Those of you who’ve followed sustainablog for some time know that I’m no fan of the Bush administration, and that I generally only point to ideas from it or its supporters in order to ridicule them. I certainly disagree with Carol Bartz’s claim in this essay from Forbes that “…President George W. Bush moved the country one step closer to energy independence” by signing the Energy Policy Act of 2005; at the same time, I’m very encouraged by the thesis of her essay: “Going ‘green’ is an economic necessity.” Bartz makes a strong business case for sustainable development:
Today, energy costs are at all-time highs and are trending up, not down. No business can afford to ignore that equation, whether for its own bottom line or that of its customers. Second, customers–both business and consumer–are weighing eco-friendliness as part of their buying decision. Business can’t afford to ignore customer demands and hope to prosper. Third, reducing waste by consuming less in the manufacturing or construction process is not only good for the environment, it’s more profitable.
Bartz also notes that the private sector, in recognizing these market facts, is in a position to move now: “…in business, we’re not only looking to lawmakers to come up with solutions for tomorrow: We’re listening to the demands of the marketplace and using our advanced technology to take action today.” While I’d love for the Administration to take her claims seriously, I think getting CEOs to listen may ultimately be much more productive.