A Note About Hunter . . .
Getting On and Getting Gone–The Sustainability Trail
Hunter spent 2006 traveling the world. She keynoted conferences, taught MBA and high school students, and met with business and government leaders. She also took time to write a major paper, The Business Case for Climate Protection and to work with the NCS staff to produce the Climate Protection Manual for Cities (see article below). Often Hunter speaks about the forces that are driving companies and communities to innovate. These drivers should not come as a surprise to you: they include global warming, the erosion of the major ecosystems on earth that underpin the capacity of the planet to sustain life, high and rising energy prices, the vulnerability of our large centralized infrastructure in a time of turmoil and finally what we are calling the “sustainability imperative.”
What is different, now is this last driver. It is actually shifting the business world, forcing companies to compete to appear more “green.” Ultimately, it will lead them to become truly restorative of human and natural capital if they wish to remain competitive.
To help audiences understand how these changes are shaping our world, Hunter presents NCS’ concept of the “Integrated Bottom Line,” in which outstanding financial performance is achieved through behaving more responsibly towards people and planet. This contrasts significantly with the older formulation of the “Triple Bottom Line” in which companies are asked to bolt the additional cost centers of environmental and social responsibility onto their traditional financial bottom line. Using an Integrated Bottom Line, a company achieves durable competitive advantage by cutting its costs, enhancing worker productivity, reducing risks, differentiating its brand, creating customer loyalty and driving innovation and more. Communities can use this same approach to enable their governments to run more effectively. (Read more about LASER in the article below.)
Hunter describes how companies that are leading the sustainability revolution are achieving each of these core elements of enhanced shareholder value to become “first to the future.” She has given dozens of interviews on radio, TV and for a variety of print media.
Typically she speaks, then runs like hell for an airplane to. . . .well, somewhere else. Since our last e-lert this spring, Hunter keynoted conferences at Harvard, the University of Colorado, in Michigan, in Canada for the Alberta Department of the Environment, at General Electric, then a stop in Michigan to present at Herman Miller. She was in Wisconsin for the National Leadership Summit on Energy and Climate Change (see Climate Protection Manual article below), then in Vermont discussing LASER at the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies Conference. In May she was in London, England. Then back to Canada for Shambhala Institute’s Authentic Leadership Program then on to New Zealand in June and July for a tour of the major cities in the country.
In August, Hunter went to Honduras with Origo founder Jeff Hamaoui to keynote the World Business Council for Sustainable Development business leaders session in San Pedro Sula. This is the work that Hunter truly loves, bringing NCS ideas to the rest of the world, not just in the over-developed North.
September took Hunter to San Francisco, then Virginia, a stop-off in Colorado to advise the Boulder County Energy Task Force and the Denver Mayor's Greenprints Council, on both of which she serves. While in town on that stop, she also shared the business case for climate protection to the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. Before heading east, she spoke to a group of Kansas City business leaders who are implementing the ideas of industrial ecology and Natural Capitalism in their companies.
Then it was on to New York with Rick Levine from Paradigm Nouveau Enterprises, for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), where NCS’ pledged to deliver the Climate Protection Manuals and a Green Afghanistan. Hunter was invited to be on the podium at CGI with Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson as Branson announced the investment of the entire profits for the Virgin Group for the next ten years (reckoned to be $3 billion) to carbon-neutral fuels. When the media hurried up to ask everyone why they thought he was doing this, Sir Richard said, “I run an airline. I'm going to need fuel that will not destroy the climate.” Hunter replied it was also because he was going to make a boatload of money.
The Clinton meeting was utterly awe striking. The richest business people in the world were there, as well as heads of such companies as GE, Wal-Mart, Hathaway, and hundreds of others. There were 57 heads of state. Such luminaries as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Madeline Albright, Wangaari Mathai, Mohamed Younis, scientists like Dr. Rosina Biernbaum, Dr. John Holdren and Dr. Tom Lovejoy.
Former Vice-President Al Gore spoke as forcefully as Hunter had ever heard him on the imperative to reduce global warming. Hunter went up to him afterward to thank him and to tell him that for once they were in agreement. They’ve been in a room together four times, and every time before have gotten in a fight—'til now. Gore saw Hunter and crossed over to give her a big kiss. Katie McGinty, who used to work with Al and now runs the Pennsylvania Department of the Environment grinned and cracked, “I guess you two aren't fighting anymore.”
