Michael Lenox and Tate Moeller discuss the staying power and continued relevance of the book “Can Business Save the Earth? Innovating Our Way To Sustainability.”
Tate Moeller (00:10):
My background and degree is in sustainability. I know firsthand that many books on the topic and driving sustainable change, they don’t age very well. In the years following their publication, innovation or policies and other research develops, and they lose their relevance overall. Given that, how do you explain the continued relevance of “Can Business Save the Earth?” Today?
Michael Lenox (00:39):
The issues that we’re dealing with in terms of sustainability, especially things like climate change, these are not issues that will be solved, in two years. These are generational challenges that will require sustained effort for a long period of time. The issues that motivate the book and the issues that we’re trying to deal with, unfortunately aren’t going to be solved easily. That gives these issues some longevity in terms of the message that we’re trying to carry in the book, especially around innovation. I just think this is a hallmark of the way capital economies work, understanding, the importance of innovation and change and technology shifts and disruption. This is critical to how we think about how we can actually solve some of these environmental challenges we face, like climate change. We’re going to need to see not just kind of small changes at the margins, but we’re really going to need to see fundamental what we would call disruptive technologies across a wide number of sectors. That isn’t going to be solved in a couple of years. This is going to be a decades long, if not longer effort if we’re going to make progress.
Lenox is the Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business Administration, Senior Associate Dean, and Chief Strategy Officer at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
Moeller is the Director of Sustainability Solutions at Minneapolis-based 2DegreesCooler™.