Bill McDonough - Sustainable Brands

Is the tide starting to turn in business sustainability awareness?

When the tide comes in across the sandflats, sometimes it doesn’t look like there’s anything much happening at all.  There’s a trickle here, a trickle there – it almost looks like nothing is changing.  Then some of the trickles start to join up and you can see that something is starting to happen.

This is how I’ve been feeling just recently, watching an increasing number of win/win/win stories of business sustainability.  (A selection of which I’ve posted in the LinkedIn Regenerative Business Group.)

Bill McDonough - Sustainable BrandsToday, I watched the video of sustainability thought leader William McDonough’s plenary presentation to the Sustainable Brands 2013 Conference, covering topics ranging from buildings that restore butterfly habitat in Barcelona, the non-profit Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute to “thinking molecularly and acting galactically”.  If you’re in need of a dose of positive thinking on sustainability, invest an hour in watching the video.

Yesterday, Richard Branson and Puma’s Jochen Zeitz kicking off ‘Plan B’ for business with a live online broadcast  to over 200 gatherings in 60 cities around the world.  Greenbiz reported that Plan B for Business “has set out three challenges that it wants to address as a matter of priority. Working under the banners “Future of Leadership,” “Future Bottom Line” and “Future of Incentives,” the group will investigate how to promote a less short termist and more inclusive approach to corporate leadership, expand corporate accountability to take account of environmental, economic and social impacts and improve corporate and economic incentive structures to remove harmful subsidies and promote responsible behavior.”

Two days ago, I read Sustainia’s Top 100 Report for 2013.  It’s a fascinating guide to 100 innovative solutions from around the world that presents readily available projects, initiatives and technologies at the forefront of sustainable transformation.  Even more fascinating was the fact that they received 500+ entries from 79 countries.

In my recently-arrived copy of “The Blue Economy”, there’s another 100 innovations listed by entrepreneur Gunter Pauli.

To me, today, this seems like the small trickles are getting just a little bit bigger?  Have you seen other trickles that could be indicators of a deeper turning of the tide?

Update: 26th June 2013

“President Barack Obama on Tuesday invoked his executive authority to undertake a slew of measures aimed at curbing climate change and preparing America for its costly impacts.” Huffington Post

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