Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Seminar Series on Sustainability

I developed a seminar series on incorporating sustainability into corporate strategy, for executives in the EPC / AEC, water resources, and environmental services & consulting industries. The course information has been developed as a result of on - going projects, as well as from benchmarking studies I have conducted with global EPC firms.

An 'executive summary' of this series will be presented to ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) on November 6th; see my previous post describing this presentation.

You can view the document describing the 'Sustainability Series' by clicking on the Slideshare button on the right. Or, you can click here; registration for viewing is required. Read more!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New column on SustainableMinds

My column titled "In the age of financial meltdown, does sustainability matter?" was recently published by SustainableMinds; link is here. Read more!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New articles published on TriplePundit and Celsias

TriplePundit recently published an article I wrote: "In the Age of Financial Meltdown, does Sustainability Matter?" (note the provocative title....)

Celsias also published a column of mine; this one is titled "Will Crisis Management drive Sustainability Adoption". Read more!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Green Tech Market Trends, from the American Climate Values Survey

I had a chance to attend a briefing by EcoAmerica, which sponsored the American Climate Values Survey (ACVS), concerning climate change. Psychographic research was conducted by SRI to fully understand what motivates the American public to act on global warming.

This briefing was conducted with the purpose of sharing messages, defining specific population segments, and provide positioning information to foundations and policy groups (and perhaps 'green' product & solution companies that wish to influence (or sell to) consumer and commercial populations).

One area of interest to me was the opportunities for green technologies to influence public perception and consequently, policy making. The ACVS revealed that GreenTech is viewed favorably by those individuals who are "Onboard" (aware and motivated to act) as well as those who are "Agnostic" (those who are aware but have not engaged or acted).

The positive messages for greentech are:

  • New source of jobs (very important given today's market climate)
  • Americans' hope for climate rescue without having to make significant lifestyle changes
  • Attraction to novel solutions

The ACVS also points out that greentech still requires 'dramatic' positioning (i.e. technology leadership, much lower costs and energy use, large economic benefit) to overcome any 'discounting' (the perception that greentech is accepted and expected).

While the 'high level' messages may not be new to those in the greentech business, I do think that the market segmentation, specific messaging themes, and strategies for overcoming global warming doubts (and associated greentech adoption) would be very valuable to greentech companies.

The ACVS is targeting foundations and policy groups to best utilize the results, but I would think that any company that seeks to launch a solution leveraging greentech would be very interested. Electric utilities, consumer product companies, retail, and professional services companies might benefit from review of the study and incorporation of key messages and themes.

Read more!

Friday, October 03, 2008

In the age of financial meltdown, does sustainability matter?

I was in the UK at a CIO workshop last week (post coming up), and missed a lot of the on -going maneuvering on the part of both political parties here in the US. It made me think about sustainability market drivers (again; yes, I need a life...), and whether we have turned the corner from sustainability as a 'vitamin' (nice to have), or an 'aspirin' (critical need).

Right now, I would guess that most people (consumers) and many corporations are focusing on very tactical and survival -based activities, such as cost control and risk / exposure management. Where sustainability programs are already established, there is probably little impact from the financial crisis, in terms of potential termination, cancellation, etc.

But where sustainability initiatives are being considered or reviewed, I would venture that many will be put on hold for the time being, as corporations sort through on - going programs and rank and prioritize those that are truly 'mission critical' for short term goals.

But there may be a silver lining.

One could say that the current populism will engender more awareness of social impacts associated with current and projected modes of doing business. That could feed into more interest in sustainability as the template of conducting business: doing what is right (do no evil?), taking care of your employees and those who are affected / involved in your business, and developing strategy & inititiaves for promoting long term viability.

Another potential benefit: whoever becomes president, there is no doubt (in my mind) that we are entering a new age of regulatory oversight. I believe that the 'wave' of rule - making for the financial markets will spill over to other industries / sectors, and will include new environmental and social metrics.

Some may see additional regulation as anathema to the overall concept of sustainability, but as I have posted before on crisis management (link), sustainability will not be adopted by the majority of corporations until such time that: they have to incorporate programs to be competitive; or, they have to comply with new regulations. Indeed, if you view the UK and Europe, sustainability adoption is due to stringent new rules in building design & construction, consumer product design, and waste recycling; all driving much more awareness (and acceptance) in the local populations.

There. Anybody feel better about the current mess we are in?
Read more!