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DNVGL latest sustainability roundtable “The road less traveled: Pathways to Transformation” http://t.co/BCU4HrpkiB

What it all comes down to. http://t.co/ovjIQvKBPw

Revkin: Tracing @Pontifex’s Climate Plans for 2015 http://t.co/s8mY7WMBth

Thoughtful read for 2015 | Gus Speth: Building the new environmentalism http://t.co/zH7DO5Uhx5

Good wrap-up & examples of Big Biz CSR leadership “Doing Good Is Good for Business” http://t.co/FDXE5EygUV

Required reading: New Yorker story on graphene http://t.co/ZjfC79pwMI

READ-HUGE The “New Power” http://t.co/1ZTRW3NFZA

Good News day decimates website’s readership http://t.co/wioQbtcuyE

Monday feel-good: Jan 2007 NYTimes “Happiness 101” on positive psychology http://t.co/ydLtvbYQgT

Nice round-up of the 2015 climate action state-of-play http://t.co/pdE4c5Mvoj

2014 good news: 5 Climate innovations http://t.co/JOCeko6TDM

Good news for 2015 NJ solar http://t.co/EQsVmdXbsN

3 examples where US business leadership can step up for climate policies that help everyone http://t.co/Vgxe1ukkNP

Level-headed editorial on why climate action is good for NJ citizens http://t.co/yHjnd04kk3

NJ used to lead on climate action & we can again | OpEd http://t.co/Jzv3vz5rlc

Graphene is on my 2015 innovation watch list…Wonder material could harvest energy from thin air http://t.co/yJLfiw4QU5

NJ ‘s future. Almost 7K UK properties will be lost to rising seas: http://t.co/GSHudKOnrc

“We are capable of kindness, goodness, & generosity” http://t.co/dEGYsY5X09

261 businesses already in NEW UN climate actions examples portal; share to make it 100x http://t.co/lRZ1Yl3dHT

Catholic Bishops Call For ‘An End To The Fossil Fuel Era’ http://t.co/otmUrisjIx

Pope Francis emerging as global climate justice leader the world needs? http://t.co/4yvmThSvmB

New site uses tech & socent for US resilience http://t.co/uAJImmROWE

Can “green” Pope break the climate deadlock? http://t.co/DZ8tXEPOSh

The Secret Side of Business Sustainability http://t.co/YmSJxQmYV7

Encouraging biz & investors to phase from Fossilfuel->#renewables http://t.co/vYHbkS1DPi

Fracking reparations in W. Virginia http://t.co/uQMPqsDlLL

Catching up: Clifbar shared cocoa sources 12/3. Kudos 4 transparency, support to do more http://t.co/IYo1WjqVoI

2014 fave, highly sharable: 8 Steps to Becoming a Truly Sustainable Brand http://t.co/Yk0pO9Wrt3

LOVE. Sustainability Leadership | 3 new frontiers http://t.co/Rk9MAfpiQM

2015 is the year we change this | The press has a problem reporting good news http://t.co/aA3yaMpRrx

Financial Success Now Requires Sustainability http://t.co/0teYz7l7vA

Global Green Bond Sales 3x to $35B in 2014 http://t.co/5pbxIdFVOJ

Apple, IKEA, Walmart: 12 leaders in on-site renewables http://t.co/HY41yF8ilc

Christmas Day in midcoast Maine. Merry & bright best wishes to you & yours http://t.co/cn1dMYyBmY

3 signals why 2015 is looking good http://t.co/oXvS6nTq2J

State-Based Climate Solution That Doesn’t Need Congress http://t.co/PytjtRVirG

Restored Forests Breathe Life Into  Climate Change Adaptation http://t.co/05l1JMkwlC

Pope may call for 100% renewable at Vatican http://t.co/LPxoc0dztb

Heads-up: will be big for 2015 | Grand Strategy Project http://t.co/NH9l7ntSYT

Beautiful “It’s not the last man standing who wins. But the first man who kneels. And plants his garden” https://t.co/cw6mlI5ljM

There is an invisible global army of people in big companies pushing for CSR http://t.co/qRS7XSQrkh

Monday cheers for Eudaimonia, a word for flourishing http://t.co/9BDMR3lSbG

DC passes sea level rise ‘tipping point,’ more cities to follow http://t.co/LS4ZJp6GZL

SHARE: A $10m #Fairtrade grant shows exponential Biz for Good can happen more, in more places, faster http://t.co/3RiEnRQbCs

Collaboration! NetPositive: The Next Frontier of Sustainability Leadership http://t.co/1Sm6P4RAHl

INSPIRING innovation, leadership & FUN | http://t.co/jYhGeuQsTM

I believe in a New Story about #BizforGood, about Business as an Agent of World Benefit…These folks do too https://t.co/aI1fbqmqR6

