One year ago, I became
the publisher of green@work magazine—reason enough to pause
for reflection; reason enough to report not only what g@w has accomplished,
but what it plans to do in the year ahead.
The magazine has come a long way since its inception seven years
ago. From the beginning, g@w has tried to provide its readers with
essential literacy on environmental and social sustainability in
the business context. Each issue has delivered insightful coverage
of the latest in corporate sustainability, and previews of what’s
on the horizon. g@w has covered corporate responsibility from a
positive point of view, relating best practices and demonstrating
the growing business case for green strategies.
I have learned over the past year that sustainability’s central
problem is the question of whether the human life-support system
on Earth can continue indefinitely. For this to occur, business
emphasis must be placed on opportunities rather than philanthropy.
Or in other words, sustainable development is about business, not
philanthropy. Sustaining ecosystems is therefore fundamental to
sustaining economic growth.
On a global level, the World Bank estimated that in 2003, environmental
pollution and ecological damage reduced the world’s total
GDP by 15 percent. By 2010, declining ecosystems could mean increased
costs for companies that rely directly and indirectly on these
Business cannot function if ecosystems and the services they deliver—water,
biodiversity, fiber, food, climate—are degraded or out of
balance. Sustainability is becoming a fundamental principle of
sound management. Sustainable development must be an integral part
of a company’s core business. That is where g@w comes in.
Identifying sustainable opportunities requires new ways of thinking,
and a deep understanding of social and environmental issues as
well as economic ones. Hopefully you consider g@w an expert partner
in providing you with intensive research, reports on innovative
technologies and articles regarding new kinds of business models.
g@w offers a second opinion from a third-party perspective.
The idea of business as a positive force is certainly not widespread.
Henry Ford, a pioneer of his time, is often seen as the godfather
of genuine corporate responsibility because his focus was primarily
on the product and the benefits it would create—with the
profit being generated as a result. Ford’s philosophy is
not as common as it should be. It is important for business to
enter the debate and provide the public with a realistic picture
of what it is already doing, and what it wants to do in the future.
Sustainability is increasingly equated with good business. Business
needs to act on this huge opportunity called climate change. In
the not-too-distant future, company bottom lines will include the
three pillars of sustainable development: economic, environmental
Groundbreaking Projects: New This Year
g@w has launched a newsletter called America’s Greenhouse,
which reports on renewable energy and the environment. It will
feature groundbreaking ideas generated
by innovative minds. These ideas are paying enormous dividends
and improving the lives and livelihoods of generations of Americans.
With about 5 percent of the world’s population, the United
States employs nearly one-third of all scientists and engineers,
and accounts for one-third of global R&D spending. As the global
marketplace changes, we must focus on maintaining our leadership
Among renewable energy technologies, the shares in global funding
of biomass, solar photovoltaic and wind have increased, while other
technologies have declined. This reflects the evolving consensus
concerning where the greatest potential lies. With extensive research
and in-depth reporting in both the public and private sectors,
America’s Greenhouse will be a valuable resource to ensure
that America will lead the world in opportunity and innovation
for decades to come.
White Paper: g@w is proud to report that it has published its first
white paper: “Renewable Energy and the Environment, The Market
Solution.” In America, the debate about climate change is
shifting from scientific data to business-speak. A new Yale University
research survey reveals that while Americans are deeply divided
on many issues, they overwhelmingly believe that the United States
is too dependent on imported oil. The survey shows that a vast
majority of the public also wants to see government action to develop
new “clean” energy sources, including solar and wind
power, as well as hydrogen cars.
The return on investment for energy efficiency projects is estimated
at 20 to 40 percent. Not surprisingly, North American venture capitalists
invest more than $1.6 billion in clean technology companies each
year. They hope to capitalize on the growing worldwide demand for
energy during a time of rising energy costs. To remain competitive,
the United States’ global primacy depends in large part on
its ability to develop new technologies and industries faster than
anyone else. To keep its privileged position in the world, the
United States must foster technological entrepreneurship at home.
The country’s future depends on whether it can maintain and
improve its environment for sustainable technological innovation.
GreenPhilanthropy.com blog: Green Philanthropy is edited by Dennis
Walsh and offers thoughts, ideas and opinions from a “thinker.” Dennis
is a social entrepreneur with a committed vision and inexhaustible
determination to persist. Nonprofit social entrepreneurs are stepping
in to solve problems where bureaucracies have failed, and these
social entrepreneurs have been gaining media attention and capturing
the public’s imagination.
This blog discusses how good people are helping the planet, and
shares interesting short stories about companies that are doing
business without doing harm. Identifying opportunities to solve
large- and small-scale social problems, Green Philanthropy is a
significant trendsetter in today’s nonprofit world. There
are different notions regarding what constitutes sustainability
and success; if you’re creative, you may want to log in and
express your own opinion on corporate green philanthropy.
MBA:pub Express: What business entrepreneurs are to the economy,
social entrepreneurs are to social change. Aspiring to serve as
a combination of strategic advisor, executive coach, consultant
and change agent, MBA:pub Express has the goal of helping great
leaders build stronger, more effective, more enduring organizations.
The most powerful force for change in the world is a new idea in
the hands of a leading social entrepreneur.
Sustainability Awards: For businesses that have demonstrated a
commitment to sustainable development, g@w proudly recognizes outstanding
achievement. The fundamental reason for these awards is to demonstrate
that the businesses that will be sustainably successful into the
21st century will be those that find business opportunities in
tackling the world’s big issues—including development
and the environment. The Sustainability Awards will be presented
for the first time next year by a panel of recognized experts in
the field. Of course, all finalists will receive nationwide media
coverage through g@w.