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Posts Tagged ‘United States’

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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“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked;
leadership is defined by results not attributes.” ~Peter Drucker
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United States leadership, policies and strategies must be forthcoming not only to renew the American Economy, but eliminate uncertainties in our country that has hindered our economic restart. America needs to examine the major national security issues, provide opportunities to domestic and global challenges, apply pro-US foreign policy and applying sage policies supporting Sustainability facing the United States in global marketplace.

The Real Challenges to Growth by Michael Spence looks at many of these issues and asks what could be addressed in a increasing competitive global marketplace that would also lay the underpinnings for future prosperity and influence.

Michael Spence is a Nobel laureate in economics, is professor of economics at NYU’s Stern School of Business, and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations: http://blogs.cfr.org/renewing-america/2014/01/23/the-real-challenges-to-growth/

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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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Norman Borlaug

Norman Borlaug (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No other time in history will mankind see the probable future of the planet  and be judged by his action to preserve it.

Man can and must prevent the tragedy of famine in the future instead of merely trying with pious regret to salvage the human wreckage of the famine, as he has so often done in the past.
~ Norman Borlaug, Father of modern agriculture and 1970 Noble Peace Prize recipient[1]

We know what are the most critical megaforces facing humanity for the next two decades. What we do, how we do it and when we do it will determine the course of our planet and humanity for the rest of the 21st century.


[1] Norman Ernest Borlaug (25 March 1914 – 12 September 2009) was an American agricultural scientist, and humanitarian. He is considered by some to be the “father of modern agriculture” and the father of the green revolution. He won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his life’s work.

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Theodore Roosevelt Memorial waterInventories can be managed but people must be led.” – Henry Ross Perot

In a recent sermon, my minster discussed colloquial use of the word “used”. He illustrated an example of its value two thousand years ago. In those days, it was common to use things and love people. Well, have we turned that meaning around and love things and use people? What has happened with our values in today’s new modern world?  Has humanity simply ignored stewardship principles for profit or is it a case where our high tech society is no longer linked to agrarian mores and values? So, in terms of Sustainability, has mankind placed to much emphasis on things without regarding the consequences to resources and ultimately our whole planet?

As Americans, we have that heritage reflected in what Theodore Roosevelt said over a century ago; “To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”

Perhaps it was better said almost 500 years ago, regarding changing the status quo:

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”  ~ Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (1532)

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Originally published on http://www.triplepundit.com.One of the main issues that came up at the Responsible Business Summit was sustainability reporting. Even with all the progress we have seen so far, reporting continues to be one of the most challenging issues for CSR executives. Still, just like CSR, reporting becomes more focused, strategic and smart, and there’s even a continuous search after its business value. The journey of sustainability reporting is still a long one, but listening to the CSR executives in the summit it became clear to me that companies now understand the significance of reporting more than ever and try to figure out how to utilize it in the best way possible. More …

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President of the United States Theodore Roosev...

President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front. Deutsch: Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten von 1901 bis 1909, Friedensnobelpreisträger des Jahres 1906. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over one hundred years ago, our then president, Theodore Roosevelt, was particular interested in our natural resources, the people and cultures of our country and the need to remind everyone that we should improve those resources for future generations. Please keep in mind that the term Sustainability had not been coined, but the desire to to the “right thing” was so clearly embedded in Roosevelt’s thoughts and deeds.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

“We should not forget that it will be just as important to our descendants to be prosperous in their time as it is to us to be prosperous in our time.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

I wonder what Roosevelt would have said in today’s context. Would he have been an environmental activist, a commander of industrial leaders, a rebel who would have had indigestion with international organizations and NGOs? We shall never know, but one thing we do know now is his love for this country, its people and the resources that stretch from one ocean to the next.

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Ray Anderson - Interface Founder & Chairman

Ray Anderson – Interface Founder & Chairman (Photo credit: Interface_Europe)

Ray Anderson was truly the first industrial pioneer of Sustainability. He proved the concept and made doubters into believers through his actions, tenacity and commitment to doing the “right thing”. Reading about the people who helped reorient Mr. Anderson’s foundation is a long list of rich intellectual capital and recognized Sustainability gurus in their own right.

