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May 12, 2008


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Daniel Aguilar


Thank you for having me here, I hope I can get your thoughts on greening the market from inside.

For now I´d like to know the best approach you´ve found for getting others to realize that we have to take responsibility for our actions now?

Kind regards,
Daniel Aguilar


Good questions. I wish I had an answer. I would hope the churches would do more. Seems that this is a moral responsibility to care for Creation.

Jeremy Gregg

Good luck, Daniel. It will not be an easy fight, but what battle could be more important?

The key for business will always be trying to find a way to tie it back to their bottom line. The problem with greening efforts is that they only do so over a long period -- not exactly conducive to our current market, in which a single dip in one quarter can punish a company.

The focus should therefore clearly be on those companies capable of having a longer term vision: that likely means either private firms or companies with a more progressive brand as well as the resources to promote their "greening" to their consumers (i.e. to capitalize in the present on their investments in the future).

Good luck.

Jeremy Gregg, Editor
The Raiser's Razor


Or, maybe we punish companies who externalize their costs? Maybe this means government regulation and enforcement? Maybe it means more organizing as with the Killer Coke campaign? Maybe it means shareholder activism, screened funds that are well thought through, and mission aligned investing worthy of the name?

I agree with Jeremy's points. Closely held firms with a dedicated consumer following perhaps funded in part by foundations and mission aligned investors seem a counter-poise to Wall Street and its quarter by quarter demands for profit maximization, at whatever costs to the public interest.

Daniel Aguilar

Thanks Jeremy and Phil for continuing this conversation.

The company I´m working for is private and just starting to grow, I find the timing perfect for growing green and I could surely use your comments and advice while trying to change this company.

Maybe all the wallstreet companies will have to change with policies and external influence, but we could focus on getting small and medium sized companies on the green path. How can we achieve this?


Avoid getting fired? Learn to take orders and to subordinate idealism to results? Concentrate on building a profitable brand. Seek patient long term capital (slow money)? Expect push back. Recognize that the world we have is deeply entrenched and that for every social ill there are private beneficiaries who will defend their right to harvest the commons and to externalize their costs. Green buinesses may be in some cases more like an alibi for capitalism than a solution to its ills. Think about politics, social organizing, and levers beyond beyond green branding.

Look forprofitable small niches where a closely held business might survive and prosper even against companies that do business in a less green way and who have access to lower costs of capital through Wall Street.

Beware Greenwashing and feel good pitches that capitalize on the green buzz, but may cover over the ills of the underlying company or of the unregulated market, or even of capitalism 1.0.

Do not assume that if you are successful it will be cheered by one and all. Ask not only how you will gain, but also what you are willing to sacrifice.



I applaud you career direction and your idealism. Hope you are able to make a good case inside your firm and that you pick up real world tips and pointers and best practices you can share.

Daniel Aguilar


I´ve read your last 2 comments for at leat 10 times and plan on keeping such valuable words in my mind for long.

Thanks for the advice and I hope I can reach you here with other questions about this path I´m taking.

I hope you have a great day.

I´ll be back at this post soon.

Jeremy Gregg

Speaking of growing green, my company just launched a new fundraising initiative that ties in to the "green" wave...


Ahhhh, the life of a fundraiser!


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