Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Globe 2006: Day 1 - Plenary - Leading the Sustainable Economy

Globe 2006 brings government, business and civil society together under the sails at Canada Place in Vancouver.

The opening plenary, “Leading the Sustainable Economy”, was chaired by Maurice Strong with presentations by Tony Hayward, CEO, Exploration & Production Business British Petroleum and Ramesh Ramachandran, President, Dow Chemical Canada Inc.

Hayward was ‘on-script’ and spoke expansively about the various advances BP has made in managing their environmental stewardship. In BP’s view they anticipate 40 years of oil, 65 years of gas, and over 100 years of coal – at current consumption rates.

In his speech Hayward commented, “Triple Bottom Line is confusing. There is only one bottom line … profit”. Don’t mistake that snippet … he went on to say profit is assured by a corporation being mindful of social and environmental mandates.

Interesting to learn of BP’s drive to encourage micro-finance in their countries of operation.

During the Q & A, Hayward was asked whether BP’s pension investment policy reflected the corporate sustainability platform – his answer wasn’t definitive. BTW - Pensions came up a lot today.

Ramachandran was more expansive at one point referencing, without attribution, Shirley Chisholm’s, "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth". Interestingly, he came back to the quote while riffing on the global considerations of multi-nationals operating in a competitive environment and mused on corporations being mindful of high rent neighbourhoods, when so many parts of the world can offer similar infrastructure. The comment didn’t go over so well.

Tags: for:vsef, Globe 2006, Sustainability


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