U.S. FIRMS MUST GO GREEN !

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U.S. FIRMS MUST GO GREEN !

 user 2006-02-03 at 1:05:00 pm Views: 53
  • #14152

    US firms must go green, says Gore
    Corporate America must face up to green and ethical challenges if they are to avoid disaster !
    Firms are so focused on delivering quarterly financial figures, he said, they lose sight of long-term trends.
    “The
    quarterly reports might look good for a little while and then they fall
    off a cliff,” he told BBC Radio 4 In Business presenter Peter Day.
    The US car industry’s problems is an example of consumer power, he said.
    “Ford
    and General Motors are now in a state of crisis in the United States
    because they have missed the long term shift in consumer preferences
    and societal preferences toward more efficient automobiles with much
    less pollution,” Mr Gore said.
    Managing money
    As such, it is not just US companies that need to change their ways.
    Five years ago, a Supreme Court decision put George W Bush in the White House, leaving Mr Gore out in the cold.
    He immediately changed direction.
    “I
    went into investment management and very quickly began to notice some
    rather odd developments that seemed to me out of touch with reality,”
    Mr Gore said.
    “So many very significant factors that affect
    shareholders, that affect the health of the company were being sort of
    systematically ignored.
    “And not only the environment, but also
    corporate ethics and stakeholder analysis; how’re the communities where
    a company is located being dealt with?”
    Bubble of unreality
    Mr
    Gore said he firmly believed the impact a company has on the
    environment and on society affects both its underlying health and the
    price of its shares, and he believed ever more US business leaders are
    waking up to this new reality.
    So he is putting his money where his mouth is.
    In
    2004, he and the former Goldman Sachs investment banker David Blood
    founded the international investment firm Generation Investment
    Management, which actively seeks to invest in companies that take a
    sustainable view of their business.
    “David and I met privately with the chief executive of one of the largest companies in America,” Mr Gore said.
    “He
    has been a supporter of President Bush and still is, but he said to
    David and me in confidence: ‘Let’s face it, 15 minutes after President
    Bush leaves office the United States will have a new policy on climate
    change and carbon emissions’.
    “I think the significance of that is
    that many business leaders are now looking at their ‘hole cards’ as we
    say in America, and realising America is in a kind of bubble of
    unreality.
    “As soon as the current administration leaves, and
    perhaps before it leaves incidentally, there will be a change and those
    companies that get out in front of this curve are going to be better
    positioned,” he predicted.
    Mr Gore is also doing his best to spread the word.
    He
    recently criss-crossed America to warn about global warming, at about
    1,000 gatherings – a journey documented in the independent film “An
    Inconvenient Truth”, which premiered at the Sundance film festival in
    Utah last week