Whenever you speak to an executive at a company trying to develop a green business model two questions will invariably be asked. The first is whether or not the green business trend is "real" and the second is what is driving it.
Well for those still struggling to find the answers to these questions - they are yes and basic economics BTW - they were spelt out loud and clear this week as the cost of petrol cleared £1 a litre and oil edged ever closer to the oh so symbolic $100 a barrel mark.
It is this simple trend more than any other that explains the current interest in green business. Forget saving the world, this is about saving money, and you can see the ominous shadow of these burgeoning costs in almost every green business initiative out there.
Whether it's the boom in green construction, the consolidation in the solar market, plans for greener cities, sterling financial results from the renewables sector, or even those sci-fi dreamers and their plans for power stations in space it is the soaring cost of conventional energy that provides the all important economic driver.
But while concerns over soaring energy costs and even oil shortages mean businesses know they must embrace greener business models they are still less than sure about how best to do it.
Consequently, there have been some pretty damning stories this week highlighting firms getting it badly wrong, ranging from Shell's "misleading" green ads to those household names and burgeoning biofuel companies who may be touting their green creds but are also contributing to the deforestation of Indonesian rain forests.
New rules for sustainable biofuels may help, but in the mean time perhaps the companies in question should try and make up for their past indiscretions by taking a leaf out of Fiji Water's book and going "carbon negative".
Have a good weekend,
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