The author of this iconic green tome is very personable, in that salt-and-pepper-haired-smooth-presenter kind of way. His presentation was top-line (buy the book) but he did update on some new trends that have emerged in the last 8-9 months.
One is that Discovery Network announced it is changing to 100% green coverage, with the launch of Planet Green channel. Obviously media companies believe there will be ad dollars and stories to tell for the long term.
Another trend he identified was the bundling of data with products. More and more products carry stories on how they were made, how much carbon was embodied, the conditions for workers etc. And as the movement progresses, only the products with the best stories will get shelf space. As an example, he showed a Dole Organic banana sticker with a number on it. At doleorganic.com, when you enter the number, Google Earth will show you the very farm where your banana was grown.
He pointed to Wal-Mart putting ‘traceability’ into toy manufacturing demands. Setting standards higher than those of the government. In Wiston’s words, “These changes are rippling through the economy.”
But it goes even deeper.
Risk assessors – big banks, insurance, etc, are much more careful about what they will invest in (like regular coal plants). When the money people tighten up the cash in the face of risks( like looming carbon taxes) business will respond. New limits to growth are rekindling the Malthusian fears of the ‘70’s. The costs of living our lives is going up fast. And it’s not going away.
So how will companies companies create value and turn Green to Gold?
The same ways as always, Winston says. Reduce Cost, Reduce Risk, Create Real and Intangible Value.
And that’s no fad.
One in a series of articles on Lorne’s Sustainable Journey to the Sustainable Brands 08 Conference in Monterey CA. Click here for the full list of sessions, or here for the ‘Fear & Loathing’ road trip journals.
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