Sustainable business news & articles April 2011 Norway pays Guyana annually to keep its rainforests.


China and Germany lead the US in clean-energy investment. Overall global warming trend supported by evidence from new study. NY Times editorial opposing the proposed Canada-Texas tar sands pipeline. Important research on impact of new pesticides on pollen and bees. An interesting man, an interesting life. A well-researched article on the Canadian tar sands industry. A major European study of nitrogen pollution estimates a cost to Europe of between 100bn and 460bn per year.  Here is the study in full . An alternative and increasingly popular US approach to certifying socially responsible business (relatively spineless). Shale gas questioned as a source of non-polluting energy. Japan’s nuclear disaster brings about a change in Aboriginal views of uranium mining An interesting piece of research by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, concerning levels of knowledge about the mechanisms of climate change in the American population. The purchase or long-term leasing of large tracts of cultivable land, and the displacing of small farmers, is an emerging and worrying trend. Formation of a national wildlife corridors program in Australia, to link government and private land and improve conservation outcomes. A very important case on emissions policy and regulation is due to be argued before the US Supreme Court. Global warming is melting protective ice in the Arctic and leaving shorelines exposed, with consequences for local ecologies and communities. An excellent piece on incentives and motivation in organisations. Crisis NGO strategies in pushing for US wildlife protection in the face of accelerated extinction. New study links Antarctic ozone hole to sub-tropical rainfall and climate change impacts. A first payment by BP to environmental restoration in the Gulf: more to come. Greenpeace estimates of coal dependency in power for data centres among leading companies. The growth of Fair Trade Certified products in the US has been substantial.

Publication: “Sustainability in Australian business: fundamental principles and practice”

Here is a little book I recently wrote for Wiley, on Sustainable Business, published in 2010.  The idea was to ‘map’ the emerging sustainable business space, and to connect it where possible to Australian business practice.  Wiley is distributing it in the Australasian market alongside its academic business textbooks.

Here is the back cover summary:

“Sustainability is moving from the margins of business to the centre. Key factors and major global events transforming the business environment include climate change, renewable energy, oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and the Timor Sea, Asian sweatshops, patterns of global poverty, and indigenous rights. A new paradigm of business – sustainable business – is emerging: firms are accepting a wider responsibility for environmental and social wellbeing. At the same time, sustainable business offers enhanced business value: better management of risk and new market opportunities. Firms that actively engage with it are positioning themselves for globalmarket leadership.

This work presents a map of the new principles of business and a guide to their application in core disciplines: accounting, finance, marketing, operations and organisation. It presents a challenging and stimulating view of contemporary business for undergraduate university studies. It is a guide to business in the sustainability age.”

Sustainable business articles & news March 2011 UK view of the ubiquity of carbon trading in Europe. Shell’s proposal to drill for oil near a heritage reef off WA. A new UN report points to a global decline of pollinators: “of the 100 crop species that provide 90 per cent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees”. Lack of support for taxonomy work constrains biodiversity assessment. Ian Lowe’s evaluation of the nuclear option. The commoditisation of quinoa raises prices and impacts the Bolivian native population. Collaborations between business and city government to address intractable social and economic problems. New UK carbon measures, including floor price and Green Investment Bank. Continuing analysis by David Bornstein in the New York Times of the current analysis of micofinance: the household management of the poor. An interesting open-book blog by David Roodman, senior fellow at the Centre for Global Development.  He’s writing a book on micro-finance, and using this blog to talk about what he’s thinking as he writes it. A good article about the great economist EF Schumacher, who wrote the classic work “Small is Beautiful”. An historic class action against Wal-Mart on gender discrimination is before the US Supreme Court.