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Avoiding the Safe Road

At Davos last week former Mexican President Felipe Calderon did well to bring attention to the massive investment needed to green our global infrastructure. But despite the astonishing price tag he quoted – $14 trillion by 2030 – the vision fell far...

Posted February 2, 2013    

How Sustainability is Reinventing the Business Model

Do you remember when business was not only uncomplicated, but, dare I say, easy? You found customers with unmet needs, created a solution to those needs, and sold the product or service at a profit. Then you rinsed, washed, and repeated your way to...

Posted June 7, 2012    

Why Your Company Should Partner with Rivals

There’s a flawed belief that your only ‘friends’ in business are the enemies of your enemy. At one time, this axiom held true. But in today’s interdependent world, this flawed belief is proving a thorn in the balloon that would otherwise raise many...

Posted March 13, 2012    

Corporate Boards are Missing the Big Picture – and Potential Profits

This post will be published by The Christian Science Monitor next Monday, February 13. A board member of a Fortune 100 company proudly told me recently that he wouldn’t “spend a cent on Facebook.”  I asked if he meant he wouldn’t buy something...

Posted February 10, 2012    

Patagonia’s “Buy Less” Campaign May Lead to More Revenue

(Originally posted on via the Harvard Business Review) Patagonia has always behaved as a maverick company, and its concern for sustainability has led it to pursue a new initiative: it’s now actively encouraging consumers to buy less of Patagonia’s...

Posted October 11, 2011    

How Competitive Strategy Can Shape Corporate Sustainability

Sustainability’s impact on the competitive landscape is best tested and viewed through the lens of Michael Porter’s watershed Five Forces Model of Competition: suppliers, buyers, substitutes, new entrants, and industry rivalry.As my forthcoming...

Posted September 12, 2011    

Moving Beyond Zero-Sum Competition

The ferocious battle in Washington over the debt ceiling offers a clue as to how to attain a state of global sustainability. Republicans and Democrats locked horns in a battle over ideology. One side wanted to reduce US indebtedness by lowering...

Posted August 4, 2011    

Why You Shouldn’t Have a Sustainability Strategy

Last month I got a call from a VP of sustainability at a Global Fortune 500 company (let’s refer to her as ‘Ellen’ to protect the innocent).  This person had guided her company’s sustainability initiatives to early success. But her department...

Posted July 26, 2011    

A C.L.E.A.R. Approach to Connect Sustainability to Competitive Strategy: 5 Steps

Last week I was interviewed for a Fox Small Business Center article. The topic was sustainability management practices for small business owners. As we got into the heart of our conversation, it struck me that the approach small business owners...

Posted July 14, 2011    

Sustainability and Manufacturing Repatriation

Last week I had a drink with my father-in-law and a well connected colleague of his from China. My father-in-law runs a mid-market consumer package good company; his products are mainly manufactured in Asia. During our chat I started to wonder...

Posted June 24, 2011    

The Five Hallmarks of Sustainable Market Leaders

We all have people we admire. We examine their backgrounds or actions in the hope of replicating their success. Companies study objects of admiration too. They dedicate financial and human resources to studying other successful organizations....

Posted June 7, 2011    

You Are What Your Corporate Logo Says You Are

In the wake of the vigorous debate about the death of green marketing (and responses like this one and this one), it’s important to remember the powerful message corporations’ logos convey. For example, several years ago, a friend...

Posted May 31, 2011