Tuesday, April 24, 2018

UK fund manager will name-shame-divest climate bad guys

Helena Morrissey, a large investment manager responsible for over $1 trillion in assets, has said she’s soon to name and shame and strip companies of funding if they aren’t doing enough for climate change.

"There comes a time when talk is over, and it's time to vote with our feet. Money talks as they say," Morrissey said at a conference in London on Monday. She emphasised the need for the financial sector to work together, driving change through sustainable investments, and said that these investments can produce both "profit and purpose." Many individuals don't invest in the market because of fear their money will be used for purposes they disagree with, Morrissey said. She suggested sustainable investing as a solution.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Vacuum ocean plastic...will it work?

You might have seen the TedTalk. Boyan Slat left school because he was so concerned about ocean plastic. His device will be deployed this summer. It will be interesting to see if it works.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40560810/the-revolutionary-giant-ocean-cleanup-machine-is-about-to-set-sail

Thursday, April 19, 2018

You can go to jail in Kenya for plastic bags

The UK is considering a ban on plastic straws and Q-tips with plastic. But the toughest plastic regulation of all is in Kenya:

 ...there are fines if you use a plastic bag and if business people are caught making or importing them, they actually face up to four years in jail.
Plastic straw and cotton bud ban proposed - BBC News US 
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-43817287

Thursday, April 12, 2018

New tool: Zero Waste Events checklist and certification

When we tell people about our Sustainable Business Certification, we are often asked if we can certify events. We thought that was a cool idea, especially because of all the events we have in the area.

One of the first and most accessible actions is to make an event "zero waste" (defined in industry as at least a 90% diversion from landfill.) With a little planning and local resources, it's easily achievable.

Wouldn't it be great if the Sedona Film Festival, Yoga Festival, Native Plant Workshop, Art Festival, Marathon, Day of the Dead, Verde River Festival, Earth Day Celebration, weddings, etc., all produced virtually no waste?  

We could educate all who came about zero waste as an achievable goal.

We created Make Your Event Sustainable guide which includes a Zero Waste Events Checklist. If an event planner commits to all relevant practices (from the 16 zero waste practices), their event can be certified by the Sustainability Alliance.

We also have a host of local resources to help you, including people who can compost your food waste and rent you dishes.

Download the guide and learn of Verde Valley/Flagstaff resources here:
http://www.sustainabilityallianceaz.org/p/zero-waste-events.html

Book review: The Righteous Mind



Haight, Jonathan (2012) The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. New York, NY: Pantheon Books.

This book takes a current look at brain science and evolutionary adaptations that have led us to the political divide in the US. The concepts have a chance of bridging the increasing divide.

Key concepts:

Elephant and the rider: The elephant represents our unconscious which is largely in control. The rider is our rational mind which tries to direct the elephant. Mostly it’s in service of the elephant, even if we don’t know it.

We’re 90% chimp/10% hive: Humans are still largely selfish/self-interested but can in certain circumstances act collectively. This capacity to come together was key to our evolution. Culture of course affects the degree to which we focus on individual freedom or collective well-being. To me one of the most interesting perspectives is how religion—the function of it, separate from whatever beliefs—is designed to create community, to sacrifice for the group and dampen selfishness. There are ‘hive switches,’ actions that can help us move our focus from self to group. Examples include military marches, singing together, and sports, as well as religious practices.

Liberals and conservatives have different moral values: No surprise here, but he reinforces earlier research that shows that liberals focus on two:
·      care/harm
·      liberty/oppression
They are much more likely to care about people outside their group and want to ensure fair treatment.

Conservatives share those values but add 4 more:
·      Loyalty/betrayal (often expressed as loyalty to one’s own group, protecting the in-group, nationalism)
·      Authority/subversion (often expressed as a respect for God, leaders, military structure and service)
·      Sanctity/degradation (often expressed as a respect for God, the sanctity of life, hallowed places and practices)
·      fairness/cheating (often expressed as a respect for meritocracies and a concern about free-riders: why take money from someone who earned it and give it to people—welfare recipients—who have not.)

Without these structures, Conservatives worry that people may behave badly.

Fairness to liberals is about righting wrongs, removing sources of oppression. Conservatives’ version of fairness has to do with getting what you earn, and not getting what you haven’t. These tendencies are largely set at birth. Liberals are more interested in change, new things. Conservatives are suspicious of changing too much too fast. 

Haight’s point of view is that we need both of these perspectives: liberalism to open avenues to adaptation but conservatism to maintain structures that maintain a sense of community.

UPS consortium has transformed London with charging stations

UPS has set up charging stations so they can serve London without a drop of oil.

The technology enables UPS to increase the number of vehicles at its central London site from 65 to 170, its entire fleet in the capital. The company says this marks the beginning of the end for reliance on combustion engine-powered vehicles.
 https://www.triplepundit.com/2018/04/ups-led-consortium-installs-new-ev-charging-system/

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Young adults want to transform capitalism

According to this research, young adults have the worst opinion of capitalism in recent history. The current system isn’t fair. Some hardworking people can’t get ahead while well-connected, wealthy families prosper. But they don’t prefer socialism. Instead, they are advocating for worker owned enterprises.

I’ve long been a fan of worker owned cooperatives. The Mondragon Cooperatives in Spain are famous for providing prosperity, focusing on maintaining employment rather than profit margins. The US has many successful worker owned cooperatives too.

A few words of advice. If you have to choose decision making power or ownership, choose power. The United Airlines ESOP failed because it gave employees stock without any control.

Second, build systems to manage involvement and group decision making. Some people will need help stepping into this responsibility. You’ll need clear principles that guide decisions. In W,hy Teams Can Fail and What to Do About It, I document how I used to prepare staff. Balancing rights and responsibilities is key.

If you can’t imagine a workplace where frontline employees make major business decisions, I encourage you to read Maverick by Ricardo Semler, Flight of the Buffalo by Ralph Stayer, and this article about AES.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/todays-young-adults-want-to-redesign-capitalism-but-into-what-20180405