Environment Forum

Blue business washes in

Adam Werbach poses at the University Club of Toronto, November 11, 2009. REUTERS/Jillian Kitchener

Adam Werbach poses at the University Club of Toronto, November 11, 2009. REUTERS/Jillian Kitchener

Green is good and blue is better.

Keeping a business sustainable – or blue – goes beyond philanthropic nods to the environment. It needs to be a core business goal, says Adam Werbach, creator of Wal-Mart’s sustainability program and chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi S, the sustainability wing of the marketing and consultancy company.

Blue innovation embraces the social, cultural, and economic aspects of business along with green issues like protecting our last wild places and reducing carbon emissions.

“Sustainability is about long-term profitability. It doesn’t mean just the environment,” Werbach told a room of 100 business professionals in Toronto on Wednesday, pointing to the four-part breakdown of sustainability built on social, economic, cultural and environmental trends in addition to an integral value of transparency.

“The idea is to think a little bit broader. Of course we need to protect the environment, but there are so many other things to connect to it,” Werbach said, exploring a theme in his new book Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto.

A Nightmare on Auto Street: Big boxes

When it comes to competition in the auto business, it’s the unknown that keeps the top U.S. Honda executive, John Mendel, up at night.

Mendel, speaking to the Reuters Auto Summit in Detroit, said he is always concerned about the conventional competitors. But what he is really afraid of is a company that “changes the game.”

“What keeps me up regarding new competition is someone significantly changing the game,” Mendel said.

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