Friday, June 15, 2007

NGOs and Global Businesses


I was reading about how Leverage Buy Out (LBO) firms are using Non Government Organizations (NGOs) to assist them in deals.
I would like to learn more about how NGOs and Global Businesses are working together. It is evident that business that previously thought of the environment as an unlimited resource (CO2 emissions, clean water, etc.) have challenges with their business model and real finical liability over the next 10+ years. NGOs seem like a natural link between policy, the environment, consumers, and businesses. Do you see initiatives by NGOs to position themselves as thought leaders that can help businesses decrease their risk and increase profits?

Executive Green,

There is a wide array of environmental consulting firms out there that assist businesses in strategizing in the sense you are suggesting more than NGOs do. NGOs are positioning themselves as thought leaders, but they don't always keep the focus of helping businesses decrease risk and increase –profit—they often are too "cause-based".
Smart NGOs take some of the consulting business and combine it with what is that "right" thing to do. For example, Conservation International has a number of programs. They never lose sight of the reality that business’s first concern is the bottom line, so the only good conservation sense will be the changes in practices that don't lead to reduced profits.
As you suggest, companies that are proactive about reducing their global footprint (carbon) may reduce risk and/or create significant profits. To reduce risk, a number of companies are making investments through a variety of voluntary mechanisms, such as power companies making private deals with NGOs to reforest an area and claim a carbon credit.


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