Green to Gold by Daniel C. Esty & Andrew S. Winston

February 2, 2008

As my inaugural blog entry, I thought I’d add a take away from today’s reading, Chapter 4 of Green to Gold. Beside being a great “How To” for corporate strategists, I find that Esty and Winston offer repeated insights for the forward-thinking eco-geek.

Today’s pregnant pause came after reading the following passage:

The fact that companies can influence the course of government policy is widely understood. Many companies invest vast sums in lobbyists, industry associations, and campaign contributions, all to wield, influence over the political process. What is curious is that almost all lobbying efforts are aimed at stopping new regulations. Yet new regulations create winners as well as losers. Those best positioned to respond to new rules will be raltively advantaged by a changed playing field.

Far more often than they currently do, companies should ask for stricter regulations. Sure, it can be risky, but in the right circumstances, it’s a powerful play that can yield significant advantage….

It occurred to me that if one subscribes to this thought process, then one might infer that a general shift in lobbying dollars might infact be what defines the future tipping point for the new US eco-economy. I would go as far to say (as an anecdotal prediction) that at the time the amount of lobbying dollars going into creating sustainability-favoring regulation –a heavier regulatory burden– comes close to superseding the amount of lobbying dollars supporting the old industrial economy –trying to lighten the regulatory load– I think we will be close to ending what Alvin Toffler calls the Third Wave (Information Economy) and safely entering into his and other’s view of a future of eco-globalism.

Regardless of such futurism, it is becoming more clear that building a corporate eco-advantage will give companies added leverage against slow-to-change competitors as the prospect of a new administration looms on the horizon.  Here’s to the eco-nomy!