In many arenas, President Obama is attempting to cement his legacy, and America’s energy future is one of those areas. In his recent amplification of his energy policy, the president has continued to try to weaken the coal industry and buttress “green” fuels such as wind and solar, mainly because of his views on the role of carbon-dioxide emissions in climate change.
Besides recent efforts by many states to cut business and personal taxes recently, one of the most notable strains of economic-development policy has been the growing use by cities and states of tax incentives to drive their green economies.
Since Tim Cook and Howard Schultz stood on their soap boxes and advocated for gay rights and race relations, respectively, more CEOs have taken to the pulpit to speak their minds on social issues. Their opinions are also more frequently showing up in their strategies.
Companies have long been convinced of the ROI that can be generated by performing good will. From enhanced brand reputations and more-productive employees, case studies have shown increases to companies’ bottom lines that can be directly attributed to corporate social responsibility activities. In the first quarter of 2015, businesses' commitment to this strategy was evident.
Green groups have been expressing support for protesters of the Brown and Garner decisions, though there’s no direct connection to sustainability concerns, and CEOs themselves have expressed concern over the melding of the two.
Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and chief executive, once said there was a need to change Google's mission statement. However, once the company created Alphabet Inc., it was able to hold on to the original one while adopting new philosophies to other ventures.
Manufacturing CEOs are making sustainability an increasingly important criterion in siting, constructing and operating their facilities today.
As industry leaders, CEOs must consider the value and the influence they and their company can bring not only to shareholders, but to humanity overall. Nestle is one company that gets it.
Energy is the pillar upon which economic growth is built. “The difference between the developed world and everybody else,” says author Robert Bryce, “is [affordable] electricity.” But simple math and basic physics show that chasing energy sources with low power densities will not get us to where we need to be.
Companies wield a lot of power; particularly in their local communities. They have the means to financially influence people without spending a lot of money and can influence others to do the same.