January 21, 2015 - Larry Page and Elon Musk are both billionaires and believers in the benefits of disruptive technology. And both are fascinated with space travel.
The military have long used “red teams” to test their battle strategies and defenses. Corporations have used this technique more recently to test IT infrastructure against cyber-attacks. But what if you created a team to figure out ways to put the entire company out of business? Would your leadership appreciate your ideas and move quickly to counter these potential threats, or would they toss the report, bury their heads, and maintain the status quo?
In a recent issue of Globe and Mail, Canada's purported national newspaper, Janet McFarland wrote a piece on ethical investment describing the Montreal Carbon Pledge and the commitment being made by global funds to report the carbon pollution within their portfolios. Portfolio screening focused on environmental issues is a relatively new practice for fund managers. Carbon represents just one in a number of the risks being assessed. Water, land use, pollution, and waste are also measured against portfolios and policy decision making.
In an article appearing in the Midwest Energy News last week it was reported that IKEA was completing the building of a store in Merriam, a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas, that uses geothermal and solar energy for much of its heating and cooling needs. This the second store in the United States to install geothermal system technology. The first opened in 2011 at a 38,355 square meter (415,000 square foot) store in Denver, Colorado.
Back at the beginning of May I wrote about Mars, the company, and its Sustainable-in-a-Generation program. Mars is not alone as evident from a recent series of speeches made by senior Unilever executives.
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University have decided that they will no longer include coal-mining companies in their endowment fund investments. The divestment from coal is a recognition of the impact this fossil fuel is currently having on rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and its correlation with global warming.
The Mars referred to here is not the Red Planet but the company that is known for M&M's, Mars, Milky Way, Twix, Snickers and 3Musketeers, supplier of chocolate treats to consumers in 21 countries. The company has been expanding into petcare products, beverages and food brands. And it has committed itself to greener products by eliminating the use of suppliers providing non-sustainable ingredients. And now it going one better.
"In 1981, the top ten technology companies represented 95% of the global IT market cap. Today, that share has fallen to 26% and the ratio continues to fall."
Many of us suffer from a sinister and often contagious disorder, something I call just-in-case disease. We own toolboxes full of tools, just in case we need to fix something. We have kitchens full of appliances just in case we want to prepare a meal. We have cars in our garages just in case we need to go somewhere. We even have closets full of clothes we know we’ll never wear just in case we get desperate.