For how long do we think we can continue the mental shell game of building economic success today based on externalizing the costs of critical natural inputs (water, air, carbon sequestration and so forth)?
Hannah Jones, VP of Sustainable Business and Innovation at Nike, had the most memorable lines among dozens of speakers at two recent conferences, the “Ceres Conference 2011: Igniting Innovation, Scaling Sustainability” and The Conference Board’s “Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability” gathering in Washington, DC
Flying back from Montana, as the snow-covered mountaintops merge with the clouds, I ponder the wide-ranging discussions, topics, and personalities at the International Wildlife Film Festival.It was deeply rewarding and humbling to accept our award on behalf of the whole team that made, marketed, and funded “Hope in a Changing Climate.”
Sandwiched between front-page headlines today in the New York Times--one on the approval of wind farms off the Massachusetts coast and the other on progress of the financial reform bill to reign in Wall Street excesses—was the story of the Gulf Coast oil slick. As a thematic collage of our moment, it was arresting in its depiction not only of the renewable energy economy emerging from the goo of the fossil fuel era, but also in the juxtaposition of old money and new.
Give or take a few hundred-thousand years, the period of greatest volcanic activity on planet earth occurred about 200,000,000 years ago and lasted for about 600,000 years. During this time, the Atlantic Ocean was formed. The first airplane flew along the shore of that ocean in 1903. And today, a volcanic eruption in Iceland has grounded some 28,000 airplanes across Europe, reminding us of how different human time is from either evolutionary or geologic time.
Viewed through the lens of a still camera – clicking off one shot after another – there are a host of discrete events worthy of attention in the week just past and the weeks ahead. Earth Day in the United States is around the corner on April 22. And World Water Day was on March 22. The cornerstones of World Environment Day on June 5 are Rwanda -- and Pittsburgh. Rwanda, of course, is home to the famed and rare mountain gorilla, while Pittsburgh is a mere 135 mile from Cleveland, where the Cuyahoga River was once so polluted that it actually caught fire in June 22, 1969, igniting the American environmental movement.
A letter festooned with stamps from Taiwan arrived at our offices last week, with a contribution from a group of mothers who had just screened “Hope in a Changing Climate” at a local school. The full story of this outpouring of support is told by Nicholas Chen, a new EEMP board member.
We needed an outside perspective on working with leading corporations and turned to Jonathan to assess our approach, refine our strategy, facilitate internal roll-out and help us execute. He helped us to think big, see new opportunities, reshape our communications and engage internal stakeholders. His counsel and ongoing support has been constructively provocative. Jonathan’s strategic thinking is keen and his facilitation skills are superior; he drills quickly to the underlying issues with a deft combination of determination and diplomacy.