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Tagged : andrew-winston


Why the ‘China excuse’ to bail out on climate action doesn’t work

March 20th, 2013

For anyone who doesn’t want to reduce carbon emissions, China seems like a great scapegoat. The defenders of the status quo argue that U.S. companies will be at a disadvantage if we tax carbon or invest in clean energy because “China’s not doing anything.” Problem is: It’s not true.

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The ‘sad green story’ is a fantasy; green energy is growing

November 9th, 2012

To get back to some non-election topics…A couple weeks ago, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote an op-ed entitled “A Sad Green Story” about the (supposed) travails of the green movement over the last 10 years. The idea that the clean technology sector is failing, or that it’s a bad investment, is common enough in the business world and pundit class. But it’s patently false. So what is Brooks talking about and what’s really true here?

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How Walmart’s green performance reviews could transform the retail world

October 12th, 2012

Walmart’s efforts to green its supply chain are about to get much more effective. Sustainability will now play a role in its merchants’ performance reviews, which help determine pay raises and potential for future promotion. This is a big deal: these merchants are high-level managers responsible for multibillion-dollar buying decisions. They’re the people who determine which products appear on the shelves of the world’s largest retailer.

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Addressing climate change would save money

May 2nd, 2012

The media seems intent on giving climate skeptics much more than equal time. On Monday, the New York Times printed a cover story about the last arrow in the climate skeptics arsenal, the argument that cloud cover will adjust to a warming world and let more heat escape to space.

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Walmart recognizes sustainable power will keep costs down

February 13th, 2012

At the recent GreenBiz Forum in New York, I was surprised by an on-stage interview with Fred Bedore, an executive from Walmart. I’ve followed the greening of the retail giant fairly closely for years, so I wasn’t expecting a lot of new information from Bedore, Walmart’s Senior Director of Business Strategy and Sustainability.

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New Year’s Resolution: Optimism

January 3rd, 2012

In the days right before this last, zen week of family time and no email, I read a few news items about the sorry state of our global commons. From the real costs of extreme weather ($52 billion in damages in the U.S. alone in 2011) to massive dangers in the melting of the global permafrost (which could quickly account for 15% of global emissions), the news was not good. Add in the failure of global climate negotiations, and it’s hard to stay positive about our future.

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Companies seeking sustainability can learn from Steve Jobs

October 11th, 2011

Andrew Winston


The passing of Steve Jobs was in no way surprising – we knew it had to be serious for him to leave the company he loved. But it’s still a shock that we’re robbed of his brain and all the amazing things that he would have invented.

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Headlines you will never read about renewables

August 26th, 2011

Andrew Winston

The New York Times reported today that geologists have “sharply cut” their estimate of how much natural gas exists in the rock formation called the Marcellus Shale. They now guess it holds 84 trillion cubic feet, down 80% from the Energy Information Agency’s estimate just this year.

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Nissan finally gets the pitch right on the Leaf

June 22nd, 2011

Andrew Winston

As a car, the all-electric Nissan Leaf has received mostly great reviews. But as a positioning statement, Nissan has, in many marketers’ eyes, missed the boat. After some missteps, Nissan may now be on the right path. An ad I pulled from Fast Company recently hits all the right marks.

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Does nuclear energy make sense?

March 21st, 2011

Andrew Winston

(This post by Andrew Winston first appeared at Harvard Business Online.)

It’s too soon to say anything definitive about what’s going on in Japan. Who really knows what the outcome might be from the frightening breakdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant (the radioactive releases could go on for months)? But the speculation about what this means for a much-touted nuclear “renaissance” in the U.S. began in earnest last week. As the New York Times reported, “U.S. Nuclear Industry Faces New Uncertainty.”

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The big heresy: Asking customers to use less of your product

February 15th, 2011

I recently attended an Executive Sustainability Summit hosted by Xerox, Waste Management (WM), and Arizona State University. The short conference brought together public and private sector managers working on environmental and social issues. Xerox asked me to attend and give my thoughts on what I heard and saw*.

What really struck me is that both Xerox and Waste Management are doing something mostly unheard of: they’re working with customers to help them use less of their traditional product or service. The plenary panel during the Summit included execs from both companies proudly talking about these fast-growing, service-oriented parts of their businesses. And what’s really important is that these are not just niche product lines, but fundamental shifts in what these companies do.

In some sense, this shift is not optional, as both companies are in the throes of fundamental transformations of their industries. Xerox has been navigating the shift to digital documents for years, and WM is facing an existential threat. As CEO Dave Steiner put it, “When your company is called Waste Management, and your customers all talk about ‘zero waste,’ you better change your business model.”

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Innovation in managing water

January 18th, 2011

By Andrew Winston and Will Sarni

Andrew Winston

Last week we asked, “Is Water the Next Carbon?“. Although our short answer was “no,” we believe that managing water will become a critical business skill for the 21st century. Need drives innovation, so this week we want to highlight some of what is happening in the new markets in water.

First, even large companies are carving out new niches to help businesses and communities manage water scarcity.

For example, GE’s investment in water technologies is well known, and its leadership stems from its ecomagination portfolio of products. GE not only recognizes the critical role technology plays in addressing water scarcity, it also understands the challenging interconnection between energy and water: increasingly, the world will be needing low-energy water treatment technologies.

Another major industrial company moving to address water risk is ITT, the world’s largest supplier of pumps and systems to transport, treat, and control fluids. ITT has a stake in seeing cities and companies invest in water management, but the company is discovering a relatively low level of awareness of the need.

William Sarni

ITT conducted a survey titled “The Value of Water” highlighting both how much water we waste and exploring the critical gap between the current price and the real value of water. We spoke with Colin Sabol, a Vice President at ITT, about the survey and ITT’s goals.

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