The highlight for Hunter was the opportunity personally to hand to President Karzai of Afghanistan her proposal for Green Afghanistan—switching from pouring “development” money into the pockets of western contractors that deliver last century's technologies that don't really help the Afghan people, to enabling Afghans to gain the capacity to meet their own challenges using world best practice in sustainable ways to meet basic human needs.
A month later, while in D.C. to speak at an Open House for Presidio School of Management, Hunter presented this new model of development to senior officials at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This resulted in an invitation to submit a proposal to them. Hunter is working with teams of students from Presidio to prepare the proposal.
After a quick trip to Seattle to meet with the Mayor’s Sustainability team, the equivalent team from King County, Lorinda Derosier with Gifford and Libba Pinchot from Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Hunter gave a speech at the University of Washington. Hunter raced back to California to teach at Presidio and keynote the annual forum at Field Paoli, a green architecture firm in San Francisco. She then journeyed down to the Robert Lewis Stevenson School at Pebble Beach to give a whole school assembly for these bright high-school students. She was pleased to see on a lab bench two milk jugs of homemade biodiesel. The students had taken used cooking oil from the kitchen and converted it to fuel in their lab. Hunter described to the students the global implications of what they had done.
The rest of the fall went to presentations of the green development thesis at the Annual sustainable community conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, at West Coast Green, and at the San Diego Green Building conference.
Hunter gave the Keynote at AASHE (American Association of Sustainability in Higher Education) of which Presidio is a member—to an audience of over 700 attendees (the organizers were hoping for only 400). She also spoke at Maricopa Community Colleges—the largest community college network in the nation, and met with the team at Arizona State University that is creating the first whole College of Sustainability within a major university. This is a really big deal. ASU will be the first college offering masters and doctoral degrees in this new field of sustainable management being created.
She then scooted to San Diego for the Western Regional Pollution Prevention conference, and spoke to business leaders implementing resource efficiency throughout the South Coast.
She headlined the Sustainable Hudson conference in Upstate New York, Sustainable Innovations in Chicago, the Association of Bay Area Governments in Oakland and the Net Impact annual meeting in Chicago. Then it was a fast flight to Syracuse Center of Excellence to keynote the Business Roundtable on Excellence at the invitation of her friend Rick Fedrizzi, who runs the U.S. Green Building Council. Then back to San Francisco to give the noon speech at the Commonwealth Club and teach at Presidio. Phew.
November found Hunter briefly in Denver as the evening speaker at the Colorado Association of Environmental Education annual banquet, but she was gone again in the dawn—out to Half Moon Bay, California, to speak at the Annual Board Retreat for Goodwill Industries. In San Francisco she spoke to the packed house at the Green Festival, then sped off to Robert Redford's Climate Summit at Sundance, Utah, where Hunter and NCS Director of Research, Brianna Buntje, released the just completed Climate Protection Manual for Cities (see below article).
As this e-lert goes out Hunter is home, finally. She even stole away a few afternoons in the Rocky Mountain sunshine to get reacquainted with her good little mare, Piglet.
Home for the holidays will mean finishing the Climate Protection Manual for Cities and gearing up to deliver it to cities across the country. On the road or at home, Hunter is always grading student work and preparing materials for the next semester. She is also advising the new project creating a 100-day Climate Action Plan for the next U.S. President, advising on several film projects, and falling further behind in answering those incessant emails.
All of the work Hunter is doing is made possible by the support of people like you. Natural Capitalism Solutions’ annual holiday appeal will be in your email in the next few days. Please consider sharing your annual donation budget with us. You can make a tax-deductible gift online, by mail or in person. Contact us today if you want to help support Hunter’s work of taking the message of sustainability to the world. (See our web site calendar for details and downloads of Hunter’s presentations.)
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Climate Protection Manual
NCS Writes the Book on Climate Protection
In June, 2006, the National Leadership Summit on Energy and Climate Change, the first of four summits addressing the challenge of climate change, appointed Natural Capitalism Solutions to write the “How To” manual for cities interested in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Natural Capitalism Solutions was assigned the task of producing a manual to guide the rapidly growing number of cities who have pledged to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol, reducing their carbon emissions by more than 7% below 1990 levels by 2012 (cities join this effort by signing the Climate Protection Agreement).
