Collaboration: ‘Suppy Chain Innovation’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another article published in The Times newspaper, as the opening piece to a special Raconteur report on Supply Chain Innovation.

The article discusses how being faster, better and cheaper than the competition requires colleagues, partners and stakeholders across an entire supply chain to work together and collaborate. With supply chain management finally having made its way into the strategic arena of the Board Room, such collaboration is even more crucial to achieving joined-up sustainability goals which call for a more systemic approach. It is also key to attracting and retaining valuable talent in a competitive marketplace. Innovation is not, however, all about the tech. Whilst modern digital kit such as drones and robots might  be grabbing headlines and catapulting supply chain issues on to the front page, the shift is as much cultural as it is technological. Technology is undoubtedly vital, but much of it is behind the scenes and, in the short term, often more likely to take the form of process-oriented software than gadget-laden hardware. When it comes to responsible sourcing and ethical labour, digital innovation is also both an enabler and a potential disruptor, as supply chain visibility is empowering public scrutiny, at the same time as it is supporting transparency in brands and business. By clicking the following link, you can read the full article , which explores, in depth and with insight from a range of expert commentators, exactly how and why:

‘Collaboration is key for supply chain innovation’.

The full 20-page Supply Chain Innovation report is available to view/download here.

Explainer: How Microplastics Threaten Our Environment

Microplastic pollution is being found everywhere, literally: it is in our rivers; on our gardens; in the food we eat; it is even now in human poop.

Perhaps the worst aspect of microplastic pollution is that no effective and efficient way of removing the full range of debris has yet been found.

The EU has, however, recently proposed a wide-ranging ban on the use of ‘intentionally added’ microplastics, which if approved into law could see a phase-out starting 2020.

Meantime, recovering plastics from oceans and recycling them before they start to break down into small fragments is one way to fight this kind of pollution. When recycled, these plastics are used to create sustainable products.

This excellent infographic below, from Roman Chaloupka and GreenMatch, tells us more about how Microplastics Threaten Our Environment.

You can view the original, also learn about becoming ‘waste aware’ and fighting pollution, as well as the creators themselves here; plus Follow them on Twitter.

Micro Plastic Pollution

Are you ‘Living the Planetary Dream’?

If you take many of the good things about the concept of the American Dream – such positives as aspiration, opportunity, entrepreneurship, self-realisation, self-reliance, hard work, wealth distribution and financial security – and apply them to living within planetary boundaries, you get a new paradigm for economic and personal growth: ‘Living the Planetary Dream’.

The phrase ‘American Dream’ was coined by historian James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book Epic of America:

“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”

This original concept was very much built upon key principles and values enshrined in the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776: democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality, in the pursuit of happiness and prosperity.

Tellingly, Adams’ definition was born out of the struggle against poverty, hardship and social injustice engulfing America during the era of the Great Depression. Over the decades since, however, the concept has increasingly been associated in popular culture with images of success measured merely in terms of upward social mobility and accumulation of material wealth. In effect, the ideal has become impoverished, reductively rewritten to serve narrow self-interest in the Age of the Consumer.

Furthermore, the US itself is today one of the most commonly cited examples of extreme unsustainability in terms of ecological footprint, with its citizens’ consumption of natural resources equating to a global demand that would require four Planet Earths to satisfy.

So, what if we were to reclaim the dynamic spirit and sense of social value that informed and inspired the original Dream, but interpret it anew for a resource-constrained world of over-consumption, rampant pollution, morally-corrupt exploitation and human-made climate change? Reframing the core principles for equitable living within planetary boundaries, gives us the vision for the Planetary Dream.

So what does it mean in practice to be Living the Planetary Dream?

First and foremost, it is not simply about environmental frugality. The Dream is not one of efficiency, or abnegation; it is not just about saying ‘No’. There has to be entrepreneurial dynamism to it; an element of value creation, of making and doing in a way that is good and green – innovating responsibly. This is the change-engine of sustainable growth.

Living the Planetary Dream, as a business, community, or private individual, means playing your part in the global decoupling of economic development from resource consumption and environmental impacts; and doing so in a fair and equitable manner.

As a lifestyle choice, the Planetary Dream should ideally also appear fun and exciting – desirable yet achievable. Its motivational spark can be personal, yet shareable – a driver for leaders and collectives alike. It must be a Dream for all of us, as well as for the Planet.

So, are you #LivingthePlanetaryDream?


For more about the Ecology Flag, please see here.

Green tide on the rise for electric shipping

New writing My latest piece for Eniday looks at the (slow) journey towards greater sustainability in shipping. You’ve heard of electric cars, buses and lorries, well, what about e-ferries? Championed by market leaders and supported by international policymakers, the drive towards tackling the climate impacts and carbon footprint of the the industry as a whole is gathering momentum, albeit belatedly. With the technology already proven, the opportunity to cut emissions of pollutants harmful to human health is real and immediate. The accompanying business case is made all the more attractive to countries such as the UK by the prospect of financial savings measured in millions of pounds. The green tide is on the rise – so, let the ‘E-ferries: Roll-on, off, up!’.

Global warming: Time for science, before it’s too late!

New writing… My latest piece for The Hub – the award-winning content platform curated by Mitsubishi Electric – tackles the herd-of-elephants-in-the-room subject of global warming. In the wake of the sobering, yet alarming, assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), most of us will be aware of the target limit of 2°C, or better still, 1.5°C, for planetary temperature increase. However, I am not convinced that many in business and society are necessarily aligned on the timeframes for this ambitious endeavour. My contention, put simply, is that if we take too long to achieve these goals, then, in fact, we fail. Climate change is a call to action, that cannot wait. This is why, now is the ‘Time for science, before it’s too late!

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