Green business

A new era of innovation for a resource-depleted world

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

It is green, dense and surprisingly light. Fitting perfectly in the palm of my hand, it leaves a light, oily residue on my skin. It is fragrant (just a touch of soft, alluring smell) and textured (it looks like thousands of little worms squished together). It goes against everything we are taught by conventional strategy theory. And it is an amazingly powerful symbol of the new era dawning.

Take a close look. A soap bar? A spinach hamburger? A sponge? Some sort of energy tablet? An eco-macaroon? A new-age vitamin pill? A breakthrough detergent? Before you is the equivalent of not one, not two, but three bottles of shampoo — all squished into one solid bar. Well, this is one heck of a value-driven innovation.

A glimpse into our 2030 waste-free world

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Earth’s resources are unsustainable at current rates of consumption. By 2030, humans will require the equivalent resources of two Earths in order to maintain current lifestyles. Between now and then, society progressively will feel the pain of not having necessary resources and paying more for those that are still available. It’s clear that the world won’t be the same.

Part of the problem with addressing climate change is that the topic is so complex. For many of us today, it is difficult to understand that we all have a role in addressing the issue. But I believe that over the next 10 to 15 years, cutting carbon emissions will become “the norm” — a widespread activity among individuals, organizations and nations.

How do we change cultural norms? Let’s turn to a familiar example: smoking. Here’s a snapshot of what things looked like just 50 years ago:

Two Forces Moving Business Closer to Climate Action

Read the full post from the HBR Blog Network.

This week, CEOs and world leaders met at the UN to talk climate. In the run-up to these high-level talks, many companies and some relatively new voices from the business community have been sounding both the alarm and the rallying cry for action. At the same time, the cost of renewable energy has dropped very far, very fast. It’s a perfect storm bringing us to two important tipping points: one of belief and commitment to action, and one of economics.

But there’s still a major disconnect happening in one other area: the relationship between business and citizen consumers.

We Don’t Have to Ditch Capitalism to Fight Climate Change

Read the full post from the HBR Blog Network.

The risk of climate change is real, immediate, and very serious. If the vast majority of the doctors I consulted told me that consuming copious amounts of butter significantly increased my risk of a heart attack, I would take out a little “insurance” and cut back on my butter consumption. It is of course possible that the 95%+ of scientists who have explored the topic and the National Scientific Academies of every major nation are mistaken, and that the uncontrolled emissions of greenhouse gases pose no risk of destabilizing the climate. Personally, I hope so. But I don’t think it makes any sense to gamble that this is the case.

Our world and our economy need to face the risks of uncontrolled climate change — the sooner the better.

Yet, the publication of Naomi Klein’s new book This Changes Everything earlier this month and the claim by many of the marchers at this Saturday’s climate march that “Capitalism is the enemy” raises another risk: that in our struggle to address climate change we will turn on the wrong enemy. I’m in complete agreement with Ms. Klein that as a society we should be doing something about climate change, and doing it at scale. But the first step isn’t to dismantle capitalism.

In fact, we know how to address the problem of climate change, and it doesn’t require ditching the market economy. Instead, it relies on harnessing it.

GE, Nike, BoA Cut from 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Read the full story in Triple Pundit.

In its annual review, S&P Dow Jones Indices deleted 46 companies from the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the largest deletions — by free-float market capitalization — included Bank of America, General Electric and Schlumberger. Other large companies cut from list were McDonald’s, Starbucks and Nike.

The three largest companies added (among 32 total) to the list were: Amgen Inc., Commonwealth Bank of Australia and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

How leaders from Apple to ZDHC are opening up on chemicals

Read the full story GreenBiz.

What chemicals are in the products you sell? It should be the simplest of questions, but all too often, it’s incredibly difficult for companies to obtain information about the chemicals in their products, let alone in their packaging and supply chains.

The fact that chemicals are the foundation of every product — from beauty and personal care products to cell phones and couches — presents significant management challenges for the vast majority of businesses that do not know the chemicals in their products or supply chains, do not understand the hazards of those chemicals and do not know the availability of safer alternatives.

But ignorance or the response that “it meets all regulations” is no longer tenable, and presents very real business risks. Regulatory compliance to chemicals in products and supply chains is merely baseline performance. Increasingly, brands and retailers are the ones whose reputations are at risk when toxic chemicals are found in their products and in their stores.

Hacking the way to 7 stages of eco-innovation

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Eco-innovation is the practice of developing and shaping ideas into useful forms to create business value and benefit the environment at the same time. Eco-innovating with apps also bolsters brand awareness, engagement and optimization.

Modeled after successful eco-friendly app development programs in New York City and San Diego, the NTx Apps Challenge generates software-based solutions to make North Texas more livable and sustainable. The three-month app development competition — the first of its scale in Texas — covers five major verticals: water, waste, energy, transportation and the Internet of Things.

In this techy subculture, I discovered a gateway to unraveling the mysterious process of innovation. Here are some insights gleaned from project managers, developers and marketers into the universal method by which teams bring great ideas to life.