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Overheard at GreenBiz16 – Day 2
Overheard at GreenBiz16 – Day 2

Overheard at GreenBiz16 – Day 2

hike-rapport

Day 2 here at GreenBiz16   It started off with a sunrise hike up Camel Back Mountain.  Then back to the event for another full day of thought -leadership and bumping into old friends from ColeHaan, Staples and the Rainforest Alliance.  Tons of new friends were made from Optoro, The Sustainability Consortium and more. Here’s some of what we heard today.

“THERE IS NO END OF LIFE.  JUST END OF USE, NEED OR WANT.” – JOEL MAKOWER

Joel was lamenting about the end of a product cycle – when it ceases to be used for its original purpose, commonly called end of life.  He made a nice distinction that usually, its life is not over, just its usefulness to us.

 “THE MOVEMENT BACK OF PRODUCTS (FROM CONSUMER TO COMPANY) NEEDS GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION (POLICY) OR MARKET INTERVENTION (INCENTIVES).” – DOW CHEMICAL

Dow is doing some amazing things, like launching ESII with The Nature Conservancy, a free Ecosystem Services Identification & Inventory Tool, that lets people understand the benefits that nature provides and incorporate the value of nature into decision making.  They use this in their facility planning and remediation projects with a goal of delivering $1B in natural capital by 2025.  Check out the tool here.

Cool, but I think the quote above, misses the business opportunity in culture change.

Speaking about large environmental data sets….“BIG DATA IS LIKE THE INTERNET WITHOUT SEARCH” – THE EARTH GENOME

Supply chains are fractal.  We know that one man’s scope 1 is another man’s scope 3.  We can map these complex systems and help companies make sense and decisions by analyzing the data.

“NOTIONS OF THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY LET YOU SEE AREAS WHERE YOUR BUSINESS IS NOT OFFERING VALUE.” – STEEL CASE

I love this notion.  Steel Case looks at the Circular Economy as a new lens to understand where they are adding value, not just adding/reducing waste.  This is what leadership looks like.

“THE PROBLEM WE ARE NOW FACING IS ABOUT RE-WIRING OUR SUPPLY CHAIN.” – WALMART

If the Circular Economy is to be real, what role will your supply chains play?  And why won’t they give you data?  

“WE LOOKED AT OUR FOOPTPRINT AND REALIZED THAT 90% OF IT WAS IN OUR SUPPLY CHAIN.” – SEALED AIR (INVENTORS OF BUBBLE WRAP)

Imagine a company who publishes a sustainability report but only addresses 10% of their impact.  At best, it is a failed and incomplete report.  At worst, it is an obfuscation of what is real.  Sealed Air recognized this and partnered with the World Wildlife Federation to do something about it.

“A 2% REDUCTION IN GHG IS LIKE DRIVING A CAR TOWARDS A CLIFF AT 50MPH AND ARGUING THAT WE SHOULD REDUCE OUR SPEED TO 40MPH.  DRAWDOWN IS ABOUT STOPPING THE CAR AND GOING THE OTHER WAY”  – PAUL HAWKEN

Paul Hawken’s new Project Drawdown makes the argument that 2% is not a goal.  Nor will it work.  The time has come for carbon drawdown.  The new coalition-led project catalogues 100 strategies that work to do this.  How broad are the solutions?  Well…including educating women in developing nations is one of them.  Damn cool.

A few more from Hawken just because…

“LOW CABON ECONOMY IS THE WRONG WAY TO THINK ABOUT IT.  WE WANT HIGH CARBON. WE WANT ALL THE CARBON HERE IN THE EARTH, NOT UP IN THE SKY.  WE ARE CARBON BASED CREATURES WE NEED IT HERE, NOT OUT THERE.” – PAUL HAWKEN

He’s right.  Language matters.  We think of carbon as something to remove, but instead it is something we need to cling to.

And while Mr. Hawken started out tame, spelling out S-H -*- T, he soon lost patience for formalities and when asked if he was hopeful for the future, he mic dropped this beaut:

“HOPE IS THE MASK OF FEAR.  FUCK HOPE.  WE NEED TO BE FEARLESS” – PAUL HAWKEN

Oh, one more thing, go read this article in Rolling Stone from 2012. Email Me john [at] rapport.io to talk about it.


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