Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Andrew Hoffman

Today I got the opportunity to listen and meet, Andrew Hoffman, the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, an Associate Director of the Fredrick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, and author of “Climate Change: What’s Your Business Strategy?”, on The Business Strategy of Climate Change. The event was put on by the University of Oregon’s Center for Sustainable Business Practices.

A couple of highlights from Hoffman’s lecture include the fact that climate change is a market shift in the business world and needs to be part of the core business strategy.

The Wrong Questions to Ask:

  1. How much will it cost? (WRONG!)
  2. What is it going to do for your business especially compared to your competition? (RIGHT!)
  3. Does it pay to be green? (WRONG!)
  4. How are you going to innovate? (RIGHT!)

Case Studies: Duke Energy, Shell, Whirlpool, DuPont, Aloca, Swiss Re

Why Take Action:

  1. Increase profits
  • Uncertain energy costs
  • Investor interest
  • GreenTech sector
  • Growing consumer demand

2. Pending government regulations

3. Enhancing corporate reputation
  • Reputation benefits
  • Hiring practices
  • Mission statements

How To Take Action (from the PEW Getting Ahead of the Curve):

  1. Ensure strategic timing
  2. Estimate appropriate levels of commitment
  3. Influence policy development
  4. Create business opportunities

Stages of Climate Strategy Development:

  1. Develop a climate strategy
  • Assess emissions profile
  • Gauge risk + opportunities
  • Evaluate action options
  • Set goals + target
2. Focus forward
  • Develop financial mechanism
  • Engage the organization

3. Focus outward

  • Formulate policy strategy
  • Engage external relations

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” – Thomas Edison (1931)

Check out these cool technological developments:

· GE Eco Dashboard

· Tokyo Train Station

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