GREAT Business for Good innovation story | What if blood tests took a drop & cost pennies? Blood, Simpler http://t.co/CAM79wHXsQ

How more companies can do good while doing well http://t.co/dSQCWleSzH

5 startups that could radically transform the world around us: http://t.co/J3t4IzVQv5

GREAT examples of Biz for Good in unexpected places | Using Entrepreneurship to Save the World. http://t.co/Mem4txFME3

Wonderful! Visual storytelling on culture of dialogue | AppreciativeInquiry http://t.co/Sx87XhFkuW

Business Takes a Decisive Leap: Breakthrough in Collaborating for Good #sustainability http://t.co/SHF66MUdn5

Here’s my latest for Sustainable Brands.

Seven months ago, this series kicked off with CVS’ surprise announcement that it would no longer carry tobacco products in its retail stores. Fast forward, the company announced Sept. 3 that it had met its goal a month ahead of schedule and had a new name to match its bold, new vision of a tobacco-free America — CVS Health.

In follow-up articles, I’ve talked about leading businesses that have taken big steps for the common good because it’s the right thing to do — even if it costs the company financially in the short term — and the most recent talked-about companies banding together to work on climate and energy issues.

This time I want to point to a trend of businesses being called out publicly to make their “walk match their talk” on climate action commitments, political contributions and trade association memberships. It’s worth noting that pressure from responsible investment and climate action groups factor into all of the examples below, as more proof of the power of collaboration.

By nature I’m more inclined to shine a light on positive examples, but this wave of businesses being exposed for disconnects between their stated values and actions merits a closer look. My hope is that these efforts will spur actions that we can broadly acknowledge as steps in the right direction for leading brands.

I started tracking this issue of talking-versus-walking in January when the Union of Concerned Scientists released a report called Tricks of the Trade: How Companies Influence Climate Policy Through Business and Trade Associations. The report shows that “companies choose not to be transparent about their affiliations with trade and business associations.” One of the key issues that author Gretchen Goldman raises are disconnects between businesses’ positions on climate change versus the positions held by their business and trade groups.

In March, Intel became the first US company to commit to aligning its company policies and political contributions. The decision came after what was described as “fruitful negotiations” with investor group NorthStar Asset Management, Inc. and the filing of a shareholder proposal. In hindsight, this news that didn’t get a lot of ink early in the year looks prescient. What’s notable here is that the commitment goes behind disclosure — “tell us what you’re doing” — to doing things differently in the future.

Then, a much-shared article in June by Climate Progress discussed the US Chamber of Commerce’s preemptive swing at President Obama’s climate plan (the Chamber’s report opposed EPA rules that hadn’t been released yet, saying that they would be bad for jobs and the economy). The quote that grabbed my eye was this: “The Chamber does not speak on behalf of Prudential.” Well then, I wanted to ask, who does?

Then last month, Microsoft announced it had cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) because of concerns about the lobbying group’s opposition to renewable energy. Pressure from two responsible investment groups — The Sustainability Group and Walden Asset Management — played a role in the decision. And a few weeks later, a Common Cause-led campaign with over 50 organizational co-signers called on Google to drop its ALEC membership as well.

Which brings us up to earlier this month, when Forecast the Facts released its new “Disrupt Denial” report and social media campaign. The group says that “companies like eBay, Ford, Google, Microsoft, and UPS also contributed to the $641 million climate deniers in Congress have received from US businesses since 2008.” It’s too soon to say if this campaign will be successful, but if it is, then Intel’s example provides a path for other companies to follow.

As the year has progressed, I’ve felt increasing optimism from examples in the business world, op-eds and mainstream media that climate reality is winning out. The World Bank released a statement in August showing business leader support for carbon pricing and China just announced it will have a carbon market up and running by 2016. More companies are stepping up to talk about climate change as a material business risk and sharing their energy plans with investors and shareholders. And many of those companies have signed on as supporters for the Sept. 21 People’s Climate March in New York City that kicks off Climate Week and the Sept. 23 UN Climate Summit.

At the same time, there are plenty of people ready to write off the Summit’s chances for a treaty in 2015 or if it’s even possible to stave off climate catastrophe. But what’s different this time is that the business world has been asked to take on larger and more meaningful commitments. The We Mean Business coalition announced it will launch on Sept. 22 with a new report on the business case for moving swiftly to a low-carbon economy and the opportunities available to those companies who take action now.

The science is clearer than ever that our globe is heading towards “irreversible” climate impacts. So there’s not a day to waste — as individuals, business owners and citizens — to make sure future generations have a world fit to live in.


