This Sustainable Life

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441: John Sargent, part 1: The CEO who reduced a Big Five publisher's footprint

Ep. 441

I learned of John's work through his statement at Macmillan's Sustainability page while researching Ray Anderson:

In 2009, after reading Ray Anderson’s “Confessions of a Radical Industrialist,” I decided it was Macmillan’s responsibility to lessen our impact on the earth, and in particular, to lower our carbon emissions. We created a senior position in the company and spent well over a year measuring our carbon footprint. We then set ourselves the daunting goal of reducing our scope one, two, and “major” three carbon emissions by 65%, and we gave ourselves a decade to get it done. Over the course of the last nine years, we have made sustainability a major component of all our decisions at the company. In 2010 we instituted a carbon offset program to supplement our efforts. Over the last nine years, we have lowered our carbon emissions by roughly 50%, and with our offsets, we have been carbon neutral globally for the last two years.
Getting here has not been easy. We have initiated lots of projects. We have often failed, but we have been relentless in our efforts. We always tried to make good common sense decisions along the way, keeping a balanced approach. In the end, we will not reach our goal of a 65% reduction, but we have been relentless in our approach and it has become a matter of great pride in our company.
The completion of our ten-year plan leaves us again at the starting line. Climate change is now a burning issue (as I write this the Amazon rainforest is literally burning). We must rededicate ourselves to the cause, and willingly sacrifice when called upon. There is a lot to do, and I’m looking forward to getting after it.

I often lament the lack of what I call leadership in the area of sustainability. What I call management, plenty, which I'm glad to see. That's things like measuring, facts, figures, seeking compliance. By leadership I mean stories, images, working on the system not just in it.

It looked like John was leading so I brought him to share. I believe I found a role model and leader in business.

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3/23/2021

449: Chad E. Foster: How Do You Handle Huge Challenges? Not Big. Huge.

Ep. 449
How do you face challenges? Not little ones like a pandemic lockdown for a year. Big ones.Regular listeners hear me talk about role models like Viktor Frankl and Nelson Mandela in the context of handling life challenges. During the pandemic, for example, I recognize there was suffering before, there will be suffering after, and there's suffering now. Our challenge is not to take on things outside our control since we can't, but to figure out how to respond, not just to the world but within our hearts and minds.We're locked down. Nelson Mandela was locked down for 27 years. If he could create meaning forced to break rocks, I can find meaning in my home, able to go out every day, with access to communicate with everyone, access all the culture ever digitized, and so on.In the context of sustainability, do we just give up? How do we find hope and resolution to act even when everyone around us says what they do doesn't matter or that only governments and corporations can make a difference? What role models can we find.Today's guest, Chad E. Foster, lost his eyesight as a teenager, but that didn’t stop him from becoming an executive for Red Hat, the world’s largest open source software company and securing over $45 Billion in contracts throughout his career.He is the first blind graduate of the Harvard Business School leadership program and did what Oracle said could not be done; he built a software solution that created job opportunities for hundreds of millions of people. His direct and confident style, combined with a go-for-it inspiring belief system (he is an avid downhill skier… and that’s not a joke), has made him a high-impact speaker for leaders at companies such as Google, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, GE and Microsoft.He also skis double black diamonds, which he talks about learning.From Chad's Quotable Quotes page:Happiness is not a feeling, happiness is not an emotion, happiness is a decision that each of us make every single day when we wake up.You do not know what you cannot see when you cannot see it.The facts are far less relevant than the stories we tell ourselves.Life without obstacles removes opportunity for growth.If you’re not getting outside of your comfort zone, then you’re not growing.Life begins outside of our comfort zone.You have to take advantage of your disadvantages.It is a great time to go blind.This stuff is so easy I can do it with my eyes closed.All of us are blind. Blind in some aspect.Don't let other people define your vision of your future.If you never dare to be great, you'll always be mediocre.Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is doing something despite the presence of fear.If you're not failing from time to time, you're not aiming high enough.