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For centuries, humanity has focused on what Paul Hawken called the Take-Make-Waste model. Take what Nature has created in our Biosphere. Make what you want without regard to being a good Steward and replant to grow future resources. And last, but worst, create Waste that is not recycled nor repurposed.

This practice has last for millennia. It has crossed almost all cultures. It has been practiced in agrarian, as well as, industrial societies.  It has occurred in Communist countries with little or no environmental regulations, to Capitalistic societies who often push back on environmental regulations.

But what has the been the cost? That varies from region to region. The sort answer is the loss of the Biosphere that may not be replicated or recovered from poor practices. In a changing world economy, all resources are precious. Can we still embrace the Take-Make-Waste model? Read what is an example in China: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141218081008.htm

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I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey

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Sustainability is often described as a three legged stool: Economic, Environmental and Social. So, if Russia is reacquiring territories that were in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, how does that affect Sustainability that is based on Economic, Environmental and Social considerations? How will impact those agreement where Russia and US have collaborated for decades?

Russian incursion into the Ukraine is creating uncertainty and stress upon international relations that may very well last for decades. Geo-political rhetoric from EU, US and former Eastern Bloc countries are falling on deaf ears in Russia. Crimea is the treasure for the invasion and side liners are accusing Putin of antiquated Cold War tactics demonstrated  by incursions into Hungary and then Czechoslovakia.

Let’s move to the 21st century. Look how we have agreements that leverage the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service1:

•    In 1972, the United States and the Soviet Union signed an Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection
•    In 1994, the Agreement was renegotiated to replace the USSR with the Russian Federation as signatory.
•    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordinates implementation of nature conservation efforts under the Agreement in partnership with federal, state, local, non-governmental, Native and other partners.

From an environmental perspective, other agreements that utilize EPA’s main expertise with US-Russia include2:

•    Bilateral Presidential Commission Environment Working Group (EWG)
•    Bilateral Cooperation on Management of Legacy Waste
•    Bilateral Cooperation on Black Carbon Emissions in the Russian Arctic
•    Russian Arctic Research and Science
•    Global Methane Initiative

One issue, energy, is being raised by Sen. Lisa Murkowski to use oil and gas as a behavior changer for Putin. But, the consequences could be far reaching. If he is intransigent, as he has been in the past, EU and former Eastern Bloc countries could see near term energy shortages – during their winter months. Delivery time from US well heads to those countries are not established and replacement will delay much needed energy for heat and cooking usage.  As Sen. Murkowski insists; “We need to give them reason to move, and we also need to make sure the broader public comes along as well,” she said. “We need to recalibrate the thinking that America’s energy resources are a scarcity to where they are right now—an abundance.”3

Escalation of barriers and resurrecting old concerns and uncertainty may unravel countless agreements that were signed as common interests. The real uncertainty is how far will the West tolerate Russian aggression that includes violating international laws? Will Sustainability agreements be “deactivated” that impact economic, environmental and social bridges on both sides? From a EU and US perspective, it looks like a win-win end-game that mitigates Russia’s risk. From a former Eastern Block country and US perspective, it also looks like another win-win end-game that mitigates Russia’s risk and moves Western capitalism and Sustainability closer to the Russian border.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101462017

But with the “no agreement” meeting today, at what costs will both sides willing to go? US and EU allies may talk about banking and IMF constraints and there are talks about removing Russia from the G8 and G20.  There are also talks about restraining oligarchs from using there yachts in western ports and restrict travel by air.

So, when Stephen Covey said;  “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” Perhaps he would give the same advice to those diplomats who yield to brinkmanship, rather than working on real international relations.

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1 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for International Affairs web site
2 EPA web site
3 It’s time to export ‘abundance’ of US oil: Senator; CNBC, Published: Monday, 3 Mar 2014

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The 21st century will be Renaissance of Sustainability, it will be the convergence of science, engineering, art and understanding of nature.

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Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: https://www.createspace.com/4532590
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Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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“It isn’t just the low-hanging fruit we go after.” ~Ray C. Anderson
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I have read that the Chinese symbol for crisis is union of 2 characters. In Chinese, ”crisis” is an interesting word and is derived from DANGER and OPPORTUNITY.  Whether it is true may be debatable, but in any transformation, executives must be open to new ideas and wisely choose people who will be a catalysts for change. Sustainability is a new mindset.  This new mindset promotes ethics, promotes stewardship recognizing that our planet has limited resources, and ultimately promotes elimination of natural and man-made waste. Therefore, the danger is the reduction or eradication of our biosphere in the next 30 years or the opportunity to preserve our planet for this generations and future generations.

