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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 19th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

We posted the following on February 17, 2008 (four and a half years ago – still in the GW Bush Presidency days !) and we re-post this again – without any changes –  because of the flack that Al Gore gets now from the Romney campaign. Our own old posting came to our attention because of the amount of new visits it earned in the last few days.

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 www.generationim.com/media/pdf-ws… is the reference for a Wall Street Journal Opinion piece (commentary), of March 28, 2006, by Al Gore and David Blood, the cofounders of Generation Investment Management LLP. David Blood is a former Head Of Goldman-Sachs. The Company is based in Washington, London, and will open this year also offices in Melbourne Australia. The President, working out of Washington DC is Peter Knight who has a history of over 30 years of having worked with Al Gore. The company was established already in April 2004. Comprised of a team of 27 people, the company includes 14 investment professionals. Out of profits, 5% are allocated to the Generation Foundation. The Generation Foundation is dedicated to strengthening the field of sustainable development and sustainability research worldwide.

The title of the WSJ article; “For People and Planet” comes about because the two authors believe that capitalism and sustainability are now increasingly interrelated and “not until we more broadly ‘price in’ the external costs of investment decisions across all sectors will we have a sustainable economy and society.” Until now, economists called externalities the costs created by industry but paid for by society. Pollution is such an externality. “The sad thing is that companies have been rewarded financially for maximizing externalities in order to minimize costs” – says the article. For saying this truth, as the joke goes, Generation’s founders were deemed as “Blood & Gore” by those that do not want to stare this reality in the face.

Now, with Global Warming upon us, “the interests of shareholders, over time, will be best served by companies that maximize their financial performance by strategically managing their economic, social, environmental, and ethical performance.” The “polluter pays principle – PPP – is just one example of how companies will be held accountable for full costs of doing business. Further, companies will have to design products so their clients can compete in a carbon-constrained world. Companies that do the right thing will not do this out of altruism – but this will be the way to make money for their shareholders. Ceres is just   organization that understands this reality ( Ceres is the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) and is just one NGO that deals with corporate responsibility and comes up with new business strategy. Other such NGOs include the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Transparency International (TI).

 www.generationim.com/media/pdf-al… is the link to the May 10, 2005 speech by Al Gore at the Institutional Investors Summit on Climate Risk. That was nearly three years ago. This week’s presentation we presented in our own www.sustainabilitank.info/2008/02…

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