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Welcome to the last email in our series highlighting our top ten achievements in the last ten years. It has been an amazing journey for and we are very proud of what we have achieved.

We celebrated our last ten years with some friends in Boulder last week--you can see some photos of the party on Facebook. We sincerely want to thank everyone who has made our last ten years so successful.

Toby Russell (C.E.O.)

7) Business Case for Sustainability

Building on its seminal work, Natural Capitalism, Natural Capitalism Solutions has worked the last decade building the business case for sustainability. Giving thousands of speeches presenting the business case at companies like Google and Walmart, publishing cutting edge research, and bringing the message to boardrooms and Main Street, NCS built the road now traveled by academic commentators like Harvard Business Review, and management consulting houses from McKinsey to Accenture.

Our recent report Sustainability Pays and Hunter’s new book The Way Out, cap our decade’s leadership in this field, and provide undisputable proof that business leaders can profit by integrating sustainability into all aspects of their operations. When the likes of Goldman Sachs and AT Kearny are advocating sustainability in the same breath as profitability, we know there’s a business case.

Nowhere has this shift been more pronounced than with NCS’ own clients. Diversey, a Johnson family company and an NCS client, has publically stated, “For every dollar (they) invest in sustainability, (they) get two dollars back.”

NCS continues to work with an array of clients to show them how to improve short- and long-term profitability through the adoption of sustainable practices in the following areas:

  • Natural Resource, Energy, and Operational Efficiency
  • Human Resources Management
  • Financial Operations
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Collaboration with NGOs and Government

8) International Development

NCS also shares its sustainability message across the world, working with a global network of governments, and communities to develop sustainable strategies and solutions. From advising the Energy Minister of Afghanistan to the Prime Minister of Bhutan, taking a major role at the recent United Nations Rio+20, which adopted NCS’ Bill Becker’s “Future We Want program as the organizing theme for the conference, NCS has a key role in meeting the global challenges.

Our work internationally has helped spur progress on areas of sustainability and societal dilemmas such as:

  • In 2002 an NCS delegation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, led to work to help the International Finance Corporation implement more sustainable practices in its operations. This led eventually to the creation of the Equator Principles, now governing a significant percentage of project finance loans from major banks around the world.
  • In 2008, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) engaged NCS to research and develop leading sustainable production practices for Asia, addressing how resource-efficient and low carbon manufacturing can lift people out of poverty, in such countries as China, Pakistan and India. The final report and subsequent presentations to the United Nations and Asian countries provided a blueprint to transform and support sustainable, green growth industries so they can improve financial and environmental performance while building social cohesiveness.
  • In Jamaica, NCS worked with a US AID contractor to provide economic development expertise to work with the business sector to provide clusters of industry around eco-tourism, bamboo, sauces & spices, and coffee to replace drug production. Apart from advising local staff, NCS helped write the business plan to enable UNDP funding for these ventures.
  • In Afghanistan, where Hunter was named an advisor to the Minister of Energy, NCS worked with a US AID contractor to strengthen economic development efforts. NCS analyzed the value-add of sustainable ways to produce fruits and nuts, carpets and a variety of other products.
  • More recently Hunter accepted a personal invitation from the Prime Minister of Bhutan to serve on the steering committee of a team of international thought leaders convened at the UN to reframe the global economic paradigm. This group is laying the intellectual foundations for a shift from outdated indicators of progress based around Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to one that values what is important to people, or Gross National Happiness (GNH). Read Hunter’s account of the most recent UN gathering here.

9) Publications & Speeches

NCS shares our work and inspire others to engage with sustainability through a variety of publications. Over 350 articles, book forwards, op-ed’s add to the amazing number of miles Hunter and crew have put in giving over 1,000 speeches. Some of these were small events or local publications, while others included United Nations summits and the Financial Times 100. NCS has been published from Harvard Business Review, UK Guardian, Forbes, World Affairs, and Fast Company to leading news magazines around the world. Below is a tiny sampling of some of our most interesting articles, publications, and speeches by Hunter, Bill and other NCS staff:
Books and Articles
  • The Way Out: Kick-starting Capitalism to Save Our Economic Ass (buy)
  • Transforming Industry (NEED LINK)
  • Climate Protection Manual for Cities (read)
  • Sustainable Industries: The High Rate of Return on Giving (read)
  • Fast Company: Reframing The Global Economy To Include Happiness (read)
  • Sustainable Brands: Engaging Employees in Sustainability 2.0 (read)
  • The Huffington Post: Rio+20 - The Young Can't Wait (read)
  • UNIDO: The Future of Industry in Asia (read)
  • The 2018-2012 Presidential Climate Action Plan(s) (read)
  • COP15, in Copenhagen: The Business Case for Climate Protection (read)
  • Solutions Journal: Creating a Game Plan for the Transition to a Sustainable U.S. Economy (read)
  • World Affairs Journal: Development as if The World Mattered (read)
  • NCS' BLOG (read)
  • NCS' Corkboards - collection of online resources (read)
  • Global Economic Forum
  • UNIDO General Assembly
  • WOMAD Earthstation
  • Financial Times Conference
  • SRI of the Rockies (slides)
  • Sustainable Brands 2012 (video)
  • LOHAS (video)
  • World Energy Forum
  • Balaton Group
  • United Nations (video)
  • Fortune Magazine Brainstorm Green
  • TEDx Mile High, San Joaquin and CSU (click location for video)
  • Chile Clean Tech Open (slides)
  • Honduras Economic Development Summit for WCSBD
  • National League of Cities (slides)
  • Sustainable Boulder: Challenges and Opportunities (slides)
  • Australian Business Leaders Forum
  • Patagonia (video)
  • University of Santa Barbara (video)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales
  • Volvo Sports Design Forum (video)
  • University of North Carolina (video)

Hunter Lovins has co-authored 13 books and hundreds of papers, including the seminal book, Natural Capitalism and it’s sequel The Way Out. The book presents hundreds of case studies—many from Natural Capitalism Solutions’ work with international corporations, small businesses, NGOs, and municipalities—to prove that innovative sustainability can solve the climate crisis at a profit. Bill Becker has published several books and papers including the Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP). PCAP has submitted more than 200 policy and program recommendations to the Obama Administration, many of which were adopted during the President’s first year in office.

10) Awards & Accolades

The work of Hunter and NCS has been honored over the years by a number of institutions, communities, groups. While we certainly don’t mind the recognition, it is always the impact that we are after. A few of the honors of the last decade include.

Hunter Lovins

Bill Becker
  • President’s Council on Sustainable Development


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11823 N. 75th Street, Longmont, CO 80503 | 720-684-6580