Environment Forum

from The Great Debate:

For real results on climate, look beyond Copenhagen

-- Aron Cramer is the president and CEO of BSR, a global business network and consultancy focused on sustainability. He is also coauthor of the forthcoming book Sustainable Excellence (Rodale 2010). The views expressed are his own.  --

(Updated on December 17th to correct figure in McKinsey study in paragraph 7.)

As world leaders seem uncertain about whether a binding treaty is even possible at Copenhagen, it’s important to remember what was already clear: Twelve days in Copenhagen were never going to solve climate change anyway.

No doubt, these negotiations, now extending into 2010, are crucial. The sooner we can seal a global deal to reduce emissions, the sooner we can avoid catastrophic climate change. But as important as the treaty negotiations in Copenhagen’s Bella Centre are, even a successful outcome will be for naught if boardroom decisions and factory processes aren’t reoriented toward a low-carbon future.

To steer the world in that direction, business must change how it operates, with a shift of historic proportions. Otherwise—like the Kyoto Protocol of 1997—a new international climate agreement won’t achieve its goals.

Making this change requires business to focus on innovation, efficiency, mobilization, and collaboration—and that work must start now.

from Adam Pasick:

Nike, the albatross, and sustainable design

photo by Kris Krüg

A dead baby albatross is a tough act to follow.

Nike's Lorrie Vogel took the stage at Poptech this week to talk about the company's sustainable product design efforts.

Immediately preceding her was an devastating presentation from photographer Chris Jordan, who shared a series of photographs from Midway Atoll of baby albatrosses who had died from ingesting plastic from the massive Pacific Garbage Patch.

Conference organizer Andrew Zolli, visibly moved, asked for a moment of silence and then Vogel took the stage to talk about her efforts as general manager of Nike's Considered team.

Nike wins, restaurants lose on list of climate-friendly companies

nikeshoes.jpgCan the running shoes we buy really help protect the environment?

According to a new list by nonprofit group Climate Counts, Nike ranked first among the world’s most climate-friendly companies.

In its second annual report, Climate Counts ranked companies based on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support of global warming legislation, public disclosure of their efforts to address climate change, and whether they measure their impacts on the environment.

Nike ranked well in all those areas, garnering a score of 82 out of a possible 100 points. Stonyfield Farm, IBM, Unilever, Canon, General Electric, Toshiba, Procter & Gamble, Hewlett-Packard and Sony rounded out the list’s top 10.

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