Yes it is. Insurers sue town over flooding claims because “Climate change is a foreseeable risk”.  http://t.co/Q3LhjtHjKs

Microbead ban law moving forward in NY State Assembly: 19 *tons a year* of polluting microbeads wash into NY waterways http://t.co/Dmy5kpxxJK

Well done job by Climate Outreach: 7 ideas for helping IPCC communicate climate action better with storytelling http://t.co/RLEvdqCoj1

Profile of NJ ‘s state climatologist Robinson. http://t.co/mnRytfNpuT

Clear, inspiring how-to on building action by William McDonough. Butterfly Resolution! http://t.co/bhzqeKbmZ0

Job for some well-qualified person: Sustainability director position for Amherst College, MA, USA https://t.co/Eyyl8sOoXw

Q for EU friends: When will European Council officially adopt the EU corp disclosure into law? http://t.co/PXJ9H0kN4a

Thanks to Aman Singh for getting my #sustybiz Twitter chat question answered: http://t.co/0q30ytXQ5L

Microbeads ban passed NY Assembly *108-0* last week. Way to go @5Gyres @Anna_Cummins http://t.co/Qk2o3U9cMw

Kudos NJ’s Star-Ledger Editorial Board for this strong statement: Climate disruption & Christie inaction. http://t.co/Qf9PTLlhoM

Little-better isn’t going to cut it. Nor will less-than-last-year.

No. If businesses want to survive the changes coming down the pike from climate change, it’s time for something bigger.

Here’s my review of Andrew Winston’s new book:

The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World (Hardcover)

* * *

It’s quite the balancing act to talk about humanity’s coming catastrophes with a rational, business-minded focus, but strategist and author Andrew Winston pulls it off.

That’s because he knows what he’s talking about. As he and others have said, “Business can’t succeed in a world that fails.”

To start, Winston briskly and clearly lays out the science. Failing is what awaits us if businesses don’t start getting ready for climate-change fueled weather disasters, resource scarcities and a radically transparent global marketplace. What’s needed is for businesses to make The Big Pivot to low/no-carbon, climate-resilient practices and strategies.

Then, on to examples. Winston knows The Big Pivot–rapid and radical business transformation–is possible because he’s seen and helped companies do it. He shares stories to prove that change can come from decisive leadership rather than just the stick of regulation or crisis. These up-to-date case studies are perfect, sharable examples of what leading companies are doing today.

And finally, he offers 10 strategies that show why and how your company or organization can make big, bold moves for equally big returns on business stability and profitability. I’m inspired by Winston’s call for businesses to buck the short-term safety of a quarterly profits-obsessed status quo. It’s time to pivot to a focus on long-term, science-based realities.

With a certain climate-challenged future ahead of us, The Big Pivot gives us a realist’s path to making sure it’s a prosperous one too.

Must-Read, Long:

Trusting Harvard: The Cost of Unprincipled Investing [$2.99 on Kindle], by Robert A.G. Monks & Marcy Murninghan http://amzn.to/1aw1iLP

 

Green Links:

At WEF14, Lord Stern says he wishes he’d been more fierce on climate action and recommends the @NewClimateEcon group. http://t.co/iuRsV9cEa2

NYT piece shows business catching up on climate change risks. http://t.co/OW4lUVUj2E

Phoenix is planning for 100F nights. And others cites are too, because it’s a lot less expensive to plan for resilience than pay for repair. “Federal taxpayers spent $6 on disaster cleanup for every $1 spent on community reliance” http://t.co/gGpprMRdcD

Trust Across America’s 2014 Top Thought Leaders. Some people I already look up to, and others I’m looking forward to learning from. http://t.co/XQ9br0H20d

Cogent explanation about why risk is “uncertainty that matters” and must be counted for sustainability decisions.
http://t.co/VPkP8aKbeq

By me: 5 NJ Climate Change Resources That Are Completely Under the Radar and Shouldn’t Be. http://t.co/o06BwU8H2N

Word out of Davos is that businesses are realizing they can gang together for real climate action. http://t.co/dUVA6Pu6cR

Last week’s 4-hour U.S. Senate climate change hearing. http://t.co/H7MPDW2tA8 and http://t.co/Y8mASZq3X9

Sanity from Andrew Winston: If We Don’t Tackle #Climate Change, The Rest of Our Problems Are Moot. http://bit.ly/KWwEiQ

Masterful job by Elaine Cohen to explain GRI v. IIRC.v. SASB http://t.co/LJygdMj0GZ

Smart read from Thomas Kolster “Nobody cares about sustainability.” http://t.co/SMug8BKQmR

SUPER explanation of SRI investing: “Buy green. Sell stranded.” http://t.co/Ba1q28IsX6

Must Reads:

