Brian Walker is the CEO of Herman Miller, the office and residential furniture company known for its classic designs--from the Eames Lounge chair to the modern office cubicle to the Aeron chair. The company's furniture appears in the New York Museum of Modern Art and in museum collections around the world, but it's the company's long-standing environmental goals and socially responsible reputation that has gained new currency in today's marketplace.
Paul Anastas, professor in the practice of green chemistry and director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, Yale University
Osvald M. Bjelland, executive chairman, Xyntéo
John Davies, vice president of sustainability forum, AMR Research
Kurt Doelling, vice president of supply management, Sun Microsystems
Jib Ellison, CEO, Blu Skye Sustainability
Deishin Lee, assistant professor, Harvard Business School
William McDonough, cofounder and principal, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC); president, William McDonough and Partners
Andrew Mangan, executive director, United States Business Council for Sustainable Development
Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Should Managers Have a Green Hippocratic Oath?Featured from Apr. 2 - Apr. 16
Widespread recognition of climate change and other major environmental problems has made it clear that the next generation of corporate leaders will be forced to grapple with a set of enormously complex and important issues. Given how business activities affect the environment, should new managers be asked to take an oath similar to the ones that doctors recite--requiring business leaders to first do no harm, including harm to the environment? Harvard Business School professors Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria say that they should, and encourage you to help them write such an oath.
Green Stakeholders: Pesky Activists or Productive Allies?Featured from Mar. 19 - Apr. 1
Clashes between companies and NGOs are often more about drama than results. Green activists "ambush" executives to get their message out; companies respond to pressure by publishing sustainability reports with more PR than substance. But neither tactic really helps address complex environmental problems. Lip service and theatrics must give way to productive relationships, says Judith Samuelson of the Aspen Institute, but can companies, investors, and NGOs find a way to act as partners--with real skin in the game--to connect the power of markets to a green future?
Staying Green in a Tough Economic ClimateFeatured from Mar. 5 - Mar. 18
Most annual reports make a respectable nod to "sustainable" these days--it's easy for companies to devote serious resources to green growth when the economy is chugging along. Sir Stuart Rose, chief executive of the British retail giant Marks & Spencer, says his company is making great leaps forward with Plan A--its ambitious 100-point plan to be carbon neutral and send no waste to landfill by 2012. But what happens to those good intentions when business gets rocky and shareholders see red, not green? What are the true bottom-line trade-offs? Will today's noble initiatives fade to historic footnotes when companies struggle to survive?
Winners and Losers in a Carbon-Constrained WorldFeatured from Feb. 14 - Mar. 4
You know the old poker saying, "If you don't know who the sucker is in a game, it's you." Well, sometimes business can be a lot like that. Concerns about climate change will undoubtedly spur massive market shifts--whether they come from changes in regulations, capital markets, consumer demand, or something else. And when changes come, they will create both winners and losers. Which will your company be? And what can you do to make sure that your company is a winner?
You Are Only As Green As Your Supply ChainFeatured from Feb. 6 - Feb. 13
No company is an island and no company can go green on its own. Recent headlines about the presence of lead paint in children's toys prove the point. You are only as good or as green as your supply chain. In this commentary, Brian Walker, CEO of furniture maker Herman Miller, shares three critical steps his company has taken on the long road to being green. Read his commentary and then join the discussion: What do you think it means to be green, and how do you work with your suppliers to make it happen?
Don't Bother with the "Green" ConsumerFeatured from Jan. 23 - Feb. 5
Making the strategic transition from a traditional business to a green business is fraught with challenges—including the unexpectedly hard marketing question facing companies today: Should we market to the green consumer, and if so, how? Steve Bishop from IDEO answers with a surprising "No." Think he's got it wrong? Read his thoughts here, then share your ideas.