Archive for March, 2008
I noticed that one of the best Carbon offsetting companies out there, Climate Care, has been acquired by JP Morgan – see the following press release.
This is an interesting move, unlikely to be popular with people who are offsetting with the company, due to the perception that money and benefit might, in part, go to the bank. However, this does mainstream one of the best operators out there and for all the Climate Care loose in terms of ‘selling-out’ they may be able to leverage from their new positioning. I imagine that this is also a clever play from the bank with regards to capturing some of the growing carbon market.
This is likely to be good news for our offsetters, BVCO, who were recently recommended in a recent Which survey. They are likely to gain custom from those unwilling to offset with a large bank. But, I feel, also good news for Climate Care, who have spent 10 years building one of the best and most transparent companies in an increasingly crowded and hazy market. Considering their achievements and hard work, they have every right to sell on. Although there will inevitably be a backlash from the puritans, I hope that this move is a positive one that increases the overall contribution to the issue at hand.
Posted by Nick
Central to the green-collar jobs debate seems to be the question of whether these jobs are “additive”, meaning they are new jobs that did not previously exist before the green revolution, or whether green-collar jobs are merely displacing blue-collar and white-collar jobs in a zero-sum game.
As ever, the answer seems to be halfway between additive and zero sum. Though we’ve observed new jobs being created in response to government mandates and entrepreneurial activity, we’ve also seen a number of jobs suddenly take on a green hue just because they happen to be “environmentally” focused. Moreover, many “green” organizations are expecting their new eco-employees to become more labor efficient themselves, oftentimes doing the jobs of two or more people while their green initiative is built out.
The article linked to above looks beyond these immediate questions and posits that “The development of a green economy creates a broad new set of opportunities…many people commented on how this will be as big as the Internet. But this is so much bigger than the Internet. The only comparable example we can find is the Industrial Revolution. It will affect every business and every industry.” Fingers crossed….
lets see what plays.
Posted by Nick
Forbes recently ran an article addressing job prospects for impending 2008 graduates. Despite the looming (or already present, depending on your outlook) recession, job prospects for neophytes look quite strong!
Interestingly, the green jobs sector looks poised to offer future laborers an even more promising professional outlook than most. According to an article recently published by the Green Biz Journal, green jobs are in for boom times. All the more reason to consider your career options carefully when leaving the educational sandbox, and consider working with environmentally focused recruiters like Bright Green Talent (recent news release on BGT available through Forbes online). The Blue Green Alliance is another excellent resource for those looking to help transition rust-belt jobs towards a cleaner, greener future.
The interesting caveat to the green jobs prognostications is that the number green jobs may, in fact, suffer from the very problem they’re trying to solve: improved efficiency and better resource utilization. Many green jobs rely on finding folks who can do more with less. Though the economy’s poised for a green growth spurt, it may be slightly offset by the number of jobs that are made redundant and conflated into more efficient roles. Two sides to every coin, I guess. Either way, with more talent charging into the green economy, it’s another nickel in the green economy’s pocket, and a win for the planet. All good, all green.
Posted by Nick
To bring folks up to speed on what’s happening with green jobs, green
organizations, and our bright green future, I thought it worth sharing
a few resources that provide top-notch intelligence on the movement
Check out the “State of Green Business 2008 Report” and a recent
report on the intersection of human rights and green jobs entitled
“Green Collar Jobs in America’s Cities,” published by the Apollo
The Ella Baker Center and, for those in SF, SF
Connect’s Environmental initiatives are also making waves at the intersection of community, environment, and human rights. More on those through the links
Ella Baker Center on Human Rights
SF Connect: Environment
Bottom line: now’s the time to get educated, involved,
and passionate about greening the workforce, saving the planet, and
spreading the good green word.
Peace, love, and all the rest, Nick
It’s hard to know exactly where to push your resources when you’re starting a business. One of the things we’ve been low-key with to-date is trying to get press coverage. It’s not because we don’t want to be noticed, but because we’ve wanted to ‘make it happen’ before we shout from the rooftops. Perhaps we’ve missed a trick, but so far we haven’t pushed to hard to promote ourselves, relying instead on recommendations and our networks.
In the last week we’ve started to open our doors a little and send out a few press releases and we’re really happy to have been ‘spotted’ by Forbes today. It’ll be good to see what difference this proactivity will have.
From a personal standpoint, I’ve always felt that there is real power in the understated approach, which is embodied by our friends Sawdays, for example, who have always relied on doing things ‘right’ as opposed to investing time and money on PR, which in turn has resulted in excellent publicity. Nonetheless, it is important to reach those people who you may not have direct contact with and some entrepreneurs, such as Branson and Stelios and some companies, for example Innocent Drinks, use their profile to excellent effect with the media.
I’ll be really interested to see how our/my attitude pans out over time!
People are often scared of bringing the ‘spiritual’ into the workplace. However this speech, given by Jon Kabat-Zinn at Google, which discusses mindfulness within our modern world, shows how important both awareness and mindfulness are – not as an adjunct but as a fundament. It’s not about rainbow jumpers and tree-hugging, but about just being more alive, whether at work or otherwise.
It’s a bit of a long slog, but it’s a great introduction to how useful meditation is within the modern world and gives you the chance to participate, so give yourself some time.
One of the companies we most respect and one of our clients is a company called Interface set up by Ray Anderson whom I was lucky enough to meet at the Time Heroes of the Environment Awards. (It was also the evening when I first saw David Attenborough speak – a seminal evening in terms of hero-worship for me).
For those of you who don’t know Interface, they embody the next generation of organisation, with their ambitious Mission Zero programme and countless other forward-thinking initiatives.
Their latest is Fairworks and is worth taking a look at to demonstrate how even a big corporate, in what might be considered to some to be an unsexy sector (carpets and flooring), can lead the way and create an exciting and progressive product. I hope they sell like hot-ca(rpet)kes.
Posted by Nick, US MD
For the past few months, I’ve been watching organizations like Clorox push out green initiatives that seem brilliant on one hand, and contrived on the other. For organizations like Bright Green Talent, these initiatives present a moral quandry: do we work with companies who may not have the greenest of intentions in mind (not to say that Clorox doesn’t), or stay within our comfort zone and work with like-minded organizations.
Personally, I’ve decided to push Bright Green Talent’s US operation towards the former for two reasons. First, even if an organization doesn’t have the greenest of intentions at the outset, helping them launch green initiatives should expose them to the benefits of going green in the long run. If that logic holds true and these initiatives do turn out be successful, then the organization will likely come around and we’ll have affected positive change. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there’s a risk to the larger green movement that if organizations don’t start to move towards green service and product offerings, the momentum will stagnate and the world will be worse for wear. In that case, the moral quandry tips towards a moral imperative. Globally, we need to encourage not only organizations, but people and their governments to take calculated risks towards a greener society. It’s a double edged sword, and we may well get cut once or twice, but we’re committed and quite tough, and believe the best course of action is the greenest one. Stated simply, take the high road.