Grist’s Ben Adler asks: Why is Chris Christie silent on climate change, even as New Jersey is threatened by rising seas? Includes good background on how New Jersey used to be a leader for clean energy and climate action planning

New York Times front-pages leaked IPCC draft, highlighting mounting costs of climate inaction: http://nyti.ms/1asqoc3

 

Green links:

Four great (tree-free!) ebooks for your new-to-green friends & colleagues from Julie Urlab at Taiga Company http://t.co/6DcVe5pNsc

Pondering ways to connect the “Blackfish Effect” to climate action. Similar in cognitive dissonance? http://t.co/mMIhlMBGw9

Why storytelling matters. Required reading from Seth Godin for the sustainability and climate action worlds. http://t.co/aoFXqhxNSW

Great analogy for restoring & protecting: “broken windows” theory from Hudson Riverkeeper http://t.co/u47t5C6kbw

Just a super share from Susan McPherson on how to be your best on social media https://t.co/yRfnCK31RP

My take on NY Comptroller DiNapoli’s climate action win: http://t.co/TVJCuOXcFC

A solar car! Future-fiction or not-so-far-off? https://t.co/438krn5ZC0

Are your U.S. Sens on the Boxer/Whitehouse Act on Climate taskforce? Mine are. Thanks to Senators Booker and Menendez http://t.co/at5ImiqB7p

My “5 Things #Climate Skeptics are Right About” | Feb 20 event w/ Yale Center for Climate Change Communication’s Geoffrey Feinberg http://t.co/0bQ7KFcX4a

Terrific essay: The sociology of climate change http://t.co/bo1k7YuDc5

Check out this SRI blueprint from Marcy Murninghan and Bob Monk: Trusting Harvard: The Cost of Unprincipled Investing http://t.co/VGVmORLVhm

NJ’s not in RGGI.

But it should be.

RGGI is a multi-state cap-and-trade system that creates jobs, brings clean energy investment to the state, and moves us closer to NJ’s 2020 GHG emissions goals. (That are mandated by the state’s 2007 Global Warming Response Act.)

Governor Christie pulled NJ out of RGGI in 2011 and has vetoed efforts to let the voters decide twice.

The only move now is to go around him.

Next stop is a Jan. 8 hearing on the matter by three NJ appellate court judges.

Via cleantechnica:

Can Climate Hawks Beat Chris Christie To Let New Jersey Rejoin RGGI?

Two developments this month, one in the state legislature and the other in the state court system, have re-opened the debate on New Jersey’s participation in RGGI’s cap-and-trade program and raise the possibility it can continue decarbonizing power generation while earning millions in clean energy investment.

Here are the things that caught my eye in 2014.

Some are noteworthy but unnoticed. Others soaked up a lot of well-deserved attention and ink.

All contributed to the growing tide of awareness that climate change action is urgently needed now.

Feb 28
Shell Bets on solar as dominant energy source by 2100, in little-noticed report

Carbon Brief

Mar 19
Pope Francis assumes the Papacy and chooses the patron saint of the environment
as his name
Pope Francis carpools, downsizes, blesses, kisses, lives modestly, and reminds the world to care for the world’s poorest people. In his homily, Francis described the church’s mission as “respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live.”
The Guardian

April 10
Ceres’ Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) launches the Climate Declaration
Climate Counts

April 18
Carbon Tracker releases its Unburnable Carbon report
New York Times

April 18
Bill McKibben’s 350.org’s fossil fuel divestment group releases “Do the Math”
Good

May 10
Climate hits 400ppm of CO2 for first time in 3 million years
Treehugger

June 25
President Obama announces his Climate Plan
The White House

Aug 19
IPPC report predicts near certainty on human-caused climate change
New York Times

Oct 10
LA Times announces it won’t public climate denier letters
Grist

Oct 24
Acknowleging reality and poking the bear, investors ask oil, coal and power companies for climate risk information
Forbes
Ceres

Nov 7
Super Typhoon Haiyan makes landfall in the Phillippines
Wikipedia

Nov 11
Yeb Sano pleads for climate action at the UN meeting in Warsaw
Youtube

Nov 21
Civil society and environmental groups walk out of UN Climate meeting talks to protest inaction
The Guardian

Dec 6
Signaling a foregone conclusion, 29 companies reveal they are already factoring a carbon price into their finances
Carbon Disclosure Project

Dec 16
Demonstrating momentum for pro-science climate action, Reddit science forum bans climate deniers

Grist

This happened.

http://www.ipcc.ch/

With all the flurry about it, there’s really only 10 words you need to know.

Via Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz  of the Yale Climate Project:

It’s real.

It’s us.

It’s bad.

Scientists agree.

There’s hope.

Let’s get on with it already.