Archive for March, 2015

Carbon is NOT Our Enemy!

Listening to all the chatter about carbon and climate change (carbon footprint, low-carbon economy, zero carbon, carbon tax), you would be forgiven for thinking that carbon is some sort of hazardous waste…. Something that should be used as little as possible and if you do, taxed for your sins.

Yet carbon is the sixth most abundant element in the universe after hydrogen, helium, oxygen, neon, and nitrogen (and ahead of silicon). In the earth’s crust though, carbon drops to 16th place with oxygen being most prevalent. Carbon has a whole branch of chemistry (organic chemistry) dedicated to it, because carbon can bond with itself and many other elements to create any of at least 10 million known compounds. Many of those compounds are part of the chemistry of life. Along with hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, carbon is an essential – and prevalent – element in all plants. According to Wikipedia and other sources, nearly 20% of the human body is carbon (65% is oxygen and just under 10% is hydrogen). So why are we so fixated on low-carbon this and zero-carbon that? It’s because rising atmospheric CO2 levels make it clear we have carbon in the wrong place (as a gas rather than in material form here on earth).
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Does Small Business Have a Role in Environmental Sustainability?

Having recently finished Andrew Winston’s book entitled The Big Pivot, Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer and More Open World (2014), I was struck by the author’s explanation on the last page of why his strategies on adapting to a world with a hotter climate, more scarce natural resources, and increasingly transparent operations are focused on large companies.

“… primarily I focus on big companies because humanity has big, global-level problems to solve. We need scale to move the needle in a real way. The reality is that no matter how many people the small businesses of the world employ, the economic, environmental and social impacts lie squarely with the giants. Just the largest 200 companies have revenues of over $20 trillion – that’s about 29 percent of global GDP. As the famous line goes, you rob banks because that’s where the money is.”
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Forthcoming Small Business E-Toolkit

On May 1, we’ll be releasing a Business Transformation E-Toolkit, designed to help small businesses ‘green’ their businesses and improve their bottom line. The motivation for putting the toolkit together is to give small businesses access to ideas and processes they can use without having to spend a lot of money figuring out what they can or should do.

Right now, we”re inviting people to help shape the final content and name the toolkit (Business Transformation E-Toolkit is just a ‘working title’).

Anyone who wants to weigh in can do so through a short survey at:

We’ll be leaving the survey open for roughly two weeks so if you’re interested, have your say soon…And feel free to share the link with anyone you think might be interested.

Thank you for any feedback you are willing to share….