The Natural Edge Project The Natural Advantage of Nations Whole System Design Factor 5 Cents and Sustainability Higher Education and Sustainable Development

"Our thanks go to the highly motivated team at The Natural Edge Project for their ongoing engagement with our company, and in particular for the opportunity to engage Hunter Lovins as guest speaker for the Hatch/SMI Sustainability Luncheon."
Philip Bangerter, Hatch Associates

The Natural Advantage of Nations (Vol. I): Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century


Section 2: Natural Advantage a Business Imperative

1 The changing nature of competition
2 Achieving competitive advantage through strategic positioning
3 What will be the major driver of innovation in the 21st century?
3.1 Moving early to exploit structural change
4 Why integrate sustainable development into corporate strategy?
4.1 Downsizing: a strategy that no longer cuts it
5 The shifting nature of competition in emerging economies
6 Additional drivers for sustainable development
6.1 Achieving radical resource productivity
6.2 New opportunities for product differentiation
7 Increasing profitability and minimizing risk (Porter's 5 Forces Model)
7.1 Threats of new entrants
7.2 Threat of substitute products or services
7.3 Bargaining power of buyers
7.4 Power of suppliers
Chapter 7: Innovation and Competitiveness through Industry Cluster Development (Michael Fairbanks and Andrew Smith)
1 Cocoa beans. and what else?
1.1 The cluster development process
1.2 Government role in promoting cluster competitiveness
1.3 A way forward
Chapter 8: The Political and Social Context: A Sixth Force on Business?
1 Consumer demand change: knowing your market
2 Human resources: attracting the best people
3 Staying ahead of changes to government regulations
3.1 Can market based mechanisms be designed to assist firms to achieve competitive advantage?
3.2 Can regulation be designed to assist firms to achieve competitive advantage?
3.3 Raising the bar: independent certification schemes
4 The insurance industry: responding to climate change
5 The finance industry: a new paradigm in investment
5.1 The practice of ethical and socially responsible investment
Chapter 9: Accelerating the Sustainability Revolution
1 Overcoming short-termism
1.1 Incentives for business leaders
1.2 Reform of fiduciary duty for pension and superannuation funds trustees (L. Hunter Lovins and Walter Link)
1.2 Environmental management accounting in Japan (Chika Saka, Roger Burritt, Stefan Schaltegger and Tobias Hahn)
2 Grounds for change: the exciting developments in firm level economics
2.1 Efficiency gains within firms under voluntary environmental initiatives (Bruce Paton)
Chapter 10: Operationalizing Natural Advantage through the Sustainability Helix
1 The business case for sustainability
1.1 The management helix for the sustainable organization (Sustainability Helix) Sustainable Business Practice

Charlie and Cheryl with Rob Coombs, CEO of Interface Australasia.

Charlie and Cheryl with Rob Coombs, CEO of Interface

Australasia, at the 2005 Australian Business Leaders

Forum for Sustainable Development.

(See chapter 6 for Rob's testimonial)


(Extracts from Book)

... In Section 1 we argued that no one part of society can address the scale of the sustainability challenge on its own. In a world where business, government and civil society all have significant roles to play, we need to find the best ways to move forward together. This section will focus on the role business can play in this process.

This section cannot emphasize enough the importance in business of seizing new opportunities, encouraging creativity and the ability to work effectively in teams to achieve innovation. Running a business requires skill and frequently demands long hours and significant personal sacrifice. If there was an easy way always to stay ahead of the competition, we would all be millionaires. But there isn’t. Successful business people seek to remain up to date with the shifting market for their products and services and will come to see that sustainability provides numerous opportunities for unleashing creativity and innovation.

Whilst this section, and the online databases it references, is designed to assist any business to do its homework faster, improve its strategic position, and unleash the creativity of its staff, this is not enough. Genuinely innovative and highly competitive businesses are always on the look out for new opportunities and ways to improve business. The frameworks and guides that follow will, we believe, help but at the end of the day someone has to have good ideas and be willing to take risks. In the end, success comes down to the determination and united purpose of those people involved.

Is the risk worth the effort? Many companies, such as Close the Loop® and Interface, believe it is...