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  • In (Leadership) Change of Heart, posted on Sustainable Brands in January, I explored some of the reasons Warren Buffett has become progressively more activist and outspoken on issues of responsibility and equity (See article here). In parallel, I suggested that that the transition from accepting sustainability issues to addressing them is a tremendously difficult thing for business leaders – as even once new information and worldviews are embraced, leaders’ ability to evolve their organizations is limited by context e.g. available skillsets, historic mindsets, consumer preference, investor expectations and the regulatory environment.

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  • SustainAbility is now in its 25th year and as part of its celebrations launched The Regeneration Roadmap – a look backwards and forwards by some of the brightest folk from the frontline at the successes, failures, hits and misses of 25 years of “sustainability thinking”. From where I stand the glass could be half full or half empty, but what’s more important is “what’s next”? Are we making progress at the rate we need to? How can we accelerate? It’s not that we don’t have …

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  • There are two distinct narratives on how and why we started SustainAbility in 1987. The first is that we knew what we were doing, the second that we didn’t. And neither is quite right.

    Julia Hailes had joined me at a pioneering social enterprise, Earthlife, to work on two projects: Green Pages and The Green Consumer Guide. I had raised funding for the first, but then discovered two things: first that there was a financial black hole at the core of the Earthlife Foundation and, second, that the money I had raised had been swallowed by that black hole. Looking back at the period, I think Earthlife was one of the crucial inflection points in my life — and, like a neutron star, it projected new thinking and talent out through a wider universe. SustainAbility emerged phoenix-like from that period….

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  • @brainstormgreen

    23 Apr 2012Mark Lee

    For five years, Fortune has sought “to gather “the smartest people we know” in sustainability from business, government, and NGOs” for what has become one of the leading events in this space – Fortune Brainstorm Green I attended each of the last three years, just returning from the latest version 48 hours ago. Having read Marc Gunther’s They Said it at Brainstorm Green this morning, I wanted to add my own honorable mentions for good content – and touch too what was not said.

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  • You do all the right things: establish goals and targets, publish an annual sustainability report, seek employee and public input — and then repeat the cycle. Yet despite your efforts, those around you don’t seem to be moving fast enough to address the world’s environmental challenges, and you sense that real progress will require more involvement on the part of consumers, investors and government leaders.

    What do you do? How will you make your company’s engagement efforts …

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  • I write as I begin my life at SustainAbility, at the close of a weekend which saw Cambridge – my home town – hosting WordFest, a wonderful mélange of ideas and people. And if I needed any further convincing of the importance of the work I am about to undertake, then this weekend did the trick.

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  • How can an organisation that buys one-half trillion dollars worth of stuff every year create a sustainable supply chain? That was the question posed to me and about 80 other guests who were invited by the White House to a meeting on March 30.

    The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the General Services Administration (GSA) co-sponsored a group brainstorm on what a Community of Practice for a Sustainable Supply Chain should look like. Put simply, a Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better through regular interaction.

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  • In March, a report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance was released, mentioning that Wal-Mart was nowhere near meeting the Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) that it had set out in late 2005 – that is, to be 100% powered by renewable energy, create zero waste, and …

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