A Business Agenda to Write Home About

What would be on your agenda if you were to meet with the President?  Here is what was on Jeffrey Hollender’s agenda when he met with the President’s transition team last January.  Jeffrey is President of Seventh Generation and a strong sustainability advocate.

  1. Mandatory, GRI-based Corporate Responsibility reporting
  2. Eliminate tax incentives that support environmentally damaging industry (i.e. Exxon)
  3. Reform the metrics we use to evaluate the health of our society & our economy. Replace the GNP with the Gross National Happiness Index.
  4. Develop a road map to transition to full-cost accounting (which will prevent companies from externalizing costs) and level the playing field for responsible businesses

I’m with him on this.  He also thinks this is “the chance of a lifetime to revolutionize the role that business plays in society” and like him,  I am cautiously optimistic.

Here are the other topics he will cover in his follow-up memo to the administration:

  1. National health care that’s not linked to employment
  2. Publicly financed elections
  3. Incentivize employee ownership through additional tax benefits and ESOP financing
  4. Complete the Attorney General’s new environmental marketing guidelines and then ensure compliance
  5. Prevent shareholders who haven’t held stock in a company for at least one year from voting their proxy.
  6. Dramatically increasing short-term capital gains rates.
  7. Limit senior management salaries to 50 times that of the average employee in the company
  8. Encourage multi-stakeholder coalitions that bring together business, labor, NGOs, community groups, and religious organizations, and insist they resolve critical issues (i.e., sustainable palm oil, cocoa)
  9. Teach systems thinking in public schools
  10. Invest in education and place economic value in the caring professions: teaching, nursing, homemaking, elder care.

Good topics for conversation at work, in your home, at school and at play.

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