At last count, more than 330 cities have signed the Climate Protection Agreement, a challenge issued by Mayor Nickels of Seattle. These cities are the focus of action in a country where the national leadership has yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. This is an exciting development, but the truth is that few of these cities understand how to fulfill their pledge, and even the cities that have begun to take action are in need of a concise manual of best practices, case studies and model ordinances. Natural Capitalism Solutions manual does just this.
At Robert Redford’s Sundance Climate Summit this November, the draft manual was released for comment to the more than 30 Mayors, and other scientists, foundation representatives and activists in attendance. The Climate Protection Manual for cities is also available on line on our web site, click here. Suggestions will be integrated into the manual throughout November and December. It will be formally released and posted on the NCS website and elsewhere for free in January 2007. Already the manual is getting rave reviews.
Mayor Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake wrote to Brianna Buntje, NCS’ Research Director and manual project manager: “Never before have mayors had such a detailed, helpful resource for implementing strategies that will significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses. You have performed such an important service—and with incredible competence and class.”
NCS staff were a logical choice to write a manual of this nature—we have long been active in developing solutions to the climate issue. Hunter’s first book on the topic, Least Cost Energy, Solving the CO2 Problem, was published over 20 years ago (1989). As the creator of the Economic Renewal concept, Hunter’s work in helping communities solve their own problems goes back into the 1970’s. In between, she assisted in the deliberations at Kyoto where the International Protocol was developed, helped author the Climate Making Sense and Making Money guide, and the Chapter 12 of Natural Capitalism that describes why climate change is a serious problem, and what to do about it. (Both can be downloaded from our web site for free.)
This manual shows cities exactly how to deliver the greenhouse gas reductions needed to relieve the threat of climate change, while strengthening their economy, enhancing their security and improving their quality of life.
As soon as the Cities’ manual is complete, NCS will begin work on a similar manual for small to medium sized businesses. The need for a business version became apparent immediately after beginning the cities manual. While drafting Chapter 2 for the Climate Protection Manual for Cities, “Why Act Now,” two sections became particularly useful to the Boulder Chamber of Commerce—the Business Case for Climate Protection and Drivers of Change. The main arguments laid out in those sections (available also for download separate from the manual), helped sway the Chamber to support the Boulder ballot initiative to implement the nation’s first carbon tax. The initiative subsequently passed in November, enabling Boulder once again to be proud of its claim to be one of the greenest cities in the nation.
NCS’ manual was made possible because of timely support by some of our closest friends. In June, after returning from the National Leadership Summit on Energy and Climate Change meeting with a tight deadline, Hunter approached several NCS supporters. An anonymous anchor donation enabled immediate progress. Our colleagues Audrey and Rick Levine at Paradigm Nouveau Enterprises (PNE) were already asking how they could do their part to minimize climate change. PNE is known for meeting the urgent needs of the 21st century through innovative action, thinking and dialogue that produces unprecedented results. PNE saw the Climate Protection Manual for Cities as a project consistent with its mission, and has provided the partnership and funding necessary for its creation. Audrey deserves special thanks. Not only did she make this manual possible through her constant support and fiscal contributions, her personal commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions goes way beyond. The first night of our partnership, Audrey created the website www.co2reduction.net and launched it. Upon walking into the Colorado State Capital, she queried a legislator why the state had not retrofitted its incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents. On hearing that the $1,500 it would cost was not in the budget, PNE simply wrote the State of Colorado a check. That one action will save Colorado taxpayers $90,000 over the lifetime of the bulbs and tons of carbon not spewed into the atmosphere. Natural Capitalism Solutions is very proud to have partners like Audrey and Rick Levine. Now they are working to retrofit all state capitals in the nation. Other supporters include Doug and Lisa Granat and family and two other anonymous donors.
As Audrey has shown, we know what we need to do—now let’s do it!
Contact us today about NCS’ Climate Protection Manual and implementing it in your city, or if you are interested in helping support the Businesses’ manual.
Sustainability for National Security
Fifth Annual Fort Carson Community Sustainability Conference & Expo
Christopher Juniper has been helping lead Fort Carson’s sustainability program with its Directorate of Environmental Compliance and Management since 2003. This Army installation is scheduled to grow by about 50% in coming years. Fort Carson is a national leader in sustainability implementation through its comprehensive sustainability training program, community outreach promoting sustainability indicators to local governments, and 12 ambitious long-term (2027) goals—including 100% renewable energy and zero waste. The installation achieved 38% renewable energy purchases for 2006, putting it in the top ten of federal agencies. The program's website—and the 2006 annual report—tells the full story—http://sems.carson.army.mil.
