingly scarce resources. It permits a company to externalize the costs of many of the social and environmental impacts of its operations and of its products’ usage. It limits a company’s liabilities for impacts for which it is, or should be, accountable. It almost requires companies to continue their race to the bottom and seek ever-cheaper sources of labor.

Three good videos illustrate why today’s economic model is unsustainable. To view these videos in full screen, click on the arrows in the bottom right corner of the video.  If you are receiving this blog post via email, click on the title of the video to view it.
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3 Videos about Global Society, Diversity, and Inequities

A picture is worth a thousand words; a video is worth a thousand pictures. As sustainability champions, it’s helpful to have a few short, crisp videos up our sleeves to help audiences understand whatever point we are making about sustainability strategies.

Here are three that remind us of the challenges we have with the social justice dimension of sustainability. Click on the arrow icon on the bottom right of each video to expand it to full screen.
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Volunteerism Energizes Employee Engagement

Employee volunteers are an important dimension of any company’s philanthropic efforts. When employees are engaged in a company’s social and environmental initiatives, people see that the company is more than a bank throwing money at random causes in an effort to buff up its image.

They see the company as made up of people who care about tough social and environmental issues. Its employees bring their talent, time, and energy to causes that they personally care about and which align with their company’s mission. Who would have thought that a surprise co-benefit of the company’s support for these projects is the volunteers’ higher level of engagement and productivity in the workplace?
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CSR Efforts Correlate with Employee Engagement

“People buy from people they trust.” That was a slogan we used in sales training at IBM. We used it to reinforce the human element of a customer-supplier transaction. No trust, no sale. There’s a similar dynamic in the relationship between employees and their companies.

If employees’ values resonate with their company’s values, and if they trust that their company genuinely cares about the same things they care about, then they are more energized and productive.  A company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts signal what it cares about. Their co-benefit is that they seem to increase employee engagement.
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CSR Efforts and Employee Engagement Drive Business Results

Wouldn’t it be great if we could show that companies which embrace corporate social responsibility (CSR) reap financial rewards? Sustainability champions armed with this information would be welcomed by business leaders seeking new ways to get the most from their companies’ resources and efforts. Fortunately, the links between CSR efforts, employee engagement, and business results are becoming clearer.
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The Sustainability-Enabled Business Value Chain

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In my September 21, 2010 blog, I synergized a generic business value chain. It’s based on several other models and frameworks, and represents the most important elements from each. Why would sustainability champions care? When selling sustainability strategies to business leaders who are preoccupied with ensuring that every link of their value chain is optimized, we need to meet them where they are.

We need to relate our propositions to their business priorities, and show them that our recommendations will help them beat their competitors. By showing how sustainability-related strategies are helpful to key elements in their current business model, we gain their support and accelerate their adoption of sustainability-based approaches. We make sustainability relevant.
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