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Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

On January 31, 1865 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. It abolished slavery in America with the statement that read; “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Prior to that time, Britain abolished slavery throughout the British Empire with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 and the French colonies abolished it in 1848.

In the 21st Century, with focus on brand reputation and transparency, we are beginning to recognize injustices and social issues that have been ignored for decades or centuries. Ethical values of any corporation becomes the drivers for all employees. And if the corporation extends beyond the territorial boundaries of their corporate headquarters, what those values mean need to clearly be communicated and embraced in host country affiliates, too.

Unfortunately, many companies are still accepting these practices through their supply chains. The acceptance of slavery, child labor and other labor issues are becoming visible to organizations as Apple, HP and Cisco.  However, some of these multinational corporations are beginning to enact policies of change while other contemporary companies are still ignoring controversies relating to employee grievances or treatment solely for economic purpose, not humanitarian.

As the article indicates: “Obtaining reliable estimates of the extent of the problem of modern slavery is only the first step in eradicating it. Modern slavery will only end after the systematic causes and consequences of the problem are dealt with. First, victims must be identified and get the support they need to leave their situation. Criminal justice mechanisms need to be reinforced and coordinated to successfully prosecute perpetrators. Global supply chains need to be carefully monitored to avoid labor abuses by contractors and subcontractors.

Through its global surveys, Gallup will continue to partner with Walk Free in its mission to give a voice to the millions of people enslaved around the world.”

http://www.gallup.com/poll/179459/million-adults-children-slavery-worldwide.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_content=morelink&utm_campaign=syndication

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“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”  ~ Albert Einstein
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Decisions from executives often set the stage for “next steps” for competitors and advisories from other external sources (i.e. NGOs, The Media, etc.). Actions can be direct and confrontational, they can be provide a collaborative approach to bring parties into discussions, or they can be cleverly diffused by pointing out inaccuracy in an opponent’s bias and misinformation.

In this case, the New York Times (NYT) demonstrates its agenda and continued its campaign against “big business” and in particular, Walmart. Often recognized as an extreme left leaning viewpoint (I have heard people refer to it as the “Daily Worker” or worse). The NYT seldom apologizes for its opinions that are often injected into their daily articles. Only a few decades ago, fact finding and verification used to be instilled in every newspaper as a standard operating procedure. However, today there seems to be a broader latitude for the writer in a recent article criticizing Walmart.

In terms of transparency, the NYT will not be accused of being “fair’ nor “balanced” in their opinions or reporting. For the public at large, I suggest they would consider their writings are often dubious and out of touch with the real world, especially with the public comments shown both on the Walmart blog and LinkedIn.

But what is even more peculiar is that NYT seldom writes about Corporate Social Responsibility, let alone Sustainability. Matt Polsky, senior fellow for sustainability innovation and multidisciplinary thought at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Institute for Sustainable Enterprise, has written several times in GreenBiz and posed a key question: “Where is sustainability in The New York Times?”. For a good read, please follow this link to his article: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/09/20/where-sustainability-new-york-times

Obviously, what is printed in the paper is the reflection of the mind set of the values of the enterprise, for they are a business, based on sensationalization, to increase their revenue, not for “truth or a cause”.

David Tovar, Vice President, Walmart Corporate Communications, used the third option to cleverly and clearly point out the inaccuracies of NYT article, “The Corporate Daddy”, and simultaneously protected Walmart’s brand image. His preamble provided the framework. By classifying the article as the “first draft”, Tovar took the high road as the mentor, not a critic. This was a “lesson” for writer and included the bold red letting.

Whether the writer was unaware of Walmart’s commitment to Sustainability, which includes its internal stakeholders, is not obvious. However, Walmart has demonstrated that revenues can increase, costs can decrease, social issues address and environmental issues reduced. They have impacted multiple industries (i.e. beef, fish, gold, diamonds, etc.). Walmart influenced those entire supply chains and encouraged industry certifications to limit over consumption and promote sustainable practices and resources. Their actions have been documented in multiple studies and white papers as to what a very large multinational corporation can accomplish when refocused and aligned to Sustainability principles.