One of the unique features of their sustainability program is the Annual Fort Carson Community Sustainability Conference & Expo, co-produced by NCS since 2004. The 2006 conference, “Gaining Irreversible Momentum for Sustainability,” was the largest yet, bringing together over 400 community members, sustainable technology vendors and military personnel. Kate Curl from the NCS team organized over 40 exhibitors at the conference, featuring technologies ranging from waterless urinals to sustainable shooting ranges. The conference included such keynote speakers as Larry Schweiger, the President/CEO of the National Wildlife Foundation, and Tad Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health. The conference offered public workshops including sustainable urban design, sustainable regional indicators and growth planning, zero waste and sustainable transportation. Every year the Conference keeps getting bigger and better and has become the premier sustainability event in the Pikes Peak region of 700,000+ people.
National Nuclear Security Agency Helix Training
In August, Christopher Juniper and Paul Sheldon conducted a one-day workshop on sustainability implementation for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Agency in Oak Ridge, Tennessee—the people that manage our nuclear weapons materials. Like many other U.S. government agencies, the DOE is moving beyond “pollution prevention” to sustainability-based management in order to improve environmental performance beyond compliance. NCS was selected partially based on its ongoing co-management of the leading-edge Fort Carson Mountain Post’s sustainability program and partially because of the potential of the NCS-developed Helix Management System to deliver the sustainability performance results desired by DOE leaders. To explore how a similar training might help your organization, contact Natural Capitalism Solutions today.
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2006 Interns at Natural Capitalism Solutions
NCS could not do half the work it does without our wonderful interns.
This year we had an especially good group (from left to right):
Kate Curl, a recent graduate of CU Boulder and a native of Tucson, Arizona, began work with NCS on the LASER project. She now helps full time in the office with NCS operations development.
Mike Hoffman is a graduate student at the University of Texas in Austin. As part of Natural Capitalism Solutions’ summer 2006 intern team, Mike worked with many collaborators on the Mayors’ Climate Protection Manual. In his free time, Mike enjoys spending time outdoors.
Jeremy Epstein, a Massachusetts Native and CU Boulder graduate followed his passion for sustainable international development by lending a hand on the LASER initiative this summer. He found relevant case studies to show just how economically viable and environmentally beneficial LASER can be.
Tamara Jacobi was born in Newport, Vermont and raised just over the border in Quebec, Canada. This summer Tamara worked with NCS on the development of a sustainability curriculum to be used in both high school and university settings. She has returned to Middlebury College, VT to complete her undergraduate degree in Environmental Economics.
Mark Lewis is a Colorado native who finished his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of San Diego in May, 2005. Since graduation he has taught English, volunteered in an HIV orphanage, worked on various water reclamation projects, helped formulate and raise funding strategy all in Southeast Asia and volunteered on an organic farm in New Zealand. Mark now works as a sales representative with Rocky Mountain Sustainable Enterprises and volunteers his spare time with us.
Jennifer Stein graduated from CU-Boulder with a degree in Environmental Studies. During her time here with NCS she has assisted on the Climate Protection Manual project (not pictured above).
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Making Corporations More Sustainable Through Consulting
Clif Bar & Co. Life Cycle Analysis
Since January 2006, NCS has been consulting with Clif Bar & Co. on its first assessment of environmental/ sustainability impacts throughout the entire company lifecycle - from the farmers’ fields to the final product. The NCS team developed a unique lifecycle analysis template—the Natural Capitalism Life-cycle Analysis system - that is much more cost-effective and functional than traditional lifecycle analysis projects. Following initial implementation within the Clif Bar & Co. supply chain, the lessons learned, results, and milestones will be publicly shared. The NCS team, led by Christopher Juniper, included all of the NCS core consulting team with additional help from Eliot Hoffman of the New Voice of Business. NCS Engineer Pablo Päster made a unique and valuable contribution adapting the Wuppertal Institute's MIPS system for lifecycle environmental impacts to the project's needs.
An initial preview of this project appeared in the Inc. Magazine “Green 50” article of November 2006—in which Clif Bar & Co. was named one of the “Pioneers” of green businesses: www.inc.com/magazine/20061101/green50_pioneers.html.
Look for more detail in our next E-lert or contact us today. NCS is now looking for its next Natural Capitalism Life-cycle Analysis project.
