I am watching negotiators from impacted countries like the Philippines working earnestly on a new agreement to reduce global climate pollution. At the same time, I am reading stories back home about Prime Minister Stephen Harper telling the House of Commons yesterday that regulating greenhouse gas emissions from Canada's oil and gas sector would be "crazy." Let's be clear who is crazy here.
The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc. is a Canadian company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Their belief is to flex their buying power to empower families in countries that are rebuilding. Their fragrances are made in Canada and are created with essential oils from nations that are rebuilding including Haiti, Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Most people who follow these simple steps soon discover they can live on much less. They turn away from consumerism, and lead happier, more focussed lives. They stop being human doings and once again become human beings. Some even discover financial independence. Equally important, their impact on the planet is dramatically reduced. Win, win, win.
Given that one third of the planet is thinking about "guilt free consumption" any company that fails to address these three areas is missing out on a huge competitive advantage. A wise company will ask themselves how their products are adversely affecting people, nature and the planet and develop initiatives to reduce these effects.
As Canadians, we are incredibly lucky to live in a country with so much natural wealth, but we're taking that for granted. We're placing huge demands on the planets' resources, ranked 11th per capita in the world. If everybody in the world lived like Canadians, we would require 3.7 planets to meet our needs -- clearly, this is not sustainable.
Technology is allowing us to peer behind the veil of TV commercials; it is connecting us in real, authentic and meaningful ways to the food we eat. It is creating communities of like-minded consumers and producers. This week, the FDA issued an industry-wide mandate to lower sodium in processed foods. Has the ratchet changed direction?
Among the incentives to host a major international sporting event is the promise of an enduring legacy of infrastructure for future generations of athletes and citizens to enjoy. It seems that the global athletic events of the future will leave something other than crumbling ruins behind, as short-term sporting venues are built with social development in mind. We can only hope so much for Toronto's 2015 Pan Am Games. With a total budget of $1.44 billion, the creative opportunities for a sustainable legacy, like the athletes themselves, know no limits.
Cooperation between Arctic stakeholders is crucial for each country's success in dealing with climate change. We are in a new era of sustainable development as the Arctic presents us with major opportunities and major responsibilities. Cooperation is the only tool to ensure ethical, social, and ecological sustainable development.
Stephen Harper recently announced that dealing with climate change will not come at the expense of crippling the economy, and said that he encourages other countries to do the same. He claimed he was just being honest and that no leader really wants to take action on climate change, but based on recent actions by China, United Kingdom and the United States, this doesn't seem to be the truth.
World Oceans Day, celebrated across the globe on June 8, is Canada's brainchild. The Canadian government proposed the concept in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. This makes Monday's news of Canada's significant ocean protection shortcomings, courtesy of Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society's report, all the more hard to swallow.
The Metro Vancouver regional authority wants to build a massive garbage incinerator at a yet-to-be-determined location that will purposefully pump more smog into the air and burn recycled goods like paper and plastic. And get this, taxpayers are going to have to foot the $470-million bill to breathe it all it all in.
Wouldn't it be cool to have a mayor who swanned around in a hybrid car, rather than a gas guzzling jalopy, and who talked about "nurturing" entrepreneurs, or who sought tax breaks for sustainability initiatives, or who could imagine something outside of the box when it comes to Toronto's moribund waterfront?
One year ago Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) announced its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), immediately halting all natural forest clearance across its entire supply chain. Specifically, we outlined four key priorities for 2014 to engage our broader industry and other sectors to help accelerate the realization of zero deforestation.
On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I witnessed a "revolution," though thankfully not the kind that culminates in a coup d'état. What I saw was the so-called "micro-mill revolution" -- a new way in which coffee is processed and sold, that could help transform the way specialty coffee is traded, to the betterment of all involved.
The elephant in the room is that while sustainability will continue to be relevant to the business operations of retailers and product manufactures, management has utterly failed to make sustainability a material or even a well understood concept for front-line employees, customers and most product brands, except during times of crisis.