Wine and Warming…an Interesting Business Model

water consumptionAs the climate continues to change, and places that were wet become dry and places that were cool become warm, it is commonly accepted by any literate person that agricultural practices will need to change. At least one winery has recognized these changes and has made significant progress in reducing water consumption, using renewable energy and the best of all in my mind, re-instituting agricultural practices from times gone by that both replenish the soil and conserve water.

As noted in the Times, the Kendall-Jackson Winery in California has recognized that climate change is a threat to their livelihood and made changes in their agricultural practices to combat this treat. What impressed me most of all is the simplest of changes…moves to reduce water consumption and the use of compost to improve the soil.

This winery offers a good model on how to maintain a business in stressful times. Kudos…and Congratulations on forward thinking.

Those who fail to adapt are doomed to perish…

Read the full article:
Falcons, Drones, Data: A Winery Battles Climate Change
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Green Travel…Are we there yet?

Although it is not that overwhelming, only 25% of hotels have a sustainability program and it is becoming more commonplace to see such hotels. Even more promising, there are more tour groups that try and run socially and sustainably oriented travel programs.

I think that it is equally promising that cruise lines, long notorious polluters of the air and water, are, pardon the pun, getting on board and becoming more environmentally conscious.

environmentally responsible

Why? As I have pointed out in prior posts on many topics, it is both doing good and doing well at the same time. Companies are beginning to realize that they need to both protect the resources that their tours and programs rely on, and that being more environmentally responsible means that they can increase their profit margins.

It is a small effort to make when looking for environmentally responsible travel.

So, why not get onto the trend and commit to such travel?

Read the full article:
Where Sustainable Travel Is Headed in 2017
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Investors May be Able to Fend Off Government Actions under the President Elect

Sometimes government is not able to undo the future. At least that is the hope that I find in the attached articles about investing and the environment.

governmentNotwithstanding the fact that it appears our environmental laws will be under the greatest assault since Reagan was President, I am hopeful that the tide has already turned and ESG (Environmental Social and Corporate Governance) investing is creating a market where the dinosaurs coming into government are already on the road to extinction.

What is most interesting is the large number of countries that are pushing this issue…especially on climate change, and more recently and importantly, the number of companies being evaluated against the ESG standard by third party organizations such as MSCI. An even more hopeful indicator is the performance of the funds and stocks that are being evaluated.

So, as we enter a new year, I am hopeful that the dinosaurs will continue on their path to extinction and that those of us who are trying to effect change will be able to do so using the market forces that seem to be in motion.

Read the full articles:
Investors Sharpen Focus on Social and Environmental Risks to Stocks
Tell Investors of Climate Risks, Energy Sector Is Urged
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Do you know where your e-waste is going?

e-wasteBloomberg recently reported that it probably found your e-waste…in a small town in Mexico being disassembled by workers who are unprotected from the Lead, Mercury or other toxic chemicals in the phones, computers or other electronics shipped there. And it is shipped there in spite of EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) laws that say the manufacturers are responsible for this waste.

The problem is complex and simple at the same time. It is complex because EPR laws are riddled with loopholes that allow the manufacturers to skirt their responsibility. It is simple because the reason is simple. Manufacturers simply want to shift the costs to local governments rather than do what is right.

Government is not off the hook. How many local governments actually follow up on contractors that they higher to insure that the e-waste that they collect is processed in a responsible manner? Many turn a blind eye since they are also driven by the need to keep costs down.

This has to end. We do not have the right to risk the health and safety of poorer people because we do not want to pay $5 more or even $35 more for our electronic devices.

Read the full article:
We Found Your Last Smartphone, Next to Your Old VCR

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