We recently sat with Paul Comey, VP of Environmental Affairs for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and he shared some of the responsible practices his organization is engaged in. One of the clear messages from this interview is that, increasingly, people want to work for companies with a conscience. Individuals yearn to contribute within organizations that they believe behave in socially and environmentally positive ways. This has not just talent attraction and retention benefits, but also real hard bottom line benefits as well. Consider the cost to attract, vet, and hire market talent, and factor in the time and internal resources and it’s obvious lots of dollars go into the process. And while most of the top 20 most socially responsible multi-nationals are in Europe, the US isn’t far behind. Most every Fortune 1000 company has aggressively ramped up their CSR initiatives within the past decade to create an actual or perceived public persona of socially responsible behavior. But the buzzwords can often be confounding – sustainable technology, green design, stakeholder engagement, base of the pyramid, cradle to cradle, biomimicry . . . It’s often difficult to parse out what it all means.
Stuart Hart helps sort these in terms of current and future developments and internal and external drivers. Providing context for the buzzword soup can aid critical understanding of the issues and positions organizations are taking today. Stuart Hart, Fred Krupp, Mark Lynas and many many others argue businesses have immense green tech/clean tech market opportunities now that will dwarf the dotcom revolution a decade ago. And if James Hansen is right, we need to move with war time speed in addressing the issues.