Meeting with Today’s Leaders as well as some of Tomorrow’s

I don’t always do as much as I’d like to do on the subjects of Sustainability or CSR in my (current) home state of Arizona, but this week was different.

We held the quarterly meeting of AzBAS (Arizona Businesses Advancing Sustainability) on Thursday. The meeting was hosted by Eco-Edge at the APS training facilities in the Arizona Center – a nice office/retail complex in downtown Phoenix. In addition to normal business, we heard presentations from the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (Andrew Mangan), Eco-Edge (Debra Johnson), and Dial/Henkel (Pamela Lam).

Some interesting examples of multiple company partnerships, emerging business models and opportunities in the marketplace were all part of the discussion. AzBAS was formed about a year ago as a way for AZ businesses to come together to advance not only their own performance, but that of the state as well.

Tuesday, was a completely different experience. Professor Gregory Unruh (Assistant Professor of Global Business and Director, Lincoln Center for Ethics in Global Management) invited me out to speak to his class at Thunderbird. Thunderbird School of Global Management has a great reputation outside of AZ as one of the world’s leading international business schools, but it often seems to be overlooked locally.

The class provided a great opportunity for discussion – evidenced by the fact that we spent almost the entire time on Q&A. These are sharp students from all over the world and I enjoy hearing about the things of importance to tomorrow’s CSR leaders. Prof. Unruh just recently published a paper entitled “The Biosphere Rules” in the Harvard Business Review that you may be interested in as well. It’s not really a piece on bio-mimicry (which I also find fascinating), but more on the production efficiencies that natural systems can teach us.

It was nice to invest a little time on the local sustainability agenda this week.