green thinking

“Systems Thinking” and the economic power of trash

“Systems Thinking” Guru Peter Senge on Starbucks, P&G, and the Economic Power of Trash


BY Anya Kamenetz Fri Oct 22, 2010


One of the world’s top management gurus is spending a lot of time these days thinking about trash. I spoke with author of The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge, because of his work with Starbucks on their pledge to provide recycling in all their stores. But it turns out that his interest in the waste stream goes far beyond that. True to his reputation as the major popularizer of “systems thinking,” Senge sees the potential for a whole “underground economy” of great wealth that’s literally being tossed away under our noses. “Nobody likes to throw stuff away,” he told me. “It’s just antithetical to our sense of being a person. But we’re all habituated to that way of living today.”

On the Starbucks cup:

It’s an archetypal problem and I liked it right away. What more compelling icon of the craziness: On the one hand, the convenience that we can stroll down the street sipping our latte, but then, the craziness that we can toss over our shoulder and maybe you feel a little bit better if it lands in a bin instead of the ground, but it really doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. Let’s look at the whole system, all the way upstream and all the way downstream: Where does the cup come from? Who makes it? A tree or an oil well.”……………

full story at


A Green Investment Bank to power the economic recovery

A Green Investment Bank to Power the Economic Recovery

The AG have launched a new report that is a collection of articles written by leading commentators from finance and industry that put forward their views in regard to the scope, barriers and capitalisation for the Green Investment Bank. The Government is due to publish its policy proposals after the Comprehensive Spending Review in the Autumn.

Report can be downloaded here

What are Feed-In Tariffs and why have they been introduced?

By Matthew Easter, SEC Industrial Battery Company

What are Feed-In Tariffs and why have they been introduced?

In the broadest sense, the UK Feed-In Tariffs (or FIT’s as they have become known) are a financial incentive being introduced by the UK government to encourage home owners and businesses to fit renewable energy systems to their properties and generate electricity on a local scale. There are a number of reasons why they have been introduced but, at the most basic level, like many other countries we urgently need to address the fact that our energy consumption requirements continue to increase, whilst in contrast our ability to generate electricity using traditional methods will decrease in the years ahead, as fossil fuel and nuclear power stations are decommissioned but not replaced. The other key objective of this scheme is to facilitate a significant increase in the amount of power we generate nationally from renewable methods, with the aim of meeting the EU target set for the UK of 15% through renewable energy by 2020.

How do the Feed-In Tariffs actually work?

From April 1st 2010, the UK Feed-In Tariff scheme will start and homeowners or commercial businesses/property owners can apply to receive money for every Kilowatt Hour (kWH) of energy generated using approved renewable energy systems that they buy and have installed on their property. There are several different types of renewable energy system included within the FIT scheme, as follows……………

Fullarticle at

Educating for the One Planet World

The video clip at the link below shows the need we have to communicate our new reality, but we also know that it hard to learn a second language later in life and this where we stand now as economies.

We have all learnt a language from birth that is shaped by the multi-planet lifestyle we are trying to lead on the only planet we have.

We now have to learn a new language that is appropriate for our ability to communicate in the One Planet World we are entering. Like the Tower of Babel, we have fractured into many languages, quality, environmental, CSR, sustainability, H&S and others.

The critical need is to create an Organisational Esperanto to communicate the ‘sustainability journey of integrated continual improvement towards perfect quality’.

The ‘Babel Fish of Sustainability’ as Douglas Adams might call this Blog.


Reshaping business education in a new era



Source: Strategy Practice McKinsey Quarterly

This is a Conversation Starter, one in a series of invited opinions on topical issues. Watch the video, then share your thoughts by commenting

With rising interest in corporate social responsibility and increasing doubt in the sanctity of institutions, an evolving breed of MBA student is surveying the business landscape with a more discerning eye and demanding a new type of education. One person who feels this shift acutely is Blair Sheppard, dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Sheppard has a prime view of this maelstrom of forces—changing expectations from students, different contours of global business, new management issues for educational institutions—and a unique perspective on what these portend for business students and business schools alike. He spoke in New York with McKinsey Quarterly editor Allen Webb about where MBA education stands in the wake of the financial crisis, and where he thinks it’s headed.

Watch the video, or download a PDF of the transcript.

Story and video (Free account needs creating) at

Are we asking and answering the right questions?

The clip below highlights our current predicament with regard to our future, the reductionist questions we are asking ourselves “how to we prevent climate change?” – “how do we mitigate the effects of climate change?” are not the right ones.

Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not the Earth is creating our One Planet World, the only question that matters is “How do we help the Earth create that One Planet World so humans have a viable future in it?”


‘Build your future helping create the One Planet World’


Are You Asking and Answering the Right Questions?

Author: From the Editorial Staff at e-BIM
Posted: 01/07/2010

Peter F. Drucker had a special genius for asking the right questions.

Indeed, one of his most notable principles was: “You will attain the greatest results in business (or any other institution in society) if you drop the word ‘achievement’ from your vocabulary… and replace it with ‘contribution.’”

When people tell you what they’ve achieved, you should ask them: “What have you contributed?” Hopefully, it won’t be a conversation stopper.

Instead, of talking today about “entitlement” we should be talking about responsibility and contribution. Said Drucker: “What we ought to be asking is not, ‘What should you be entitled to?’ but ‘What should you be responsible for?'”

A question such as this can give people a new direction and a new purpose.

Our point? We tend to answer questions, that is, react to them. This means we react, many times, to the wrong question. Changing the question can change everything.


Peter F. Drucker observed most organizational/people conflicts result from people asking and answering different questions.

In short: Assume all conflicting parties are providing correct answers. However, also assume all are answering different questions.

“Never ask, ‘Who is right?’ in a conflict. Never even ask, ‘What is right?’ The proper response is to discover, first, what the question is that everyone is answering.”………………….


full story at

Reducing the Resource Intensity of packaging

Kodak Chooses Clamshell Alternative For Camera Packaging


By GreenerDesign Staff Published January 08, 2010

Richmond, VA — Eastman Kodak’s C-182 digital camera will be sold in Natralock packaging, an alternative to all-plastic clamshells that is made with recyclable PET plastic and paperboard.

The Natralock packaging, by MeadWestvaco, uses an average of 60 percent less plastic than all-plastic clamshells, which are typically made from plastics like PVC that are not generally accepted in recycling systems.

With MeadWestvaco’s packaging, products are put in a PET shell that’s just big enough to fit the item, and the plastic is then sandwiched between paperboard that comes from sources certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

The company says that its packaging is slimmer, 29 percent lighter, uses 65 percent less energy in production and seals an average of 60 percent faster in production than clamshells.

MeadWestvaco is also working with SanDisk, Lexar and other consumer electronics companies to transition their clamshell packaging to Natralock, which can run through most existing sealing machinery.

Full story at