Please take a few minutes and read what “lessons” Tovar wrote and clarified for the NYT. Many people with common business sense will probably applaud this approach. For it provides flexibility and other strategic choices in confronting bias and unfounded accusations. Clever indeed and an approach to emulate: http://blog.walmart.com/fact-check-the-new-york-times-the-corporate-daddy

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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: Building a Bridge to Benefits –  Password: book2013  Discount: A37ZVRKK
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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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“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
~ Chinese Proverb
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Decisions to align executive packages to objectives is not a new idea. However, to illustrate how some companies are seriously taking Sustainability, forward-thinking corporations are doing just that. In January 2014, more than 1600 global business leaders attended Davos 2014 World Economic Forum in Switzerland. The hot topic, ‘doing business the right way’.

A kick-off panel introduced a new and radical strategy on executive packages and aligning efforts to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Panel members included PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and Pricewaterhouse chairman Dennis Nally, both are considered global leaders in promoting Sustainability.

Today, some 269 company’s in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index are considering implementing some Sustainability measures relating to environmental and social issues. Two examples are: Intel, computer chip maker maker, and Alcoa one of the largest producer of aluminum.

“For sustainable solutions you have to have a responsible private sector,” says Stephan Tanda, top executive of Royal DSM NV(a Dutch-headquartered life and materials science company). “But it’s also good business. We are not philanthropists. We absolutely believe that Sustainability is good for business, otherwise we wouldn’t have that in there.”

To read more about incentives that affect executive behavior, read how the incentives are taken seriously: http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20140122-the-big-payback

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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: Building a Bridge to Benefits –  Password: book2013  Discount: A37ZVRKK
______________________________________

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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“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
~ Stephen Covey
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Decisions, decisions, decisions – and they don’t stop with Sustainability. In fact, they place executives and executive decisions on the carpet each time they make financial corporate decisions. Although the complexity of the enterprise can be simplified, decision-making that considers more than financial consequences can put social and environmental levels in a tug of war – moving away from a financial centric decision to a Sustainability decision that reflects a holistic perspective.

Most of today’s executives were indoctrinated under the economic doctrine of Dr. Milton Friedman. Friedman, who has argued that the primary responsibility of business is to make a profit for its owners, albeit while complying with the law. According to this view, the self-interested actions of millions of participants in free markets will, from a utilitarian perspective, lead to positive outcomes for society. If the operation of the free market cannot solve a social problem, it becomes the responsibility of government, not business, to address the issue.[1]

Friedman also argued against CSR. He believed that management is to make as much money as possible within the limits of the law and ethical customs. He argued that the primary responsibility of business is to make a profit for its owners, albeit while complying with the law. According to Friedman, an agency theory perspective implies that CSR was a misuse of corporate resources that would be better spent on valued-added internal projects or returned to shareholders. It also suggested that CSR was an executive perk, in the sense that managers use CSR to advance their careers or other personal agendas[2]. If the operation of the free market cannot solve a social problem, it becomes the responsibility of government, not business, to address the issue[3].

So why would any executive or owner want to take a journey that could be more complex, filled with harder decisions, juggle the tensions between stakeholders and shareholders and for what? I think Ray Anderson said it best; “And I have not mentioned the value of a tree and removing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere, sequestering carbon, and producing oxygen for us to breathe, nor the songs of birds that are heard no more where the forests used to be. Neither have I mentioned the disease spreading insects that now proliferate unchecked because of the birds, their predators are gone, resulting in an increase in encephalitis in the children of the region. So you see, there are serious questions to be raised about the traditional calculation a profit on the sale of timber harvested from clear-cut forest.”[4] So, we are all products of our decisions and Sustainability is a commitment to do the right thing.

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[1] CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Reference for Business; Encyclopedia of Small Business; Retieved: 12 Sep 2011
[2] McWilliams, Abagail; Siegel, Donald S. and Wright, Patrick M.; Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategic Implications; Journal of Management Studies 43:1 January 2006
[3] Corporate Social Responsibility, Reference for Business; Encyclopedia of Small Business; Retrieved: 12 Sep 2011
[4] Anderson, Ray C.; Mid-Course Correction, Chelsea Green publishing Company, White River Junction, Vermont, 3rd printing September 2005

______________________________________

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: Building a Bridge to Benefits –  Password: book2013  Discount: A37ZVRKK
______________________________________

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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“The time has come to break away. Dismal scenarios of mounting destruction of national and global potential for development – indeed, of the Earth’s capacity to support life – are not inescapable destiny.”
~ UN – Our Common Future – Brundtland Report, 1987
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War is hell. A common agreement that the price of war is destructive for all stakeholders. War is usually a well organized and often prolonged conflict that is carried out by radical parties, dictatorships, totalitarian regimes or other nation-state participants. It is generally characterized by extreme destruction of societies, violent elimination of minority groups, social disruption of community organizations, limitation of food, water, safety and usurp of sovereign ownership of resources.

