Seeding Change

Winter Squash Harvest (CC 2006 Californiacondor)

Every time I walk through the supermarket produce section, I feel like I have entered a child’s picture book. Take┬áthe bright yellow, flawless, waxy fruits for instance, they would be under ‘B’ for Bananas. And the greenish-red, sour, tennis ball would be ‘M’ for Mango. For a growing number of fruits, vegetables and herbs, there is one perfectly shaped, blemish-free variety that appears miraculously on store shelves all through the year. The picture-perfect Mango, with a capital M, cuts deepest. I can close my eyes and conjure up memories of having eaten countless different types, each with a distinct shape, flavor, texture, juiciness and color. You had to peel and cube some varieties and eat them delicately, while others were sucked on till the juice dribbled down your chin. Who replaced all that pulpy goodness with the Mango? Continue reading

6 Reasons To Morph Into A “Benefit” Corporation

Patagonia- California's first Benefit Corp (Andrew Hyde/ CC BY 2.0)

Ever heard the words “fiduciary duty”? I hadn’t either, till I looked up Corporate Law for Dummies. Here is what caught my attention, “Unless modified by statute, traditional fiduciary duties require corporate officials to
further the interests of shareholders, and thus require them to maximize corporate profits subject to the obligation to comply with independent legal constraints”. Translating into English, it simply means it is the legal responsibility of a corporate to maximize profits and protect the interests of its shareholders. On the flip side, it is not within the scope of the “fiduciary duties” of a corporate to consider the interests of other stakeholders, including, employees, suppliers, communities and the environment. If they do, a corporate can set itself up for some expensive lawsuits by profit-hungry stakeholders. Craigslist found out the hard way. Ben and Jerry’s, that role model do-good business, lost a lot of its glory in the Unilever buyout and the founders still think it cuts deep. Continue reading

Cradle To Cradle – (Almost) Ten Years Later

William McDonough and Michael Braungart (Copyright: MBDC)

Every field needs a celebrity. The environmental movement has long suffered its unwashed, off-grid, hippie image and needs all the glamor it can soak up. The closest to A-list celebrities that the tree hugger brigade have are William McDonough and Micheal Braungart. The duo came on the international scene with the publication of their ground-breaking book in 2002 and caught the attention of big business and governments with a simple yet powerful idea. Continue reading