I read over the plea from the Marshall Islands asking citizens of the world, corporations and other governments to help stop global warming before their island nation goes underwater and wondered: Is it OK if we fail them just a little bit?
"It started with a phone call from Al Gore while I was in the bath. He wanted to show me An Inconvenient Truth, and his poignant and elegant reduction of these issues really struck a chord with myself as an interested non-expert."
There's little to debate about the enormous impact our commercial culture has had on our planet. But there is much to debate about how our culture of excess consumerism and materialism can be transitioned into one of more efficient restraint and responsibility.
In the test of corporate sustainability, companies often act in the same way as the children. They understand that sustainability is important, just as children understand that two marshmallows are better than one. But how long can they wait before giving in to temptation?
Chief executives of the world's biggest companies have long boasted about going green to help woo more consumers. But some now warn their businesses will only continue to grow if their operations become increasingly sustainable.
By the sheer number of initiatives in this arena and the degree to which other efforts are trying to hitch their wagon to the trend, it is clear that something important is afoot. Will merely knowing more about these impacts necessarily lead to dramatically better sustainability outcomes?
I worked with a number of boards and board chairs over the summer, and here are the things on their minds and the things they'll be grappling with this autumn, above and beyond the usual business of the year.
Employee volunteer programs make employees feel good and, as such, evidence suggests that such programs lead to greater employee engagement. But what good does a corporate social responsibility program do for the rest of us?
Earth Day was a powerful first act to what could be a wonderful stage production by drawing worldwide attention to universal environmental issues and setting the stage for changes needed in our own consumption patterns.
In a year where the election and global economic crisis are at the forefront of our minds, let's also think outside our personal bubbles to some global trends that, when applied to key sustainability issues, are definitely resolution-worthy.