In part one of this two-part interview, Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder, co-authors of the new book, The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity. Pernick and Wilder, who helped define the clean tech industry in their work with the research and publishing firm Clean Edge, discuss how clean tech includes clean energy sources such as solar and wind but not so-called “clean” coal or nuclear, despite the fact that some environmentalists claim nukes can help solve climate change. Pernick and Wilder also explain the six Cs, or the major forces they identified that are driving the clean tech revolution.
This week’s conversation covers fours of the Cs (costs, capital, competition, and climate), saving the final two (China and consumers) for the second half of the interview next week.
Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue attended the Summit on the Future of the Corporation in mid-November in Boston, a gathering to consider a fundamental re-design to integrate sustainability into the corporate structure. There, Rheannon interviewed two prominent thought-leaders: Arie de Geus, a former Shell executive and orignator of the “Learning Organization” concept, and Damon Silvers, General Counsel for the AFL-CIO. Rheannon speaks briefly with de Geus about human capital in business. Then she talks with Silvers at length about the labor movement’s role in creating a more sustainable business model. This is the last in CWR’s extended coverage of the Summit on the Future of the Corporation.
Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue attended the Summit on the Future of the Corporation in mid-November in Boston, a gathering to consider a fundamental re-design to integrate sustainability into the corporate structure. There, Rheannon interviewed two prominent thought-leaders: Michael Marx of Corporate Ethics International and the Business Ethics Network, and John Elkington of SustainAbility, who’s been called the dean of the corporate responsibility movement. Rheannon speaks with Marx about how NGOs are winning battles but losing the war when it comes to changing corporate behavior. NGOs and advocacy organizations can better motivate corporations to be more sustainable by re-framing economic issues within a moral context, Marx contends. Elkington flips this formula on its head, and advocates for going beyond moral suasion to showing companies how their economic self-interest coincides with sustainability.
This show continues CWR’s series which also includes interviews with Summit organizers Allen White, Majorie Kelly, Peter Senge, and Joe Laur.
2007 could have been called the Year of Shopping Dangerously. First there was the pet food scare, then toxic toothpaste, then a bevy of poisonous toys being recalled, one after another – containing lead, asbestos and other toxic materials. Many of the toxic products came from manufacturing outsourced to China. Do we have to choose between products that are cheap or products that are safe? Or is our regulatory system broke? With the US and China set to sign agreements soon to try to make Chinese exports meet U.S. standards, our interviewees today probe the deeper issues, and help us understand how much more it will take to end the flood of toxic products.
Cohost Sanford Lewis speaks with Melissa Brown of the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASRIA) and Lauren Compere, an investor with Boston Common Asset Management, who discuss the failures of third party audits and the challenges of a multilayered China supply chain, and Stacy Malkan, author of Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, who says that toxic products are not just a China problem – in fact the United States has some of the weakest product toxicity regulations in the developed world. This episode of CWR produced with support of the Investor Environmental Health Network.
Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with Larry Lohmann of the Corner House, a UK-based environmental and human rights NGO, about the book he recently edited, Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatisation and Power.
Lohmann debunks the myth of carbon trading as an effective solution to climate change. He points out that sulfur dioxide trading, widely touted as a solution to acid rain in the 1990s and hence a model for carbon trading, is neither. Lohmann also discusses shortcomings of the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism, and suggests that traditional solutions such as regulation are more efficient and effective in addressing environmental problems than creating a market that diverts attention from the main problem and introduces social inequalities.
Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with Auden Schendler, who heads the sustainability program at Aspen Skiing Company and has stirred up a heap of controversy as the subject of a recent BusinessWeek cover story entitled “Little Green Lies.”
Schendler calls into question the degree to which companies, within our current capitalist structure, can actually enact meaningful change toward true sustainability. Having convinced his company to commit in a big way to renewable energy credits (RECs), he has since become disillusioned, noting that many RECs fail to add new renewable energy projects to the world, and questioning exaggerated claims of RECs’ actual impact on reducing carbon emissions.
Peter Senge and Joe Laur of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) discuss how corporations need to transform, the central theme of the Summit on the Future of the Corporation on November 13 and 14 in Boston that SoL is co-sponsoring along with Corporation 20/20. Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon ask Senge and Laur about specific projects advancing corporate change such as the SoL Sustainability Consortium run by Laur that helped Nike achieve 80 percent carbon dioxide equivalent emissions reductions by changing the gas used in Nike Air sneakers. Senge describes the Sustainable Food Lab, a collaboration between SoL and the Sustainability Institute that he participates in.
In part two of this two-part interview, British journalist George Monbiot discusses his new book, Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning, with CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon. He touches on the irony that increased energy efficiency can lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions and the promise of high-voltage DC cables in transmitting renewable energy over long distances. We end the conversation discussing the paradox that love both creates climate change (in the form of what Monbiot calls “love miles” or the distance traveled and carbon emitted to visit loved ones) and holds the key to the solution, as compassion for humanity is the greatest catalyst for changing our carbon intensive systems.
In part one of this two-part interview, British journalist George Monbiot discusses his new book, Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning, with CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon. Monbiot applauds the acknowledgment of the climate crisis in awarding of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, but criticizes recipient Al Gore for undermining the Kyoto Protocol when he was in office. He also presents the case for carbon rationing under the “Contraction and Convergence” framework. He emphasizes the necessary role of government regulation in solving the climate crisis, and discusses the paradoxes of how “regulation enhances the sum of human freedom” and how our carbon-intensive lifestyles create a “fantasy of freedom.”
Emily Kawano, executive director of the Center for Popular Economics in Amherst, Massachusetts, discusses the launch of the US Solidarity Economy Network coming out of the US Social Forum in Atlanta in June 2007. Co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue ask Kawano to explain the defining features of Solidarity Economy–how big an umbrella it is, how it distinguishes itself from the competitive framework of current neoliberal economics, and how it can promote true social and environmental sustainability.