Positive Impact Blog

Thought provoking insights for change makers


Costa Rica is now running completely on renewable energy

Have you heard the news? Costa Rica has managed to shift to 100% renewable energy! And they are not alone – more and more countries are following suit, and I hope you are part of a community and a country that is also moving in this direction. Is there anything you can do to fasten the pace?

My friend Jan Arend, who I stayed with just recently, just took his family and home off the grid – he was so excited to share how much energy he is feeding into the grid and the many places he found he can save energy. Hats off!!

http://qz.com/367985/costa-rica-is-now-running-completely-on-renewable-energy/?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange


We are a part of something BIG. Can you feel it?

I am so pleased to share the trailer for the film “Planetary” with you which was released on EARTH DAY — 22 APRIL 2015. Here is what the film promises: “We are in the midst of a global crisis of perspective. We have forgotten the undeniable truth that everything is connected. PLANETARY is a provocative and breathtaking wakeup call, a cross continental, cinematic journey, that explores our cosmic origins as a species.”

More info: http://weareplanetary.com/ / PLANETARY COLLECTIVE

Rent the film today!

planetary


Switzerland has published its CSR Swiss Action Plan

On the 1st April, 2015, the Swiss government has produced their report and action plan for Corporate Social Responsibility, suggesting how business should embrace its societal responsibility. The action plan on Business and Human Rights and the Swiss response to Special Representative John Reggie’s framework principles on Business and Human rights is envisaged for summer 2015.  The Irish Government is already a few steps ahead, they are now working on the Business and HR plan. The question is: is the plan good enough? Will it get us to a world where 9 billion people can live well and within the limits of the planet? How will we know? What do you think?

https://www.news.admin.ch/message/index.html?lang=fr&msg-id=56760


1 Comment

Is there really a business case for sustainability?

Thanks to a comprehensive, aggregate study completed by the Natural Capital folks, we have now a clear and solid answer: YES. If you need convincing or would like to see some evidence, click here to download their report for free. Happy reading!

 


San Francisco Becomes The First City to Ban Sale of Plastic Bottles | Global Flare

I am so pleased to read this! How soon will other cities follow? How we as citizens support this? What can you do in your local community? http://globalflare.com/san-francisco-becomes-the-first-city-to-ban-sale-of-plastic-bottles/

At BSL, we have made plastic bottles redundant by offering all students a BSL bottle.

BSL-Bottles-sm

 


2014: watershed moments in sustainability | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

2014 is a year with some important progress highlights towards a sustainable world, including the now public secretly negotiated US-China 2025 CO2 emissions reduction deal, and more. Here all the details:

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/gallery/2014/dec/29/2014-watershed-moments-in-sustainability?CMP=new_1194

The Guardians predicts 2015 to be the year of “the beginning of the end of climate sceptics”… Let’s hope for more great news ahead!!


Goodbye Global Greed

Some of you may have heard of an exciting thing happening in Europe – the Economy of the Common Goods movement which started in Austria and was spearheaded by Christian Felber (www.gemeinwohl-oekonomie.org – no worries there is English information). As the first university worldwide, Business School Lausanne has undertaken the company self-evaluation of the “matrix” and is currently in the official audit process. What an amanzing and eye-opening experience this was for us! It allowed not only to identify important blindspots, but also to speed up an internal transformational process towards fully embracing and integrating sustainability and responsibility in everything we do. Take a look now at a funny and provocative comic that was developed by Herbert Wegscheider, a contributing member of the Economy of the Common Goods movement (click on the image below to download the file):

Click here to see the Goodbye Global Greed comic

 


1 Comment

Planetary resilience. What is it and why does it matter?

When it comes to resilience, what good does it do a single business or industry to prevail if it does so at the expense of other sub-systems or even the bigger system itself? I’ve shared my views in Planetary Resilience on PwC’s Resilience site: http://pwc.to/12PscYV

What are your thoughts on that?


1 Comment

Recommendation of the Day: Strategy for World Peace

A great newsletter post I received  by the Schumacher Center for a New Economics – warmly recommend the read below!