Please visit this article: http://ow.ly/cGij0

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Last month, I wrote a short article concerning the American Leadership in Sustainability. I said; “the United States has been the leader in conserving our planet and its resources. It has recognized our precious resources from its beginning. Our nation’s forethought is founded on the fundamental values of preserving our resources.” Our American vision of Sustainability and understanding conservation of resources, their value, and future needs originally established those laws such as NEPA, that established the Environmental Protection Agency, and subsequent best practices that have developed over the past half century. Let me introduce an example of this philosophy of American ingenuity and meeting the needs of the present with sound innovation. Dr. Donald Sadoway and his team of graduate and doctoral candidates from MIT have invented a new storage battery for wind farms and solar panel generated electricity.

As he says: “We need to think about the problem differently. We need to think big. We need to think cheap.” Donald Sadoway is working on a battery miracle — an inexpensive, incredibly efficient, three-layered battery using “liquid metal.” … “If we’re going to get this country out of its current energy situation, we can’t just conserve our way out. We can’t just drill our way out. We can’t bomb our way out. We’re going to do it the old-fashioned, American way. We’re going to invent our way out, working together.”

As I previously mentioned this month, as Stewards, we must anticipate change for our Future, rather than have the Future change us. That mindset is focused on smart Leadership choices to improve our organizations, our industries and our country. We have the capability and knowledge to bring new solutions to those pesky problems we have today.

Related articles

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English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”. True Sustainability does not rely on “the sky is falling”, rather it is based on information and data to give the existentialists a choice.  What does that mean? Each person, as a free and responsible agent, determines their own development through choices and decisions. What are we talking about? Understanding every decision we make can and often does impact our future.  Isolated choices for our needs often are not the best choices if we don’t consider its impact our planetary resources.

Mankind has avoided extinction, created by natural disasters, for over 2 million years. His fragile existence was almost eliminated during the last ice age, 50,000 years ago. However, more recently, the 20th century almost created an extinction scenario that would have permanently changed the complexion of our planet and perhaps ended mankind.

The 21st century will reveal whether our wisdom, understanding and leadership will preserve the existence of all life forms on this planet. Now, we are a population of 7 billion people. Demands for that population will continue to strain air, food, water and other resources in our lives.  We are living on a planet that has almost reached full capacity. By 2050, our planet will have a population of about10 billion people. Without recognizing planetary constraints, we may witness tragic declines or possible extinction of mankind within the next 100 years. The “tipping point” is indeed grave and it facing us today. What will our choices be?

20th Century Tragedy Avoided
In the 20th century we experienced three major events that were considered global in nature and involve the majority of the countries on this planet.  The first two events were called “world wars” and for logical reasons. These were global conflicts, pitting powerful alliances against each other. Both of these conflicts were significant and costly in terms of economic, environmental, and social aspects.

After the end of  World War II, the world was divided between Russia (and its “allies”) and the rest of the World. This third event, known as the Cold War, segmented along ideological lines and would exist for almost a half century. It was the confrontation of capitalism versus communism, West versus East, United States versus the Soviet Union (and Red China), and tested the mettle of diplomacy, military power, global intelligence, geopolitics, technology and the “wisdom” to know the difference.

The world almost ended with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not since the Cold War, has humanity been faced with the possibility of human extinction. In the 1960s, aggressive Soviet diplomacy with the United States created an environment suitable for military conflict.  That event almost created a global catastrophe, a threshold for nuclear disaster, that would have completely changed the world as we know it today.

This was a circumstance of competition for domination (totalitarianism versus democracy), players were clearly defined, consequences to actions were also understood, and leadership of the two major countries dominated the governance of any geopolitical conflict. In the worst-case scenario, hundreds of millions of people would die in the first missile volley; air, food and water would be contaminated for most of the survivors; much of existing civil infrastructures would be destroyed, martial law would probably be implemented in all countries to corral civil panic, and surviving governments and businesses would face a bleak future.
But why did they need to act then?

