My colleague and occasional co-conspirator Gil Friend, CEO of Natural Logic, spoke last night at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, a presentation intriguingly titled "Business and Sustainability: Risk, Fiduciary Responsibility, and the Laws of Nature." As would be expected of Gil, one of the true pioneers in this field, it was a cogent articulation of the state of the art, for both better and worse, of sustainability in the private sector.
Gil's talk (the audio of which will be archived eventually on the Commonwealth Club Web site) covered a broad spectrum of topics, including how the financial markets are starting to "get it" -- that is, incorporate companies' sustainability footprint and strategy into their overall assessments. He punched through some of the more common arguments inside companies against thinking and acting more sustainability ("We can't afford it," etc.) and told inspirational tales of how some companies are beginning to invent their way out of seemingly intractable challenges -- and are doing so profitably.
Gil closed by debuting a new "declaration of leadership" for sustainable business, reprinted below. Says Gil: "I hope you'll use this declaration to stimulate fruitful discussions about whether your company is taking the challenge and the opportunity seriously -- and creatively -- enough."
Sustainable Business - A Declaration of Leadership
We envision our company, suppliers and customers, and our community doing business in ways that:
To do this we will:
We will measure our progress by the trends of our
We will pursue these steps with a commitment to