Judy Wicks’ 2004 E. F. Schumacher Lecture described the White Dog Café and the vision and principles that inspire similar locally-based businesses that treat employees fairly, source materials regionally, and support other community businesses.

“Let me capsulize the local-living-economy movement for you by contrasting what it is and what it is not, what it does and what it does not do:

  • maximization of relationships, not of profits;
  • growth of consciousness and creativity, not brands and market share;
  • democracy and decentralized ownership, not concentrated wealth;
  • a living return, not the highest return;
  • a living wage, not the minimum wage;
  • a fair price, not the lowest price;
  • sharing, not hoarding;
  • simplicity, not luxury;
  • life-serving, not self-serving;
  • partnership, not domination;
  • cooperation, not competition;
  • win-win exchange, not win-lose exploitation;
  • family farms, not factory farms;
  • biodiversity, not monocrops;
  • cultural diversity, not monoculture;
  • creativity, not conformity;
  • slow food, not fast food;
  • our bucks, not Starbucks;
  • our mart, not Wal-Mart;
  • a love of life, not a love of money.”

The BerkShares businesses featured in the “Business of the Month” series understand this ethic.

“When you’re in business long enough, eventually people get to know you, they trust you, and they know what you’re all about,” says Locke Larkin, who runs Locke, Stock, and Barrel in the Berkshires.  “I work with producers who still have a feeling for what they make, they care about it, and it’s their reputation that’s on the line. . . When the town’s businesses cooperate, it’s a better place for everyone. Competition is the old paradigm. The new paradigm is ‘let’s cooperate.’ We’re all in the same boat, so let’s get our oars aligned.”

Eric Wilska, the owner of an independent bookstore says, “The mission of BerkShares really makes sense—to keep money circulating in town.  We all talk like that, but with BerkShares you can put your money where your mouth is. . . I’d love to drag people in to the back room and show them a chart. Here’s a list on the left-hand side of all the things the Bookloft has done in 39 years, such as: number of high school kids and interns hired over the years—62; number of gift certificates given—thousands; amount of sales tax paid to Massachusetts—$3 million; payroll paid out to people who live in town; taxes paid to the town. . . And on the right-hand side the same categories for a company such as Amazon.  The amounts would literally be zero.  Zero, zero, zero.”

In her 2004 Schumacher talk, Judy Wicks went on to argue that supporting local businesses is more than a strategy for building resilient local economies:

“Perhaps the greatest benefit of the local-living-economy movement is that by creating self-reliance we are creating the foundations for world peace. If all communities had food security, water security, and energy security, if they appreciated diversity of culture rather than a monoculture, that would be the foundation for world peace. Schumacher said, ‘People who live in highly self-sufficient local communities are less likely to get involved in large-scale violence than people whose existence depends on world-wide systems of trade.’ There you go!”

Judy Wicks’ newly published Good Morning Beautiful Business, from Chelsea Green, is available at independent booksellers.  It has hit a resounding chord with readers.  As a result, Judy’s tour schedule is full and her events enthusiastically packed. On April 17th she will be in Northampton for the Pioneer Valley Sustainable Network.  Join us there.

Best wishes,
Susan Witt, Alice Maggio, Michelle Hughes, Kate Poole, Paris Kazis, and Sam Moore
Schumacher Center for a New Economics

Board of Directors:  Peter Barnes, Mary Berry, Hildegarde Hannum, Dan Levinson, Anne MacDonald, Jerry Mander, Gordon Thorne, Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Greg Watson, and Judy Wicks.
Advisory Board:  Wendell & Tanya Berry, Merrian Goggio Borgeson, Eric Harris-Braun, and Otto Scharmer

“A good community insures itself by trust, by good faith and good will, by mutual help. A good community, in other words, is a good local economy.” Wendell Berry from “Work of Local Culture”


1 Comment

An insightful review of 2012

I thought of sharing this blog article with you – it is the most important analysis of our current situation I’ve seen in 2013 so far and gives an insightful review of the 2012 year:

http://paulgilding.com/cockatoo-chronicles/victoryathand.html