We don’t seem to be able to get away from this ‘technology led’ approach to reducing our ‘resource intensity’ as a species.
Or the Cul-de-Sac of ‘green’, when we must simply do the right thing, right, every time.
Mostly, and critically, it is an organizational issue, technology cannot be developed and deployed in time to avoid massive organizational transformation, either by design or negligence.
Paul Krugman’s Letter to Barack Obama is of interest, link below, but he fails to grasp that spending that does not enable organizational change to reduce the resource intensity of society is futile in the long term.
Vital to Business Survival: Reading the Signs of Change
Muskets, Crossbows and CEOs
In this era of heightened environmental awareness, the ability to recognize the transformational power of the green movement — and act on it — can be the difference between life and death for a business. Brandi McManus’ four-part series “Growing a Green Corporation: Meeting the Next Great Disruptive Challenge of the 21st Century” begins today with a look at the perils of failing to recognize disruptive change.
In the 18th century, warfare was changed forever. Out were the romantic knights with armor and lances, and in were muskets, artillery and infantrymen. Armies now used gunpowder as an effective means to destroy an enemy from afar. Although early muskets had a limited rate of fire, range and accuracy, firearms allowed anyone to become an effective soldier with very little training. Previous military units like bowman and knights needed years of practice to master their skills. These disruptive changes created an entirely new approach to the art of war.
The prince or king — the CEO of that era — who recognized the disruptive force and seized upon it early gained an overwhelming advantage………………..
Doing the right thing is good for business
Published 04 September 2006
…………………….t’s not, to quote Milton Friedman, that the business of business is no longer business. Of course, it is. Nor is it the case that investors are no longer mandated to realise maximum profits for those who entrust their money to them. Of course, they are. It’s just that, as society evolves, the nature of what will ensure the greatest profitability evolves too.
A hundred years ago, a company that used child labour might have had a competitive advantage; today, that company would risk being put out of business by such a policy. Until recently, multinationals operating in developing countries were pretty much able to pollute with impunity; in contrast, a few months ago Shell was ordered by a Nigerian court to pay $1.5bn in damages for polluting the Niger delta. Meanwhile, the United Nations is in the process of developing a treaty which, if it comes into effect, will regulate the activities of transnational corporations with regard to human rights.
Goodwill and reputation are intangibles, but they are the keys to business success. Since they are also inexorably linked to social values, it follows that a change in social norms will have a significant impact on profits. We are living in a time in which movies such as Super Size Me and An Inconvenient Truth have made box-office history, and books such as No Logo and my own, The Silent Takeover, are bestsellers. …………………
full article at http://www.newstatesman.com/200609040024