All entries by this author

Mixed Greens: Different Views of Corporate Sustainability

May 23rd, 2016 | By
Mixed Greens: Different Views of Corporate Sustainability

Two different views of corporate sustainability collided in my inbox last week. One email said that Freya Williams will speak at the US Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD)/World BCSD/Yale meeting next month. Freya Williams’ Green Giants book argues persuasively that business sustainability and business strategy have to be one and the same, not two
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Safety is Job 2?

Aug 31st, 2015 | By
Safety is Job 2?

Safety isn’t Job 1, as so often claimed. If safety were Job 1, we’d never leave the house. We’d never cross a street. We’d never get in a car or on a plane. If safety were Job 1, companies would go out of business rather than send employees out to drill for oil, mine iron
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Fourth Wave: EHS&S in the Era of Productivity

May 17th, 2015 | By
Fourth Wave: EHS&S in the Era of Productivity

The environmental, health, safety, and sustainability (EHS&S) profession is in the doldrums. Just when we thought we’d survived the recession and sustainability could be embraced, we’re back in the world of cuts and delays. It feels like a return to the 1980s or early 1990s, when a CEO would tell a corporate environmental officer: “I
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Helping Business Leaders Talk about Sustainability

Mar 2nd, 2014 | By
Helping Business Leaders Talk about Sustainability

Some sustainability professionals are lucky. They work for CEOs who, for one reason or another, “get” sustainability. Their CEOs may have been exposed to sustainability issues by their customers, by their predecessors or even by their grandchildren. Some may have made the pilgrimage to Bentonville and taken the oath (though they may not be sure
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Is Your Strategy on Pause?

May 5th, 2013 | By
Is Your Strategy on Pause?

Does it feel like your corporate world is on “pause,” waiting for something beyond your control to be resolved? Many companies seem to be waiting for something, unwilling to expand or contract, go forward or backward.  Which raises the question — how do you lead your EHS/Sustainability (EHS/S) program if you don’t really know what
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VP EHS: Endangered Species or Emerging Hybrid?

Dec 5th, 2011 | By
VP EHS: Endangered Species or Emerging Hybrid?

In this “as good as it gets” economic recovery, companies are intent on growing the top line while minimizing costs. Corporate staffs are shrinking or disappearing entirely, and the traditional EHS role faces internal competition from other groups that are taking on parts of the broader sustainability agenda. In this context, EHS VPs who keep their heads down and do their jobs well may be highly skilled, highly valuable, highly overworked—and highly likely to be headed to extinction. In contrast, entrepreneurial EHS leaders are keeping and expanding their roles by moving beyond their traditional comfort zones . . . .



Agility: The New Core Competency for EHS and Sustainability

Feb 5th, 2011 | By
Agility: The New Core Competency for EHS and Sustainability

For years Environmental, Health, and Safety and Sustainability (EHSS) leaders have periodically reviewed their strategies to make sure they are aligned with “the business” of their company. That’s no longer good enough.  Increasingly, the business itself is evolving quickly.  It’s changing its organization, structure, and focus.  It’s a moving target.  That’s pretty tough to align
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Geographic Mismatch: Coping with Dislocation in the Global Economy

Sep 19th, 2010 | By
Geographic Mismatch: Coping with Dislocation in the Global Economy

Fortunately, your company has great market opportunities.  Unfortunately, your opportunities are not where you have the environmental, health and safety (EHS) resources, people and knowledge. This creates a huge geographic mismatch.  You and your company have spent years (even decades) building up your EHS infrastructure to fit your historic footprint.  In developed markets where you’ve
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