CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY ➔ Research by McKinsey has shown that 59% of COMMUNICATIONS TAKEOUT
BIODIVERSITY TIME BOMB executives see biodiversity as more of an
opportunity than a risk for their companies e.g.
bolstering corporate reputations with
Biodiversity is the term given to the variety of life
environmentally conscious stakeholders by
on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. What
preserving biodiversity and developing new
we see today is the fruit of billions of years of
products or ideas from renewable, natural
evolution, shaped by natural processes and,
increasingly, by the influence of humans. Whilst
➔ 12% say their companies face a significant risk of
biodiversity is often understood in terms of the
a shortage of crucial inputs to their products
wide variety of plants, animals & micro-organisms,
resulting from biodiversity issues. Many more
it also includes genetic differences within each • The urgency of a change of direction must be
say they will face pressure to change operations
species e.g. crop varieties or livestock breeds. conveyed to decision-makers beyond the
or products and services to reduce their impact
on biodiversity. constituency so far involved in the
n each ecosystem, all living creatures form a biodiversity conversation.
community – a web of life - interacting with one
The existence of the 2010 biodiversity target has
another and with the air, water, and soil around • Direct action to conserve biodiversity must
helped to stimulate important action to safeguard
them. be continued, targeting vulnerable as well as
➔ The majority of businesses depend on the earth's culturally-valued species and ecosystems,
➔ Some 170 countries now have national
biological resources as essential components and combined with steps to safeguard key
biodiversity strategies and action plans.
services for their day-to-day activities, such as clean ecosystem services, particularly those of
Financial resources have been mobilised and
water and raw materials. It is therefore important importance to the poor.
progress has been made in developing
that there is an ongoing supply of these resources to
mechanisms for research, monitoring and
ensure the viability of the business. • Given that threats to biodiversity are getting
scientific assessment of biodiversity.
➔ However, there is still a high risk of dramatic more and more public attention, companies
World leaders failed to deliver commitments made with any direct or indirect exposure to
biodiversity loss and damage to a broad range of
in 2002 to stem the global rate of biodiversity loss biodiversity issues will benefit from
ecosystem services if ecosystems are pushed
by 2010 and have instead overseen alarming rates addressing them in some way.
beyond certain thresholds or tipping points, see
➔ The World Wildlife Fund estimates that global • For a company that wants to understand its
biodiversity has declined by 27% in the last 35 exposure to these issues, a good first step is
years. assessing the entire value chain to determine
➔ Rio Tinto adopted a "Net Positive Impact“
➔ Recent reports have warned that species are where it might be vulnerable to risks, which
commitment on biodiversity . This sees it
disappearing at up to 1,000 times the natural operations might be threaten biodiversity, or
working with environment organisations to
rate of disappearance because of human activity where it might supply opportunities. See
protect important areas from direct mining
and now climate change. B-M’s Brand Vulnerability Index.
impacts and putting funds into conservation to
➔ The abundance of vertebrate species, based on
"offset" damage caused.
assessed populations, fell by nearly a third on READ: McKinsey Global Survey:
➔ Syngenta recently launched Operation
average between 1970 and 2006, and continues BIODIVERSITY – THE NEXT ENVIRONMENTAL
Pollinator, a scheme to restore important bee
to fall worldwide. ISSUE FOR BUSINESS http://tiny.cc/m8iqr
habitat. It hopes to help curb the ongoing bee
decline in Europe and North America.
TECHNOLOGY ➔ The argument over transparency vs. secrecy in
GETTING CLOUDIER OUT THERE cloud computing is leading to a culture clash COMMUNICATIONS TAKEOUT
between the more traditional ways of handling
data outsourcing and the newer cloud-
Cloud computing is a general term for anything that
computing utility methods and mindset.
involves delivering hosted services over the
Internet. These services are broadly divided into
Performance monitoring will become ubiquitous
three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS),
➔ While we have seen Gmail go down a few times,
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-
for the most part we've not had a major outage
Service (SaaS). The name cloud computing was
of a large cloud computing provider. However,
inspired by the cloud symbol that's often used to
two things will change that record: the rapid rise
represent the Internet in flowcharts and diagrams.
of the use of cloud computing providers, and • Planning: Just as you would have to assess
the fact that most of these providers are still your computing needs out of the cloud,
It’s worming its way into the enterprise, especially
testing and refining their platforms. moving to the cloud requires some planning.
