Current skyrocketing energy prices and increasing concerns about global ecological issues have brought environmental issues on most business leaders’ agenda. In this fast changing context, the Business and the Environment Club’s new alliance with two leading organizations in the sustainability field carries even greater significance.
The BEC has recently secured support from two prominent actors in the sustainability field for the duration of the current school year to help it raise environmental awareness on campus: The Saltwater Institute (www.saltwater.org) and the Earth Policy Institute (www.earth-policy.org).
The Saltwater Institute
Founded around a set of tools called THE SEVEN INTENTIONS of Values-Centered Leadership, The Saltwater Institute is an educational nonprofit that helps business leaders reconcile high performance and personal values such as:
* Family and community responsibility
* Respect and appreciation for the natural world
* Service and stewardship
* The necessity for work and productivity
* An intentional commitment to goodness
THE SEVEN INTENTIONS
1- Connect With Goodness
Learn to connect with goodness as a source of wisdom and strength and ways to connect with each other.
2 – Know Thyself, Be Thyself
Gain a greater understanding of your own values, beliefs, and gifts and how they can be used more effectively toward your purpose.
3 – Envision Your Destiny
See how your gifts, beliefs, and values correlate to a meaningful purpose in life.
4 – Seek Counsel
Recognize the value in asking others for advice with intention, and practice listening and guiding.
5 – Venture Out
Discover how your imagination is the source for creative and effective solutions, and understand that the courage to risk is essential to values-centered leadership.
6 – Assess
Understand that you are accountable for your choices, and learn that assessment is an ongoing disciplined process.
7 – Pass It On
Share your learning with others.
The Earth Policy Institute
In the words of its founder, Lester Brown, the Earth Policy Institute is an organization “dedicated to providing a vision of an environmentally sustainable economy-an eco-economy-as well as a roadmap of how to get from here to there.”
Rather than simply trying to defend the environment as “the right thing to do,” the eco-economist highlights the advantages of non-destructive resource utilization. Some of the more far-reaching measures include the restructuring of the tax system to reduce the economic burden placed on Green companies.
The Challenge – A Civilization in Trouble
1. Emerging Water Shortages
Falling Water Tables; Rivers Running Dry; Farmers Losing to Cities; Scarcity Crossing National Borders; A Food Bubble Economy
2. Eroding Soils & Shrinking Grainland
Soil Erosion: Wind and Water; Advancing Deserts; Crops and Cars Compete for Land; The Land Hungry Soybean; Grainland Gains and Losses; Spreading Land Hunger
3. Rising Temperatures and Rising Seas
The Temperature Record; The Yield Effect; Reservoirs in the Sky; Melting Ice and Rising Seas; More Destructive Storms; Subsidizing Climate Change
4. Our Socially Divided World
Life Expectancy: A Seminal Indicator; The Effects of the HIV Epidemic; Poverty and Hunger; Poverty and the Burden of Disease; The High Cost of Illiteracy
The Response – Plan B
1. Raising Water Productivity
Adopting Realistic Prices; Raising Irrigation Water Productivity; Rainwater Harvesting; Raising Nonfarm Water Productivity; A Global Full-Court Press
2. Raising Land Productivity
Rethinking Land Productivity; Multiple Cropping; Raising Protein Efficiency; A Second Harvest; Saving Soil and Cropland; Restoring the Earth
3. Cutting Carbon Emissions in Half Raising Energy Productivity; Harnessing the Wind; Converting Sunlight into Electricity; Energy from the Earth; Building the Hydrogen Economy; Cutting Carbon Emissions
4. Responding to the Social Challenge
Stabilizing Population; Universal Basic Education; Curbing the HIV Epidemic; Health for All; School Lunches for the Poor; Breaking Out [Source: //www.earth-policy.org/Books/PlanB_contents.htm]
The two organizations have made it possible for BEC members to receive landmark sustainability books by eco-entrepreneur Tom Chappell (Co-founder and CEO of Tom’s of Maine, and Founder and President of The Saltwater Institute), and eco-economy thinker Lester Brown (founder and President of the Earth Policy Institute).
Mr. Chappell’s book, Managing Upside Down, discusses how “a concern for the Earth and an interest in maintaining social values can help a company succeed.” It also offers seven basic steps for improving corporate values.
Mr. Brown’s volume, Plan B, Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble, explains how “we can build an economy that does not destroy its natural support systems, a global community where the basic needs of all the earth’s people are satisfied, and a world that will allow us to think of ourselves as civilized.”