Creating a Game Plan for the Transition to a Sustainable US Economy

“The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.” -President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, January 2009 We were giddy with hope...

10 Things I’ve Learned

10 Things I’ve Learned About What It Takes to Build a Revolutionary Responsible Company 1 ) The only real brand of responsibility is holistic and systemic—not compartmentalized. CR only works when it is strategic not programmatic and driven from both the top down and the bottom up. It balances concerns about justice and equity with efforts to enhance...

The 30 Year War on Middle Class America

In the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, the American economy experienced long periods of prosperity, in which GDP growth performed quite well. At the same time, inequality rose rapidly. Yet rather than seeking to correct the inequality through redistributive policies, American governments steadily redistributed less and less. They cut capital-gains taxes and the top...

Happy Holidays, America

“Exuberance made a comeback this year at Josh Koplewicz’s annual Halloween party. More than 1,000 people packed into a 6,000-square-foot space at the Good Units night club in Manhattan, a substantially larger crowd than in the last several years. The open bar was sponsored by Russian Standard vodka, and Mr. Koplewicz, an investment analyst at Goldman Sachs,...

Terminated by Seventh Generation

More than two decades ago, I founded Seventh Generation with the idea of creating a different way of doing business.  Since then, the company has established new benchmarks for ethical and sustainable corporate behavior, grounded in the principles of employee ownership, pay equity, environmental responsibility and transparency.  At the same time, Seventh...

The Global Implications of Our Ethical Decisions

Thomas Friedman wrote several weeks ago about our interconnected yet uncertain future. “In a world where our demand for Chinese-made sneakers produces pollution that melts South America’s glaciers, in a world where Greek tax-evasion can weaken the euro, threaten the stability of Spanish banks, and tank the Dow, our values and ethical systems...

The Seventh Generation

We live in an endlessly interconnected world but every day all too many of us don’t consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations yet alone the next six, five, four, three, two, or even one. Historians will write about ours as the generation of great unconsciousness. How despite all the warning signs and red flags waving violently in...

Some Big Steps Yield a Small One of Our Own

Here’s a retailing truth: You can’t be in the business of selling consumer products without thinking about Walmart. The merchandising behemoth sells so much of what so many North Americans buy — from groceries to tires — that to not seek it as a customer is like trying to grow a garden without water. Yet at the same time, many of the...

Getting the Sustainability Imperative Right

The Harvard Business Review has consistently tackled the many issues related to business and sustainability, and done it from a more deeply strategic perspective than most others. David A. Lubin and Daniel C. Esty’s recent article on The Sustainability Imperative is a thoughtful–yet somewhat uninspired–approach to the same territory. For those...

From Manual to Manifesto

When co-author Bill Breen and I wrote our new book, The Responsibility Revolution, we intended it to function as a how-to manual that would introduce the corporate community to the new brand of corporate responsibility that’s now emerging at renegade companies around the world, a model for positive change we call Corporate Responsibility 2.0. Along the way...