Ray C. Anderson was the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Interface, a global modular carpet company. He was also the first Sustainability pioneer who awakened to the fact that our business paradigms are based on a take-make-waste model. This model, created by Paul Hawkens, demonstrates how most businesses create revenue from poor business practices without considering any environmental impact and exploits society.  It rewards short-term performance without acknowledging long-term consequences.

As a pioneer and visionary, he recognized his short-sightedness and selected a team to help him transform his enterprise.  Anderson searched, not for one expert, but a team of experts to address his corporation’s needs (Dr. Michael Braungart, Bill McDonough, Paul Hawken, L. Hunter Lovins,  Amory Lovins, et al).  Each brought different experiences, different knowledge bases, different mindsets (e.g., architecture, law, environmentalists, chemistry, etc.), but each commonly promoted sustainable development. These team members are still thought as today’s thought leaders for transforming enterprises into new sustainability developed corporations.

In a recent LinkedIn discussion about “circular economy”, I made this comment: “The graphic is crisp, clean and tells an aspirational story, but I would have expected added thought / value from McKinsey. There are many models that have been developed over the last two decades and as you pointed out there are other references to a circular economy.”

The conversation did no reach a conclusion about the diagram, but my obvious problem with the diagram was twofold. First, it did not show how disruptive technology would be integrated tool formulating the solution for a  circular economy. Second, the ultimate goal for Sustainability is the elimination of wastes (e.g., emission: water, air, land). So why would landfills be noted?

McKinsey Global Institute discusses for “trend breakers” from the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century. In the 20th century, the great moderations (1980-2000) was based on demographics drove economic growth, capital was cheaper, resources were cheaper, government privatized and cut taxes, and each generation was better off than the previous. Trend breakers included: debt crisis, urbanization, aging and disruptive technologies (The term “disruptive technologies” was coined by Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen as the critical influence to innovation.)

As the Romans said; “Caveat emptor, Latin for ‘Let the buyer beware!’’ Be prepared and objective. Don’t accept web site “solutions” as the ultimate answer for your situation. In most cases, your environment is unique. Understand the basics and integrate your organizations strengths (e.g., commitment, change management, project management, LEED certified architects, IT specialists, etc.) to take advantage of opportunities and avoid the dangers. Be careful and understand what a diagram portrays, for it may not be the “silver bullet” you are looking for.

I would recommend reading Ray C. Anderson’s book, Mid-Course Correction, as I believe it laid out the foundation of Sustainability that is not too different today. When I taught a graduate class in Sustainability. I strongly recommended this reading to my students. Not only does Anderson identify areas of opportunity, but he visually represented an enterprise maturity model that could be overlaid in almost any enterprise. His vision and experience would be of interest to anyone who wants a better understanding of today’s consultants and their differing approaches.

My recommendation is to be educated about what Sustainability is. It is a shared value that considers business, environment and society. It is a long term mindset. It is best implemented by business, as government is often too slow and expensive to implement change. Include your stakeholders, for sharing sustainability objectives with your Customer, Supplier, etc., and it will ensure your corporate direction and provide them transparency as a tool for communication and negotiation.  (This approach was used as a mantra at Interface and leveraged by Walmart in its corporate transformation. All stakeholders need to be aware of the reasons for the transformation, its benefits and commitment by the company’s leadership.)

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Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: https://www.createspace.com/4532590
______________________________________

Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC

Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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“There’s an awful lot of talented people in this country and a lot of them put their own money into trying to break through. But because they haven’t got the knowledge or the business expertise to do it, they fail.” ~Steve Betts
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Originating from NSA and US military needs of analyzing a changing environment in today’s world, VUCA is a methodology that helps assess the environment. It is based on these four phases:

  • Volatility. The nature and dynamics of change, and the nature and speed of change forces and change catalysts.
  • Uncertainty. The lack of predictability, the prospects for surprise, and the sense of awareness and understanding of issues and events.
  • Complexity. The multiplex of forces, the confounding of issues and the chaos and confusion that surround an organization.
  • Ambiguity. The haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, and the mixed meanings of conditions; cause-and-effect confusion.

Understanding the VUCA World
September 16, 2013
Bob Johansen, of the Institute for the Future, with David Small, VP of Global Talent at McDonald’s Corporation, introduce the concept of the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) World, and the four strategies to counteract it.

