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  • Good quick review of available tools to do Life Cycle Assessments: http://www.linkcycle.com/comparison-of-best-life-cycle-assessment-software/ and here

    I like the way Linkcycle thinks – focusing on the most strategic and biggest influencers on lifecycle impacts, rather than doing monster assessments. They even offer a free quick review tool.

  • A very intense and challenging piece you might want to ponder as you think about what “sustainability” means (hang in there for the last half of the article):
    Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist by Paul Kingsnorth
    Like all of us, I am a foot soldier of empire. It is the empire of Homo sapiens sapiens and it stretches from Tasmania to Baffin Island. Like all empires, it is built on expropriation and exploitation, and like all empires it dresses these things up in the language of morality and duty…

  • Very useful guide on how to go about engaging your employees into sustainability and watch the culture change: Toward Engagement 2.0
    While these case studies are from companies who “get” sustainability, there are some good suggestions for how to develop sustainability-think for all employees and yield real value for any company at any stage. Lots of resources, too.

  • Obama postponed the revision to the ozone standard today. It’s the right move for now.
    Everyone wants clean air. The questions are how much it costs and who pays? We have a convoluted accretion of decades-long regulatory mechanisms that have very high costs to companies in pollution control and compliance (that require resource reallocation away from income-generating production) and high costs to state governments (i.e., state taxpayers) to implement ozone control programs. Postponement while we work our way through this recession is realistic.

  • The American Chemistry Society has launched it’s new website on sustainability: www.acs.org/sustainability.
    Yours truly led development of the site as a portal for those interested in chemistry and sustainability and, in particular, to learn what the American Chemical Society and its members are doing and can do to understand and create chemical solutions sustainably.

  • I agree with the article by Mark McElroy “Do LCAs Measure Up To Sustainability?” He says they do not, because they are too narrowly focused on eco-efficiency only and ignore context.
    As I’ve blogged before, sustainability should be about how we do what we do and not a collation of LCA’s. At best LCA’s help inform decisions as we try to understand the dynamic systems of which products and users are a part. I use the phrase “life cycle thinking” to describe how we need to recognize the potential intended and unintended consequences of our actions. Understanding contexts and consequences.

  • Article by Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen illustrates why “sustainability” is just not the right goal:
    Over-Innovation Makes U.S. Firms Suck At Sustainability The same forces that drive U.S. companies to become the greatest innovators are the ones that make them the biggest environmental sinners.

  • Sustainability is about the how and not the why. It is a how to accomplish things with minimum adverse impact now or in the future, preserving resources for continuous use and supporting life using long-range life cycle thinking. Acting sustainably. The “why” is to make this world a better place to live in – a world where everyone has opportunities to thrive physically, intellectually and emotionally. A world of wonderful changes.

  • Current and recent events and articles

  • I very much like the article by Daniel Altman and Jonathan Berman, “The Single Bottom Line.” Companies that think about long term profitability – i.e., being sustainable beyond just the next quarter – should make rational decisions that would now be categorized as “Corporate Social Responsibility” or “Sustainable” solely on the basis of whether or not such “do good” actions will enhance the traditional bottom line long term. I think that’s why we see some fairly old line companies leading the way on sustainability and CSR – 3M, P&G, Johnson& Johnson, Unilever, GE. Their culture is to think for the long term with the expectation that they’ll be around in another century. Thus, they view investment in community and the environment to be in their long term interests and are rewarded by loyal employees, investors and customers.

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