Can Business Evolve In A Green World?

July 27
Thomas Friedman
What would happen if you cross-bred J. R. Ewing of “Dallas” and Carl Pope, the head of the Sierra Club? You’d get T. Boone Pickens. What would happen if you cross-bred Henry Ford and Yitzhak Rabin? You’d get Shai Agassi. And what would happen if you put together T. Boone Pickens, the green billionaire Texas oilman now obsessed with wind power, and Shai Agassi, the Jewish Henry Ford now obsessed with making Israel the world’s leader in electric cars?
The only good thing to come from soaring oil prices is that they have spurred innovator/investors, successful in other fields, to move into clean energy with a mad-as-hell, can-do ambition to replace oil with renewable power. Two of the most interesting of these new clean electron wildcatters are Boone and Shai. Read column
April 29
Gore investment body closes $683m fund
By Fiona Harvey in London
The investment vehicle headed by Al Gore has closed a new $683m fund to invest in early-stage environmental companies and has mounted a robust defence of green investing.
The Climate Solutions Fund will be one of the biggest in the growing market for investment funds with an environmental slant.
February 14/15
Investors at UN forum vow to bet big on green energy
Hundreds of business leaders representing large institutional investors pledged $10 billion over the next two years in support of green technologies at a conference at the United Nations Thursday. Officials at the meeting — which was organized partly by the UN Foundation, Ceres and the UN Fund for International Partnerships — said green investments can be good both for the world and for the bottom line.
Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres’ investor coalition said it would illustrate how the marketplace is starting to transform.”Investors will be looking at clean energy opportunities, including energy efficiency, as Wall Street wakes up to the scale of the climate challenge and what actions it will require.”
Tim Wirth, president of the U.N. Foundation and former Democratic senator from Colorado, said the next 50 years would bring a unique chance to adopt energy sources that emit less carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases. He said that shift would prove to be “as important as the computer revolution in generating new wealth and jobs.”
The Washington Times/Associated Press (2/15) , Reuters (2/14)
Can Business Evolve In A Green World?
(Investopedia 2007) The way investors value companies is changing, evolving into a model that takes into account not only sales, profits and dividends but also long-term environmental and social costs. Phrases like “going green”, “eco-friendly” and “sustainable practices” are moving from fringe buzzwords to the forefront of the investor lexicon.
This article will first examine the roots of this problem, and then it will explore how the world is changing and how business will evolve to thrive in its new green environment. …
Some companies will be leading the charge (whether for image or substance) even doing things aren’t immediately profitable in the short term; others will be happy to wait on the sidelines until they are forced to change, either through taxation or regulation. When the future inevitably becomes the here and now, companies who arrive late to the game not only risk higher than anticipated costs, they also risk falling behind their competitors in knowledge and shareholder image.
Perhaps most importantly, new industries will emerge, and new markets and commodities will be formed. Both society as a whole and the markets will determine the true long-term costs of environmental damage and sustainable economic systems.
To continue reading on this subject, see Go Green With Socially Responsible Investing.
June 2007
Sierra Club, United Steelworkers Announce ‘Blue-Green Alliance’
Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Safer World Cited as Uniting Principles

Washington, DC-The United Steelworkers (USW), North America’s largest private sector manufacturing union with 850,000 members, and the Sierra Club, the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization with 750,000 members, announced today the formation of a strategic alliance to pursue a joint public policy agenda under the banner of Good Jobs, A Clean Environment, and A Safer World.
February 20, 2007
Economist says you can be green and still grow
Much cheaper to act on climate change than to ignore it, business leaders told

MIKE DE SOUZA, CanWest News Service
Former World Bank chief economist Sir Nicholas Stern yesterday poured cold water on the Harper government’s recent suggestions that aggressive action to fight global warming would cause an economic collapse.
In his first visit to Canada since publishing a 700-page report that made international headlines last fall with its warnings the world could face an economic catastrophe similar to the Great Depression by ignoring the threat of climate change, Stern urged a lunchtime business crowd not to get stuck in a dead end.
“So you have your choice now,” Stern said in a speech to the Economic Club of Toronto.
“You can be absurd and reject the science; you can be reckless and say we can adapt to whatever happens; or you can be unethical and disregard the future, simply because it’s in the future.”
Stern has calculated, in his economic report commissioned by the British government, that the costs of taking action are five to 20 times less than the cost of doing nothing to fight climate change.
“Canada (has a) history as a nation which has real skills in natural resources development, or great skills in agriculture. I think that, as well, the cost (is) the kind that you can absorb and continue to grow,” Stern said.
The remarks earned praise from Clive Mather, president and CEO of Shell Canada, which co-sponsored the event.
“Growth is for sure,” said Mather, who has supported the international Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
“The issue is: On what basis do we grow. Do we grow low-carbon, or do we carry on as usual? And I think, as Nick Stern (explained), carrying on as usual carries enormous risks.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Environment Minister John Baird have insisted the government takes the threat of climate change seriously, and they are determined to act, but they have repeatedly warned that meeting Canada’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, as required under the Kyoto Protocol, would devastate the economy.

One Comment on "Can Business Evolve In A Green World?"

  1. Diana Thébaud Nicholson July 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm ·

    Texas Grid Owners Join Forces to Build Wind Lines
    (Reuters/Planet Ark) HOUSTON – Several Texas transmission owners have formed a consortium to build the US$5 billion in new power lines to take advantage of the state’s abundant wind generation, the companies said in a regulatory filing Thursday.

Comments are now closed for this article.