Follow this link: http://www.cvdl.org/blog/understanding-vuca-world/
______________________________________

Building a bridge to benefits thumbnail

Owners, Executive and other Leaders are investigating a global world concerned about Sustainability, that type of understanding can be difficult to obtain. In early December 2013, I published my second book entitled “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. If you are interested in reading about the book or want to purchase copies today, here is the link to CreateSpace, an Amazon company, go to: https://www.createspace.com/4532590
______________________________________

Contact information and Services
A Certified Sustainability and Quality consultancy
•    Sustainability and Quality Consulting
•    Sustainability and Quality Workshops
•    Sustainability and Quality Speaking Engagements

Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Toll Free: (888) 743-3128
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com

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“Where would we be without salt?”  ~  Ralph Jarvis
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The world is changing even the basic needs are at stake such as food and water. Reduction or elimination of food production while demand increases for food could create a tragic scenario in the not too distant future. Top leadership in some countries are looking beyond such a cataclysmic scenario and making plans and solutions to prepare for food management.

For instance, China’s goal is to continue manufacturing finished goods, at big levels, will consume their available water and impact food production. So, this year China’s leadership addressed this water usage solution by simply making a deal to farm 3.0 million hectares (11, 583 square miles) of Ukrainian land over the span of half a century. But China is not alone:

2008
Egypt: bought 800.000 hectares from Uganda
UAE: bought 324.000 hectares from Pakistan
 
2009
South Korea: bought 690,000 hectares from Sudan
 
2010
Egypt: bought 427.000 hectares from Russia
Egypt: bought 400.000 hectares from Sudan

Source: King, Ritchie; Quartz, http://www.qz.com

Here is an article that would expand on these ideas: McKinsey article: Resource revolution

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Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Contact Information
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Blog: http://horizons.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/corporatesocialresponsibility/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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 “Usually, if you’re greening an industrial process, it means you’re turning waste into profit.”
~ Amory Lovins
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William McDonough, one the co-authors of Cradle-to-Cradle that is widely acknowledged a one of the most important environmental manifestos of our time, once said; “You don’t filter smokestacks or water. Instead, you put the filter in your head and design the problem out of existence.” Whether you are designing a new LEED building, designing an end-of-life process or simply integrating CSR into your Strategic Planning framework, the idea is the same; “you put the filter in your head and design the problem out of existence.”

The percentage of companies reporting a profit from their Sustainability efforts rose 23 percent last year, to 37 percent, according to the most recent global study by the MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG[1]).

The extent to which a company incorporates Sustainability concerns into its business model often correlates with its increase in profit, the survey found. For example, 50 percent of respondents said they profited by changing three or four business model elements to reflect more sustainable practices, while 60 percent said they profited by including Sustainability as a permanent fixture in their management agenda[2].

This is an excerpt of my new book “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. Publication date is scheduled for November 2013 and is planned to be available on Amazon. More to come …
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Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Contact Information
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Blog: http://horizons.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/corporatesocialresponsibility/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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Footnotes
[1] Kiron, David; Kruschwitz, Nina; Haanaes, Knut; Reeves, Martin and Goh, Eugene; Companies Profit From Embracing Sustainability; MIT Sloan Management Review; March 12, 2013
[2] Kiron, David; Kruschwitz, Nina; Haanaes, Knut; Reeves, Martin and Goh, Eugene; Ibid.

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The year 2050 is the usual target for global sustainable transformation. Here is an article that has a silver lining to those who plan ahead to anticipate actions to achieve a more efficient society.

$70 Trillion (via Environment News Service)

PARIS, France, July 15, 2013 (ENS) – Energy demand for urban transport is expected to double by 2050, but the latest report from the International Energy Agency sees potential savings of up to US$70 trillion through energy efficiency. “Energy efficiency…

(more…)

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“It’s difficult to believe that people are still starving in this country because food isn’t available.” ~ Ronald Reagan
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Food security is much different from food logistics. In the not to distant future, food will be a megaforce that impact countries around the world.  The world will appear very fragile with dramatic growth in world population, limits on water, exposure to environmental risks (including floods, droughts, wars, etc.) and potential for dramatic famine forecasts will rise similar to those 1960s.

But channels will change and include new requirements:

  • Not because food cannot be produced, but because food cannot be produced to meet population demand.
  • Food will be revised from traditional meats, fish, poultry and vegetables to include a wider source that will rely on insects and worms as protein becomes scarce.
  • Populations will grow dramatically along the coasts and will higher demands for food. Not all will be met from harvesting the ocean. Instead, cites will have to build high rise market for crop growth and raising other food needs.
  • Roof tops and undeveloped urban lots will serve as community garden areas for neighborhoods.
  • Use go genetically modified (GM) foods will be modified in a way that does not naturally occur. This method has been used genetically from one plant to another. But, future GM application may be used to increase resistance to herbicides, increase yield or increase nutrient content of food.