The NCS Sustainability Management Helix pilot project with PortionPac Chemical Corp. of Chicago is now entering its second year. A partnership between PortionPac, the Chicago Manufacturing Center (CMC) and NCS, the project is applying the sustainability strategies of the Management Helix to all of PortionPac's operations through diverse teams at PortionPac that are spearheaded by NCS and CMC staff. Meanwhile, PortionPac has garnered several sustainable business awards for its existing leading-edge approach to safe and efficient cleaning systems, including the 2006 Illinois Governor's Pollution Prevention Award. The partners are also developing principles of a sustainable cleaning system to raise the bar for the entire industry—look for this publication in coming weeks!
Also watch for a sustainability training video PortionPac CEO Marvin Klein made with Hunter Lovins this March to help the company educate its employees and clients about its sustainability path.
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Promote Sound Energy Policy and the Preservation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The goal of Natural Capitalism Solutions’ Treasure America Project is to promote sound energy policy and the preservation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Starting in 2005, the Treasure America Project team developed a network of business and civil society leaders dedicated to ensuring the preservation of Alaska’s Arctic Refuge. The project succeeded is contributing to a critical national effort to strip legislation from a federal budget bill and a national defense spending bill which would have opened the Refuge to oil extraction. In November of this year, as politicians dead-set on the industrial development of northern Alaska lost political power, the project team has shifted the project’s focus toward the long term conservation of the Refuge.
LASER: Local Action for Sustainable Economic Renewal
With support from America's Development Foundation (www.adfusa.org), NCS worked with Gwendolyn Hallsmith and Wayne Fawbush of Global Community Initiatives and Bernard Lietaer of the University of California's Center for Sustainable Resources to produce the LASER system for sustainable community economic development. Work began in late 2005 when Gwendolyn invited Hunter and Christopher Juniper to accompany her on a mission to Serbia, teaching ADF specialists about local community development. This work formed the basis for the LASER workbook, produced in June, 2006. LASER, which stands for Local Action for Sustainable Economic Renewal, presents a process by which a community, region or state can mobilize leaders at all levels to craft a sustainable economic future. At the core of LASER is the assessment of a community's assets in the form of ten critical capital stocks needed for economic development, including natural and various forms of social capital. In October, Gwendolyn toured every province of South Africa presenting LASER trainings. The full LASER workbook is available at our website, and training sessions are available.
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What’s the first class up to now?
This June Presidio School of Management graduated its second cohort. We were curious what the first cohort had accomplished in its first year on ‘the other side.’
5 started their own sustainable businesses—and are making a livelihood from it;
4 work now for-profit companies with sustainability or social values;
4 were hired by sustainability-oriented non-profits;
3 are now employees of Presidio School of Management;
2 are seeking more sustainably-related employment while in their current jobs;
1 continued with her sustainability-oriented non-profit; and
1 continued with his sustainable business.
Three indicative stories:
Class of 2006 Creates On-line Sustainability Dictionary
Responding to the need for an accurate go-to reference source for definitions of the terms of sustainability, the enterprising Class of 2006 (with some leadership from Nathan Shedroff of Cohort 2) has compiled the first Dictionary of Sustainable Management, now available online. This first-of-its-kind dictionary is available at www.sustainabilitydictionary.com and features all the must-know terms of sustainable business. Created as a labor of love with contributions from Presidio faculty, staff, students as well as business leaders in sustainability, the new-school dictionary is designed as a tool for anyone interested in understanding the business of sustainable management. There is no fee to use the online reference guide, which is not yet available in print.
In addition to common sustainability terms, many traditional business terms are also included with a slant on how sustainability enhances or evolves their definitions. The dictionary is also designed so that anyone can comment on (or add meaning to) any term. Periodically, new editions will incorporate these comments into new definitions (both in print and online). To suggest new terms for the dictionary, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last January Presidio enrolled its fourth cohort, marking the first time a cohort has begun in the spring semester. This fall, cohort five followed and in January 07 cohort six will join the team. After Hunter had taught one session with these new students she reported to the rest to the faculty that they’d all have to step up their game—these were really good students. Presidio is now enrolling the caliber of students who could easily have chosen any business school in the world. They came to Presidio because they are seeking the expertise in sustainability. It remains one of Hunter’s sources of hope when other forces seem dark that all of these young people are bringing their considerable talents to the field of sustainable management. If you want to join us contact: George Kao.
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