as a testing and development environment and as a
➔ Cloud services are largely public, consumer- Do you need a provider that offers a lot of
platform for less than critical apps and services.
delivery services, and whenever any of the big flexibility? What are your performance and
➔ Over the past four years, Amazon Web Services
cloud providers has a data centre hiccup it's availability expectations?
has become the world’s leading provider of cloud
immediately noticed. Cloud providers are under
computing -- EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud)-- a
increasing pressure for tell-all reports on their • Budget: Although you will save money by
solution that has seen rocketing growth.
outages, and there's near-constant scrutiny avoiding hardware investment, hosting for the
➔ Large enterprises are building their own private
from a seemingly increasing number of third cloud is not necessarily cheaper. As the cloud
clouds. IBM announced its “Blue Cloud” initiative
parties with comparative score cards and glitch treats computing like a utility, you are billed as
two years ago. The company has already built 13
reports. such depending on your usage.
massive data centres around the world and is
adding more every quarter.
Transformation of an Industry • Strategy: IT management must learn to judge
➔ Most people do not associate Microsoft with
➔ Cloud computing will help IT management focus IT processes in terms of business effectiveness
cloud computing. However, with the rise of Azure
more on business innovation than on and how they fit in the organization’s overall
and Microsoft Office Web Apps, Microsoft will
infrastructure management. In turn, IT business strategy
find itself well placed in the clouds.
management must learn to judge IT processes in
terms of how they fit in the organization’s • Backup: Nothing is foolproof, and simply
A move to simpler pricing models
overall business strategy. because you're in the cloud does not mean
➔ Amazon, for instance, has a calculator for
➔ Research conducted by IDC revealed that while you should forgo backups.
estimating the cost of bandwidth transfers, load
82% of UK firms admit they are aware that they
balancing and elastic IP. 2010 may see a
need to back-up, only 16% are using a cloud- • Policies: The company and cloud service
proliferation of "all-you-can-eat pricing models,"
based service to do so. provider should ensure that there are policies
where a user contracts for a set number of hours
➔ A new report from Gartner suggests that around in place allowing an appropriate response
that includes a range of services.
75% of companies will eventually use the cloud should a litigation hold be needed.
as their primary supplier of email and
collaboration tools, but said that this would take • Future Planning: Watch out for technological
➔ Concerns about security risk of cloud computing
at least until 2020. & legislative advances.
will greatly decrease once it is fully implemented
READ: INFOWORLD CLOUD COMPUTING
DEEP DIVE http://tiny.cc/46mnf
HIGH TRANSPARENCY BANKING NGO and Shareholder Activism COMMUNICATIONS TAKEOUT
➔ NGOs and vocal shareholders are increasingly
Until recently, most traditional banks did not demanding that financial institutions put in
practice “green” banking or actively seek place sustainable banking policies and lending
investment opportunities in environmentally- practices. These groups focus on influencing the
friendly sectors or businesses. However, nimbler activities of banks through research,
banks are rethinking their roles in society. They're international campaigns, outreach, social and
actively strengthening communities beyond environmental monitoring, strategy
traditional philanthropy and opening their books development and partnerships.
with greater transparency. Internally, they're
enabling employees to redefine what banks should Follow the Leaders
offer customers. And some are demonstrating value ➔ The principal challenge for banks is to create • The wide range of internal opportunities to
to shareholders by measuring success with a triple effective and far-reaching market-based address sustainability in a bank’s operations,
bottom line. solutions to address environmental problems, from corporate policy to energy reduction
including climate change, deforestation, air measures, shows that alleviating
Shift to Sustainability Under Way quality issues and biodiversity loss. environmental problems can be a logical
➔ The liability of lenders and borrowers to meet ➔ After HSBC was given the Financial Times 2005 extension of general business in this sector –
financial obligations, ecological deficits, and Sustainable Bank of the Year Award, other UK, and in many others.
