Wednesday, September 27, 2006 The social entrepreneur, Bigger Game Player (and Funder!) - Bill Drayton The social entrepreneur: Bill Drayton

Not a new article - but new to me! I love this idea of social entrepreneurs - defined by Bill Drayton as "individuals who combine the pragmatic and results-oriented methods of a business entrepreneur with the goals of a social reformer. It gives me great hope that folks like Bill Drayton exist. Here's what he's up to according to US News:

"Through his global nonprofit, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, based in Arlington, Va., Drayton aims to find change-making leaders around the world, provide them with support and modest "social venture capital," and watch as they transform ingrained institutions and improve lives exponentially."

This is so very much in alignment with one of my favorite companies - The Bigger Game Company. Clearly, Bill Drayton is enabling social entrepreneurs to play Bigger Games, and as he plays his own...

Where there's a will, there's a way....

Saturday, September 23, 2006

GreenBiz News | BP Launches Climate Neutral Driving for U.K. Drivers

GreenBiz News BP Launches Climate Neutral Driving for U.K. Drivers

Interesting. My initial reaction is a bit of disbelief that contributing $38 per year will truly offset the carbon released by a car driven 10,000 miles annually. I'll need to do a bit more reading. While better than nothing, I get a bit concerned that this could remove driver's guilt, and not REALLY fix the problem. - Branson pledges $3B to fight climate change - Sep 21, 2006 - Branson pledges $3B to fight climate change - Sep 21, 2006

I'm in awe, really. Yes, I know he has the money. That's not the point. He is doing something really important with that money. Thank you Richard. Who will step up next?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ethical Corporation: Columnists - Green business - Creating the climate for change

Ethical Corporation: Columnists - Green business - Creating the climate for change

An interesting perspective from Mallen Baker in the UK for Ethical Corporation Magazine. "An Inconvenient Truth" just came out in the UK. Interesting to me was his perspective and frustration that so much of the film was dedicated to the lengthy rebuttal of climate skeptics. Apparently that skepticism is a "distinctively US" dabate. Bottom line - it's time for individuals, governments and corporations to take action!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ethical Corporation: By Invitation - Innovation, competitiveness and responsibility - The new frontier of corporate responsibility

Ethical Corporation: Innovation, competitiveness and responsibility - The new frontier of corporate responsibility

In a must-read article on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and innovation from Ethical Corporation Magazine, a distinction is drawn between "Value Protection", and "Value Creation".

"Value Protection" activities are described in the article as "corporate responsibility to protect the value of the existing assets of the firm. "

From the article "For example, oil and energy companies can reduce their environmental burden, while still exploring, transporting and selling oil and energy products, which ultimately damage the environment through carbon dioxide release. "

An even greater call for Innovation is required for "Value Creation". Here's where it gets really intriguing and compelling to me - this is what IBMer's call "Innovation that Matters to the World". It requires not only product of process innovation, but oftentimes business model innovation. In other words, "Value Creation" might change much about the way a business interacts in the world, and earns shareholder returns.

The article is worth a reading as a whole. Here is a snippet:

"Innovation here means new products and services that are adopted by users and consumers enabling companies to compete by creating and supplying new markets that replace existing, less sustainable markets and patterns of production and consumption.

In this sense corporate responsibility takes the form of value creation, by providing the ground for companies to generate a new basis for value.

The challenge of innovation for sustainable development is that it is not an easy process. It requires products and services based on new technologies, often embedded in new business models, and altered social institutions and patterns of use.

To create these technologies and to support their embedding in society and institutions, companies need to undertake co-operative action with other producers, with consumers and other stakeholders in order to ensure that those innovations are more responsible than past ones and as a way to promote their rapid adoption."

In my opinion, as a business person, I see a need for both value protection and value creation. Strategically, I would like to see corporations look at "the greatest good" and "the greatest harm" they can create in the world, and to eliminate the harm, to become truly sustainable with net zero impact on the environment. However, we need to also look at what can be done tactically NOW to become more responsible, to our employees, stockholders and stakeholders (including future generations, who need a clean planet).

For an interesting read that is in alignment with the "Value Creation" model, check out Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. You might want to google them too... lots to explore here. Innovation that Matters....

Zero net energy building project recruits nine more international companies

Zero net energy building project recruits nine more international companies

Interesting project with backing from some large corporations, including United Technology Corporation and Dupont. For my fellow IBMer's, IBM is a new member of the WBCSD, but not yet signed up for this initiative. Still, to me this constitutes Innovation that Matters to the World in a very big way. Unfortunately, it is only a study, and the recommendations will be coming out in 3 years. We need them today!

Here's the first part of the announcement from the web:

Geneva, 5 September, 2006 - The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) announced today that nine more multinationals have joined the Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB) project. The EEB will map out the necessary changes to achieve a world in which buildings consume zero net energy. The three year project will identify how to demolish barriers, transform attitudes and change the business climate. It will conclude in 2009 with a call to action to all those involved in buildings and energy use.
"Buildings today represent one-third of the world's energy demand, and energy consumption is expected to grow by an additional 45 percent by 2025,"...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Walmart - The green machine - August 7, 2006

The green machine - August 7, 2006. Wal-Mart is going green. Or at least green"er". This comprehensive article tells the 2+ year story that has already led to some pretty impressive changes at Wal-Mart. While some are still actively debating CEO Lee Scott's real motives, I want to believe that he is starting to drink the kool-aid, or rather, the organic milk. He has certainly invested heavily in this green initiative. Now, if he would just start thinking about the sustainability of his employees - and their healthcare needs... but that's another topic.

I am actually considering going back into Wal-Mart to look for organic cotton clothing...

This is getting lots of interesting press and blogging. To read more - google Wal-Mart green.

Regardless of whether you believe that this green initiative is profit-driven, or based on a true caring for the environment, the impact to the environment will be positive. And Wal-Mart is a very interesting communication and interaction channel to middle-America, a population that in many cases is simply not aware of the environmental issues we face... Will Wal-Mart wake them up? I can only hope for the best...