Here is a brief article that would expand on these ideas, courtesy of BBC News:
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130603-city-farms-to-feed-a-hungry-world

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Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Contact Information
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Blog: http://horizons.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/corporatesocialresponsibility/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”  ~ Galileo Galilei
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U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a small staff of 12 volunteer scientists who research Climate Change. They recently published another tome that questions their veracity. It also questions whether Climate Change is real, imagined, but essentially does not resolve that question at all. Its suggested (but unsubstantiated) impact on the environment, society and economic consequences is becoming an indicator for uncertainty rather than explaining real trends.

These assumptions and Climate Change is controversial since it is promoted by “beliefs” rather than measurable facts and metrics. The IPCC said; “scientists are 95% certain that humans are the “dominant cause” of global warming since the 1950s.” Although there is no change in temperature for the last 15 years, yet that anomaly is downplayed in the report.

Why the disparity? According to the scientists, it is due to the ongoing understanding of climate change. The report made significant adjustments from its previous reports. For example:

  • In the 2007 study, the temperature range for doubling CO2 in the atmosphere was 2.0C to 4.5C.
  • In the latest study,  the temperature range for doubling CO2 in the atmosphere was expanded  to 1.5C to 4.5C.

Apparently they needed to expand the range of temperature to “fit” their models? Although this is cynicism, increasing the range in temperatures and assumptions affect predictions of sea level rise that will proceed faster, ocean warming, and other areas where warming is projected to continue in all scenarios. Here are some other areas where recommendations from the IPCC impact scenarios:

  • Rising Sea Levels
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Heat Extremes
  • Lower agricultural yields
  • Risks to Human Support Systems
  • Non-linear impacts tipping elements

So, where is the reporting Transparency in the study? It is public, right. But shouldn’t the IPCC stand on the same level of scrutiny that corporations are encouraged to provide? It stands with “scientist’s belief” that man has created the problem of climate change, yet recent IPCC models do not explain man’s significance on Earth’s climate.

What be other explanations? Here are a few examples: volcanoes in the lithosphere or hydrosphere, recent earthquakes that created an island off the coast of Pakistan that is made of methane infused clays, possible thawing of the permafrost and possible underestimate of the sun’s influence, especially with the recent large solar flares.

Predicting the Climate Change of our planet is a huge undertaking. Given this rather “flexible” notion to Climate Change, based on a dozen volunteer scientist’s “beliefs” and opinions. Why would executives give any credence to Sustainability? Executives make decisions on facts. And according to other sources, there are other significant megaforces that executives would recognize as a threat to their bottom line.

IPCC has been a target for promoting their own agenda, not the science. I would have thought that criticism could be minimized if they took a recommendation from their organization, the United Nations. Both the UN Global Pact and CERES have principles for BUSINESS. Why doesn’t the UN have principles for CLIMATE CHANGE? My suggestion is to read and become more informed. Here are a couple of recent articles that also question the recent IPCC publication:

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“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”~ Stephen F. Covey
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a framework and encompasses not only what companies do with their profits, but also how they make them, effectively. It does not replace your Strategic Planning system, rather it should be integrated into your existing one to address new business opportunities. It goes beyond philanthropy and compliance and addresses how companies manage their economic, social, and environmental ramifications. CSR also addresses relationships in all key spheres of influence: corporate values, the workplace, the marketplace, the supply chain, the community, and the public policy realm.

CSR is a coordinated and structured approach for business, government and non-profit transformation. It is not a marketing campaign on a “green” product. It is not only a facility’s managers duty, process or procedure. It is not only a Public Relations, Human Resource or Procurement job. It is not only about philanthropy for non-profit organizations. It is not only about community involvement like building a playground for your local park. Rather it is a framework that focuses a lens on the tangible benefits that can be garnered from Sustainability and how company’s work within the sphere of the community. Businesses responsibilities and their roles, throughout the industrialized world, have seen a sharp escalation in the social roles corporations are expected to play.

CSR is also a long-term commitment based on an honest strategic effort, results, best practices and driven by transparency to the public. It is interwoven with business strategies and engages with external organizations. It is about measurable transformation, internally and externally, that extracts tangible benefits. Sustainability is more than platitudes and recycling efforts, for recycling is a beginning. It should be able to show financial benefits directly relating to waste reduction, conservation, improvement of internal processes and engagement with externalities (i.e., NGOs, Governments, Customers, Suppliers, etc.).

This is an excerpt of my new book “Building a Bridge to Benefits”. Publication date is scheduled for November 2013 and is planned to be available on Amazon. More to come …
_____________________________________________________________________
Jarvis Business Solutions, LLC
Contact Information
Email: Ralph.Jarvis@JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Blog: http://horizons.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
Web site: http://www.JarvisBusinessSolutions.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/corporatesocialresponsibility/

Lead Smart, Endless Opportunities when Sustainability is driven by Lean Six Sigma
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