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[GreenYes] Achieving a sustainable economy
Dear Skip:

I think your comments below are interesting and constructive.  Is it the
case that the current structure and function of business corporations is
inherently antagonistic to sustainable commerce?  If so, why?

Or, OTOH, is it the case that we (meaning those of us concerned about
sustainability) have not done a sufficient job with respect to:

1. Marshalling evidence that demonstrates the correlation between superior
environmental performance and superior business performance.  If this
evidence is scarce or lacking, then we must ask why.

2. Harnessing our combined economic power to reward sustainable businesses.
The members of EPPnet are surely trying to do that on the public sector
side.  But hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, belong to organizations
that support the development of a sustainable economy.  Why aren't these
organizations participating in the creation of purchasing cooperatives aimed
specifically at supporting sustainable private enterprises?  We are talking
about billions of dollars of purchasing power here, real market power if its
properly organized and channeled.

3. Again, using our economic muscle to reward sustainable innovation.  For
example, let's create a fund that will award prizes (say $100,000) that
recognizes truly innovative work that has been done in creating a non-toxic,
renewable, sustainable alternatives to current, non-sustainable products or
technologies.  Let's offer a prize (say $1,000,000) to any person or
organization that can demonstrate something that we in the sustainable
community would like to see, say , batteries that can be recharged using
solar power (that's just something off the top of my head, there may be far
better ideas than that one).

Finally, we need to watch carefully the results of the work being done by
organizations such as the Midwestern WorkGroup on Carpet Recycling and
Businesses and Environmentalists Allied for Recycling, note where they work
or don't work and apply the lessons learned to other business sectors as
quickly as possible.


Roger M. Guttentag

----- Original Message -----
From: Lacaze, Skip <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2002 6:25 PM
Subject: [GreenYes] Re: The need for respectful diagreement / attitudes
toward capitalistic economies

> 2.   Regarding corporate behavior, I can't think of any really useful way
> look at corporations except as essentially amoral profit maximizers,
> distorted in their behavior to some extent by the contrary self interests
> their managers.  Every time a company like Interface comes along I have to
> cheer, but that's mostly because they are so rare....

> It may be that addressing corporate structure and governance is a
> step in achieving a sustainable economy.  Having said that, I will offer
> alternate source of information and suggest that people interested in this
> subject check it out.
> Skip Lacaze
> Civic Services Manager
> Integrated Waste Management Division
> Environmental Services Department
> 777 N 1st Street, Suite 300
> San Jose, CA 95112
> voice: 408/277-3994
> fax: 408/277-3669
> 100% San Jose. Recycle where you Live, Work and Play

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