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December 29, 2007

2008 what's OUT and what's IN, in Business Climate Change

It’s out with the old and in with the new time.

OUT                IN

Green                        Sustainable

Greenwash                Authentic Marketing

Overlook Standards Quantified Sustainable Standards

Fossil Fuels               Renewable Energy

No Accountability      Product Life Cycle Assessments      

Federal Regulation   Free Market Self-Regulation

Internal Audits           Third Party Audits

There's another big trend that seems to be skipping by the news writers - yes, we may be buying less because of being cash strapped, but we also buying less because green sites like here, here and here are all saying "buy green (now sustainable) or buy nothing." All of which affects the economy and that's what scares policy makers and investors because currently, we don't have enough sustainable items. Let's put it another way, if Wal Mart stores had nothing but products that were as sustainable as an organic apple, what do you think would happen to their stock?

In the past when our economy goes south, other global markets (all 180 of them) balanced it out and the investors kept on chugging along. In 2008, that spread-the-risk investment strategy is at risk as ALL markets are affected by the treat of Climate Change. So what can you do to stop a market melt down on top of an Arctic cap meltdown? Do something to protect the market.

That something is provide proof of sustainability - proof that your sustainable product IS as organic as an organic apple.

Mindylubber Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres put it this way:

“…corporate concern about sustainable business practices, once taken seriously by a handful of prescient companies, is hitting both Wall Street and Main Street. Clearly, some corporations joining the movement to go green are doing so because they see a market trend and don't want to miss the wave. Others see a public relations opportunity, while still others have leadership who genuinely see corporate responsibility and sustainability as integral to the corporate strategy.”

Accountability for corporate actions is taking hold. You can expect to see more announcements coming out of the EPA in January. Mindy goes on to say...

“Indeed, hundreds of companies have spent billions of dollars to understand and reduce their impacts on biodiversity, water quality, energy use, and climate risks...

Investors, too, are helping to shift the tide towards greater corporate transparency and accountability on a variety of sustainability challenges. It would have been inconceivable 15 years ago that in 2007, 55 of the nation's largest institutional investors representing $4 trillion in assets, would become part of Ceres' Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), scrutinizing how the companies they invest in are managing the financial risks and opportunities of climate change. Climate change is the mother of all sustainability issues and will have an impact on every economic sector, whether from new regulations, physical impacts or growing demand for climate-friendly technologies. Thus, climate risk is embedded in every business and investment portfolio, which is why more Wall Street analysts are beginning to factor corporate response to climate risk into their evaluations of the companies they cover.

That last part cuts to the chase… corporations and investors are all looking at the bottom line. Mindy concludes that, “Sustainability reporting must become as routine as corporate financial reporting… and sustainability strategies must become more than an adjunct or afterthought, or relegated to the PR department. They must become an integral part of every major company's core mission and strategic plan. Fundamentally, environmental and social issues are business issues.”

Read her full commentary here.

This is a momentous change in the way we are doing business and every citizen needs to be aware of it's impact as much as corporate and investment insiders. Our everyday lives, our retirement lives and the life of this planet is dependent on that understanding.

If money makes the world go around, I’m very hopeful for 2008, as money starts going around in a more sustainable way thanks to Sustainable Standards and those who support them. Climate Change may still not be "real" to many, but this economic climate change can't be ignored, not if you have a business or are investing for your retirement.

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Comments

Sustainability is part of our key mantra at QuickPlanner Plus. But what we are doing is based on our passions, not on increasing our marketing presence like many companies are implementing.

I checked out your site and didn't see the sustainability part on the surface. Maybe you should give me a call to discuss.

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