In the mid-1970s Milton Friedman famously proclaimed that the only responsibly of business was to provide profits for its stakeholders.
Rather than being prescient, and like many other similar claims, Friedman simply described a cultural sentiment at its height and, in historical perspective, we now know the end of “unsustainable” was in sight.
Fast forward 2012 when we have two international tools flanking the “profit at all cost” mentality Read more
I wish sustainability was more difficult or more expensive to achieve than it actually is, then we might have an excuse for not doing too much about it.
But a couple of reports out recently, tell us otherwise.
Can You Say $3.7 Trillion?
First there is Mobilizing for a Resource Revolution (McKinsey, http://bit.ly/Apk5bL). The report explores coming resource scarcities as the estimated 3 billion new developing country middle class consumers enter the market by 2025. The story in a nutshell: demand for natural resources will soar and supply will dwindle.
The study identifies 15 areas of opportunity for improved resource productivity Read more
Read this blog to Counting Crows’ fantastic cover of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvtJPs8IDgU&ob=av2e
I have been in New York for the last week working on project to evaluate a United Nations’ global portfolio of investments in microfinance institutions.
Visitors to this city inevitably feel awed by its sheer, never ending pulsing-power. Even now when the economy is supposedly anemic, New York pumps, it seems, day and night.
I was fortunate enough to be there as the world approached the 7 billion world population mark. Fortunate because New York, no matter what you think of it, gives you a special perspective on the world: Gotham, ultra-mega metropolis, a lens to what much of the world might one day be. Other cities belong to this club too – Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Mexico City (nuestro cariño Mexico lindo), London, Johannesburg, Cairo, Beijing, Tokyo, Manila, Moscow, Hong Kong and more.
Don’t get me wrong, I love New York like no other city Read more
Sometime last year I sat through an outstanding presentation by an Investment Banker who said some simple things about what many believe to be a really complex topic: food and sustainability.
Over 30% of all food, he said, is wasted. That’s right. Over 30% wasted, unbelievable but sadly true (not to pour salt on anguish but it seems 30% wastage is roughly same for water and energy).
Over 30%, from field to fork! This is euphemistically called shrinkage by the industry and routinely applied in a passive voice. What a terrible and horridly understated term when juxtaposed against the environmental burden of food production and number of people in the world suffering from malnutrition (not to mention outright starvation).
Our response to such waste and sustainability issues in general is often overly complex. In the food business this tends to mean produce more food through biotech innovation, mono-cultural focused petrochemical-based farming techniques, or complex multi-stakeholder national rural development programmes. Read more