In context to the last World War (a war that involved Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, North and South America) very few countries were not affected by its activities. World War Two was a major historic event that changed the course of history and humanity. That event claimed about 40 to 50 million civilians lives in the war. The total number of soldiers killed ranges from 20 to 25 million people. This was estimated to be about 2.5 percent of the world population. It destroyed populations, technologies, infrastructures and brought the world to the edge of even worse scenario of annihilation by starvation and disease.

And that brings us to a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Marshall Islands, is an island nation that covers over 1,150 atolls, islands and islets. This territory was first settled in the second millennium B.C. It is the largest country in Micronesia and currently has a population of about 70,000 inhabitants that live in an area. In 1986, it received full sovereignty from the United States.

Why are the Marshall Islands an interest? First and last, its history is significant. It is also filled with lessons to learn from. During World War Two, it was the location of major conflicts between Japan and United States from 1943-1945.  After World War Two, the Marshall Islands became and a protectorate of the U.S. and site of the Pacific Proving Grounds, where the U.S. tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands [1]. In 1956, the United States Atomic Energy Commission regarded the Marshall Islands as “by far the most contaminated place in the world”[2].

Today, the Marshall Islands are facing a new dilemma, some of it based on the historic use of this part of the Earth. Read more from Matt McGrath, Environment correspondent from BBC News, to see what is now happening. But remember as you read, how decision-making often has long-term consequences and when those decisions are compounded, what happens to future generations:

Read more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27742957

[1] “Nuclear Weapons Test Map”, Public Broadcasting Service
[2] Stephanie Cooke (2009). In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age, Black Inc., p. 168, ISBN 978-1-59691-617-3.

______________________________________

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: Building a Bridge to Benefits –  Password: book2013  Discount: A37ZVRKK
______________________________________

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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“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” ~Robert Frost
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Once upon a time there was Global Warming. When it was measured on the planet, warming truly did not grow for over a period of 15+ years. Measured from space, there was no apparent change for 20 years.

Advocates of Global Warming portrayed the measurements too minuscule and too short of time line to be valid. They said, geologically, the time frame was not significant for 20 years or less. But, critics drew the opposite conclusion and declared that the data points were essentially a flat line in temperatures measured and argued that Global Warming did not exist.

So where was the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) who championed Global Warming? They documented these anomalies but essentially ignored the dialogue. So, in today’s discussion, opponents often claim that liberal environmentalists have rebranded Global Warming to Climate Change.

Matt McGrath, environmental correspondent for the BBC, has recently written a well thought out article on the IPCC and Climate Change. He adds other layers of complexity to the argument and brings the awareness, costs and economic accountability to the negotiation table. Here are excerpts of his article:

“Countries are developing in different ways. There are some changes in their emissions patterns, but there are also historical emissions we have to take onboard,” said Dr Yacob Mulugetta from the University of Surrey, another of the report’s authors.

“The key question is how do you bring in the past emissions and align them with the future?”

This question seems to have sparked some of the same divisions between the developed and developing world that have hampered the UN climate negotiation process.

The scientists appear to have agreed on the causes, impacts and solutions to the climate challenge, but there are divisions appearing about who should cut, and who should pay.

So, if you are interested in Climate Change or not, Matt provides more insight to the issue. I encourage you to read his article and decide for yourself. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27014603

______________________________________

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: Building a Bridge to Benefits –  Password: book2013  Discount: A37ZVRKK
______________________________________

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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“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” ~Buddha
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From a Sustainability viewpoint, we are now in a New Age of Renaissance, that is global in breadth, and it will mold our thinking for the future in terms of ideas – their context, application and innovation of Sustainable Developed solutions. All of these new and brilliant ideas rely not only on intellect, science and engineering, but ethical foundations that will serve the very foundation for the Humanity for the 21st Century collaboration, not theft.

I recently read an article shared by a LinkedIn “influencer” entitled; “Three Reasons to Steal, Not Copy. Here’s How and Why”. It was an ill advised article that encouraged behavior that could very well lead to illegal practices and possible legal suits. Having a couple of decades of global experience and directly involved in corporate espionage investigation that was eventually turned over to the FBI, I have witnessed unethical business practices in action. They ruin the brand image of the corporation, as well as, those leaders who permitted or over looked avenues for cheating and stealing. It also jeopardizes intellectual capital that is often “leveraged” in Asia.