business opportunities is key to this marriage Swiss and French banks decided to follow its
between banking and sustainability. lead in actively pursuing corporate carbon • Potential organizational areas and practices
➔ Although these companies may differ in their neutrality. that may feature sustainability issues include:
motivations for increasing environmental ➔ Triodos Bank is now the global leader in ethical organizational policy, practice and
products (e.g. to enhance long-term growth and sustainable banking. services
prospects, or align with sustainability principles), ➔ BNP Paribas has developed a wide expertise in supply chain choices and demands
the growth, variety and innovation behind such carbon financing and has a significant carbon business development
developments suggest that we are witnessing a credits portfolio, exceeding 25 million tonnes by reporting
promising drive towards bringing “green” 2012. public policy outreach
financial products into mainstream banking. ➔ Banks are innovating in the two main areas stakeholder engagement
➔ Proactive governmental policy, such as the EU where green changes can make the most research collaboration with other
CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme, German feed-in- difference environmentally: travel and real governmental and non-
tariffs for renewable energy and Dutch Green estate. governmental entities
Funds, has helped trigger both demand for, and ➔ The conservative party recently launched the institutional donations or other
development of, “greener” consumer options. Green Investment Bank. This was to support the philanthropic efforts.
This policy support has also reinforced next generation of British green technology
environmental attitudes and behaviour among companies, helping to rebalance the economy READ: THE “GOODBANK MODEL”
the general public, while establishing high and generating new jobs and economic growth. RECONNECTING MONEY & MEANING
degrees of market certainty for environmental http://bit.ly/AUTl1
commodities and services.
➔ The situation also poses a dilemma for e-mail
HR/ORGANISATION/DIGITAL providers that are pilloried by privacy rights
DEATH 2.0 advocates at the mere suggestion of sensitive COMMUNICATIONS TAKEOUT
data being exposed, at the same time they are
expected to hand over the digital keys to family
Benjamin Franklin said, "The only things certain in
members when a customer dies.
life are death and taxes”. In thinking of your future,
➔ Last year, Yahoo was forced to provide access to
it’s unlikely that you have ever given much
the e-mail of a U.S. Marine killed in Iraq to his
consideration to your digital legacy. But, given the
father, who got a court order in the matter.
amount of information we now share online, it
would be advisable to do so.
Gone but not forgotten
Social Networks lead the way
➔ The last thing on someone’s mind when they’re
about to die is what’s going to happen to their
Facebook account. But with 500 million people on
➔ The world of gravestones and memorials has Planning Ahead
the social network, user deaths are pretty
remained unchanged for centuries, but we are • No-one likes to plan for after their death let
unavoidable. Have you ever thought about how
finally seeing companies innovating in this space alone think about the possibility of death
you will live online when you’ve passed away in
and bringing the cemetery into the digital age. itself. But in an increasingly digital world
we've happily included technology as part of
➔ Fortunately, social networks have already started
➔ For example, RosettaStone is a palm-sized our lives, now we must include it in our plans
to put policies and provisions in place to deal with
stone tablet with an embedded microchip and for the management of our estates.
such issues. Facebook created the idea of
engraved symbols that can be selected to • HR and legal departments should look at
"memorialized" profiles as a place where people
represent key milestones or affiliations in the what amendments may be needed to social
can save and share their memories of those
deceased's life. The RosettaStone can be media policies to encompass digital copyright.
preinstalled in a new gravestone or added to an • Here are a few [non legally binding]
➔ Twitter has released a deceased policy that will
existing one to create a technologically suggestions for getting your e-affairs in order:
hopefully be a step toward removing dead users
enhanced memorial that will allow future site
from their recommendation engine. It would
visitors to read the deceased's story from a READ: PLANNING YOUR DIGITAL ESTATE:
appear, however, that the social network has not
mobile device. Photos and text can be linked , DEALING WITH ONLINE DATA AFTER DEATH
yet announced the policy which will help family
including genealogical information, http://bit.ly/u4Rgz
and friends of loved ones to retrieve an archive of
achievements and relationships or even
their tweets or remove the account.
favourite recipes and philosophical beliefs. CONTACT
Taking Passwords to the Grave
➔ Virtual immortality may soon be achieved. Vastly
➔ As more and more people move their lives, address
improving information storage and processing To request further information, give feedback
books, calendars, financial information, online,
and sophisticated virtual-reality graphics already or suggest a future topic for the newsletter,
they are taking a risk that some information
create nearly lifelike experiences. Researchers please contact:
formerly filed away in folders and desks might
now hope to combine artificial intelligence into Elaine Cameron
never be recovered. That is, unless they share their
the mix. People’s appearance, mannerisms, Strategic Research & Trend Analysis, EMEA
passwords, which poses a considerable security
voice, and even their knowledge and experience email@example.com
may one day be digitized, creating a virtual
person that would preserve much of our And don’t forget to follow on Twitter:
personalities for eternity. http://www.twitter.com/FUTUREPersp