Frankly, survivability of such a radical exchange of weapons was truly unknown although atomic bomb testing provided data to make “best guess estimates” and create military scenarios. MAD strategies were just that: “mutually assured destruction”. In that type of war, there are no winners, but measured degrees which side was damaged less. Decades later, both sides admitted that a nuclear exchange was almost inevitable as a conclusion to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Political leadership from both camps recognized the fragility and sensitivity that could be created from a global conflict.  Major players clearly understood the consequences of their actions, possible scenarios, and the need to manage potential threats or conflicts.

Modern societies exist today because of prudent decisions fifty years ago.  Leadership acted effectively to preserve our planet.  Missiles were moved, forces were de-escalated, diplomatic understandings were made and actions were made to ensure better communication between capitals. To summarize, this man-made situation was based on many key variables:

  1. Scope: total Global impact (threat to entire biosphere)
  2. Business: Involvement was limited or nonexistent
  3. Government: Driven primarily by Soviet and American policies
  4. Stakeholders: Consensus and allegiance solidified the Soviet and American camps
  5. Mitigation: Diplomacy, treaties, government trade and economic policies
  6. Result: Cooler heads prevailed and avoided a military conflict. Processes were adopted, understandings created, and similar events were mitigated or avoided in direct talks.

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College of Charleston Gym 011

College of Charleston Gym 011 (Photo credit: hdes.copeland)

Sustainable Practices are no longer unknown. So, too, many business owners are asking the same questions and often envisage utility expense reduction when institutionalized in their organizations. What can be done, with no or minimal costs, to reduce your impact on the environment? Well, this succinct list of suggestions from the College of Charleston Community is a very good start and can be easily applied to home and business use. Please pass along to your friends.
We all share an obligation to operate as sensibly as possible. That’s the essence of sustainability. So, please conserve energy where possible, reduce consumption when you can – and encourage your fellow students and employees to do likewise. Adopt the following practices and you’ll be helping all of us to move in the right direction:

Sustainable Tips for Students
•    Turn off lights, computers, printers, copiers, and other appliances that are not in use.
•    Keep the lights off when natural lighting is sufficient.
•    Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
•    Activate the hibernation settings on your computer.
•    Cycle, walk or carpool to class and work. Better yet, ride CARTA buses, they’re free!
•    Avoid packaged products. This starts with bringing your own coffee mug.
•    Lower the temperature of your dorm room and close the windows when the heat is on.
•    Reduce water usage: take fewer/shorter showers; turn off faucet when brushing teeth, washing your face, or shaving.
•    Reduce drying time when doing laundry (it saves energy and your clothes last longer).
•    Choose Energy Star appliances.
•    Re-use plastic bags, boxes, and jars.
•    Recycle paper, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass bottles, and don’t commingle.
•    When printing, use both sides of the page, and always purchase recycled paper.
•    Recycle your copy of The George St. Observer or read one that has been recycled.
•    Favor local products when you shop, especially food like that sold on Saturdays at the Charleston Farmers’ Market on Marion Square.
•    Share these tips with your roommates, classmates and friends.
•    Donate used items like clothing, furniture and appliances to charities instead of trashing them when the academic year ends.

Sustainable Tips for Employees
•    Turn off lights, computers, printers, copiers, and other appliances that are not in use.
•    Keep the lights off when natural lighting is sufficient during the day.
•    Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
•    Activate the hibernation settings on your computer.
•    Cycle or walk to work, or carpool. Better yet, ride CARTA – it’s free!
•    Avoid packaged products. This starts with carrying your own coffee mug.
•    Carry and use reusable shopping bags.
•    If the temperature in your work area isn’t comfortable, have the Physical Plant adjust it
•    before ordering and using a personal heater or fan.
•    If you purchase office appliances, choose Energy Star products.
•    If you purchase office paper, opt for recycled paper or high recycled content.
•    While on campus recycle paper, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass bottles, but don’t commingle.
•    Save paper by printing on both sides of a page.
•    If you purchase office furnishings, opt for sustainable products and companies by checking with Good Guide or the EPA website.

College of Charleston: http://sustainability.cofc.edu/sustainable-practices%20/index.php

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