Stealing ideas and claiming originality is an old corruption practice dating back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Patents and copyrights are common practices of protecting assets. Anyone who encourages those standards to be ignored is neither a positive influence nor sets a good leadership example for others to follow. I believe many others think the way I do. It’s hard to be original. Creativity and brainstorming new ideas is an innovative form of thinking. It does not settle for a status quo. It seeks improvement and excellence. It promotes honesty and stretching current thinking with melding different thinking with different disciplines, cultures and technology.

Take the organizations Transparency International. For decades it has been ranking countries based on lack of transparency, corruption, stealing ideas, copyright infringement, poor business practices and lack of ethical standards and laws. For those countries who practice unethical and corrupt practices, the Corruption Perceptions Index for 2013 includes these countries often written about in current events:

  • Russia: 127 / 177
  • Kazakhstan: 140 / 177
  • Ukraine: 144 / 177
  • Libya: 172 / 177
  • Sudan: 174 / 177
  • Afghanistan: 175 / 177

Go to Transparency International for more information. Ratings are carefully weighted in the rankings. This is not a stereotype of populations, but it does reflect business practices in those countries and where there may be no recognition of laws, ethics or government regulations that would align to practices elsewhere in the Western world. It is a warning system to those who wish to explore and compare business in those parts of the world.

Personally, I have known citizens from those countries, some are dear friends, that I respect and know are would not steal an idea for the sake of personal gain. They have integrity and probably would have similar disdain for “Reasons to Steal”. Nor, do I believe, would they encourage others to behave as the article encouraged, illegally at best.

______________________________________

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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“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” ~Chinese Proverb
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New methods to change waste

In 2014, there are trends to remediate food waste through recycling, banning food garbage in landfills and converting food into renewable energy. Here are some  examples of what is happening in the United States:

In Connecticut,  beginning in January 2014,  a new law was passed requiring businesses within 20 miles of composting facilities are obliged to recycle their food waste. Businesses producing more than 104 tons per year will be required to meet this food recycling obligation.

In New York City, food waste recycling efforts are being discussed with Waste Management. Beginning this year, Waste Management has started delivering truckloads of waste to a Brooklyn wastewater treatment plant that will be converting it into energy.

In Massachusetts,  a commercial food waste landfill ban goes into effect in 2014. The state hopes the ban will meet or exceed waste reduction goals and increase the food recycling infrastructure. It is important to note that the Red Sox are involved in this program and their support strengthens awareness.

For more information: http://tinyurl.com/olvs62c

Top 20 Trends for 2014

The National Restaurant Association surveyed professional chefs, members of the American Culinary Federation, on which food, cuisines, beverages and culinary themes will be hot trends on restaurant menus in 2014. The What’s Hot in 2014 survey was conducted in the fall of 2013 among nearly 1,300 chefs. Click on the link below to read more information about their methodology.

  1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
  2. Locally grown produce
  3. Environmental sustainability
  4. Healthful kids’ meals
  5. Gluten-free cuisine
  6. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
  7. Children’s nutrition
  8. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
  9. Sustainable seafood
  10. Farm/estate branded items
  11. Nose-to-tail/root-to-stalk cooking (e.g. reduce food waste by using entire animal/plant)
  12. Whole grain items in kids’ meals
  13. Health/nutrition
  14. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, tri-tip)
  15. Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth)
  16. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)
  17. Grazing (e.g. small-plate sharing/snacking instead of traditional meals)
  18. Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)
  19. Fruit/vegetable children’s side items
  20. Half-portions/smaller portions for a smaller price

For more information: http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/News-Research/WhatsHot/What-s-Hot-2014.pdf

Another interesting survey

Further, the National Waste & Recycling Association is the trade association that represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry.  Their recent survey finds most Americans would compost if it was more convenient in their community. Here are some of the results:

  •     72 percentage of Americans do not compost their food waste
  •     67 percentage of non-composters who would be willing to do it if it were convenient in their community
  •     62 percentage of Americans who would not support any increase in the cost of waste disposal if composting were offered to them

For more information: http://tinyurl.com/ph9qob4

______________________________________

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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The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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A few years ago, the environmentalist – Daryl Hannah, wrote an article entitled;  “If Food Waste Were a Country, It Would Rank No. 3 for Greenhouse Gas Emissions”.  In that article, she suggested that maximizing regional self-sufficiency with prudent agricultural practices and energy production conservation methods will strengthen local economies, make them more resilient  … and ease the sense of scarcity and the economic burden increasingly felt by the majority. To my chagrin, I have to agree with Ms. Hanah. Food is a critical Sustainability issue and will continue to be so for the next four decades, especially if we don’t begin addressing it today.

