What any business can learn from Green Business

After attending the Digital Technology for Sustainable Buildings symposium, sponsored by the Fifth Estate, and reading the State of Green Business in 2015 produced by Greenbiz.com, I learned about some of the current and emerging trends in the world of sustainable and green business. I found several of the concepts to be relevant to any business wishing to prosper in this modern world, and chose a few to share that are being well implemented already in the Green industry. Natural Capital Accounting The tragedy of the commons is upon us. Many existing business models are predicated on the assumption that vital, non-financial resources are in virtually limitless supply. In many cases however, business and market activities place an added burden on shared environments – such as pollution, depletion of resources or ill health effects – but are not reflected in the actual market price of the particular product. While this is not necessarily a new phenomenon, our growing global economy is approaching some limits that our ‘common’ environments cannot support. Natural Capital refers to the stock of resources and ecosystem services on which all companies depend for their success. It is often inaccurately valued and thus natural capital is often used […]

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Optimistic about Renewable Energy

I was interested to learn of Stanford professor Mark Jacobson and his work creating realistic plans for powering the United States on 100% renewable energy. His detailed models show how renewables can be scaled up to work for various regions around the country, with specific proposals to get California, Washington and New York states there by 2050. User friendly, interactive maps that show the basic structures for each state can be found here. Jacobson is a leading climate scientist and is known for his rather optimistic outlook, which I personally find refreshing. And so I was motivated to take a look at the current transition towards a greener energy supply, and to highlight some reasons to be encouraged by the direction that things seem to be going. I don’t want to sound naïve and simply ignore the immense challenges in achieving the visions such as Jacobson’s, but rather to take a moment to recognise that those visions may actually be within reach, and perhaps consider those challenges more as opportunities.

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