The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Strategic CSR - Natural capital

For those of you out there who are relying on scientific and technical innovation to get us out of our environmental challenges, the article in the url below offers some hope. In this case the problem is a lack of water:
"San Diego County is in a drought. San Diego County sits next to the Pacific Ocean, which contains 187 quintillion (that's 187,000,000,000,000,000,000) gallons of cool, fresh, completely undrinkable water."
The solution is desalination on an industrial scale:
"This vexes San Diego County, vexes them enough to build a $1 billion (that's only $1,000,000,000) state-of-the-art desalination plant that will filter out the salt and provide up to 50 million gallons of drinking water a day."
This is not particularly new technology, but applying it to solve a state-wide problem is an important step in the effort to introduce meaningful change. It also is an important step in being able to value our natural resources. While we would hope we could do this without the need to monetize everything, in reality it is when we create a market for something that we are able to understand the extent to which we value it:
"While the new Carlsbad desalination plant will contribute only about 10 percent of San Diego County's drinking-water supply, … If the plans succeed, they could convert the Pacific from a really nice thing to look at into a vital natural resource."
Have a great weekend
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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California's Costly Solution to Make the Ocean Drinkable
By Sam Grobart
November 10, 2015
Bloomberg Businessweek