In 1980, just as the Green Revolution began being implemented in much of the world, 47 percent of all children in the developing world had stunted growth, a good measure of their nutrition level. By the year 2000, it had dropped to 33 percent. The Green Revolution laid the cornerstone for adequate nourishment by increasing the available calories and protein of the developing world’s people. Statistician Amy Pearce estimates that Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution resulted in over 245 million lives being saved due to improved nutrition.

As Borlaug continued his efforts to expand agricultural success, he found himself fighting off some environmentalists who denounced his methods of using large amounts of fertilizer and pesticide. Borlaug responded, “Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. They have never produced a ton of food. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 60 years, they’d be crying out for fertilizer, herbicides, irrigation canals and tractors and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.”

Borlaug notes that without modern farming technology, an additional area the size of the contiguous United States would have to be farmed to feed today’s world population. Thus, a side benefit of Borlaug’s Green Revolution may be that it saved more land for wilderness than any other single environmental initiative.[1]

Thirty two years later, the EPA quantifies the magnitude of food waste in the United States. “More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste (MSW). In 2012 alone, more than 36 million tons of food waste was generated, with only five percent diverted from landfills and incinerators for composting.”

The US EPA suggests six ways of utilizing food more efficiently. “How Can I Divert Food From Landfills?” If you go to that web page will read kore details (http://www.epa.gov/waste/conserve/foodwaste/), but the generally focus are on these six points:

•    Source Reduction/Prevention – Preventing food waste before it is created
•    Feeding People – Donating fresh, wholesome food to those in need
•    Feeding Animals – Feeding safe, fresh food scraps to animals like pig farms
•    Industrial Uses – Rendering fats, oils, and grease and turning it into products or biofuel
•    Composting – Turning food waste into a valuable soil amendment
•    Anaerobic Digestion – Turning food waste into renewable energy and a valuable soil amendment

This problem is on the mind of Ken Botts who is the special projects manager of the University of North Texas Food Department. Ken and I had lunch the other day and he shared that he firmly believed in Sustainability and one of the tenants is to eliminate waste, in his case – food waste. He shared that the food department is trying to do a better job of communicating the issue of food waste and plans an awareness campaign to launch UNT’s food waste recovery program. This is an extension of his efforts from last year: http://ntdaily.com/unt-to-launch-food-waste-recovery-program-in-fall/

What are the environmental benefits from reducing or eliminating food waste?
•    It reduces methane generated by decomposition in landfills
•    It reduces natural resource (land and water) use associated with food production
•    It creatives a valuable soil amendment (nutrients are returned to the soil)
•    It improves sanitation, Public Safety, and Health at your facility

What are the economic benefits from reducing or eliminating food waste?
•    It lowers overall disposal costs
•    It reduces over purchasing and labor costs
•    It receives tax benefits by donating food

What are the social benefits from reducing or eliminating food waste?
•    It feeds people, not landfills

As Ray Anderson, the first Sustainability pioneer, said;  “I also believe that it doesn’t happen quickly (e.g. Sustainability) … it happens one mind at a time, one organization at a time, one building, one company, one community, one region, one new, clean technology, one industry, one supply chain at a time … until the entire industrial system has been transformed into a sustainable system, existing ethically in balance with Earth’s natural systems, upon which every living thing is utterly dependent.”

If we listen to what Mr. Anderson urged, that identifying waste is not only a part of the solution, it is the action we must be take to eliminate the waste. We quantify success by results measured. So, we can finally see that it is indeed “transformed into a sustainable system, existing ethically in balance with Earth’s natural systems, upon which every living thing is utterly dependent.” To divert food waste from landfills would be testament to Mr. Anderson’s insight. In this case, benefits for American citizens dependent on food stamps and those countries, globally, that do no have enough food today. Reclaiming 36 million tons of food could be the largest gift to the world.

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[1] Wilson, Chuck, “Father of the Green Revolution – He Helped Feed the World!”,ScienceHeros.com, Retrieved: 18 Sep 2012

______________________________________

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
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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

Read Full Post »

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