Time Is Right to Be a Socially Responsible Investor – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, March 24, 2014

Many investors seek investment vehicles that reflect their social values. This is true for a sizable segment of the investor population in California, and especially here in Santa Barbara. The challenge has been finding investments that meet the investor’s specific social requirements and that also represent sound investment opportunities for real returns. Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is not a new concept. In 1758, the Quaker Philadelphia Yearly Meeting prohibited members from participating in…

The Four-Day Workweek is Worth Considering – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, September 17, 2012

Back in mid-2008, when gasoline prices spiked above $5 per gallon, several states passed laws to facilitate the four-day work week.  The results were highly positive, but the short duration of the elevated energy costs meant that momentum towards national acceptance of a four-day workweek was lost.  However, the benefits go far beyond simple energy costs savings.  It is time to revisit the concept of a four-day workweek! The state…

Reinventing the Wheel: Green Innovation and Profitability Working Hand-in-Hand (published in CSQ Magazine, Winter of 2010/11)

Much has been written about the perceived and real benefits of green innovation and invention.  Ideally, to be both environmentally and financially successful, products need to offer a triple benefit—to the environment, the consumer, and the producer.  There has been an interesting and instructive evolution of the marketing of green products over the past two decades, during which time consumer attitudes and behavior have shifted from purchase decisions based on…

Local and Regional Sustainability Events Offer Entrepreneurs Powerful Information and Exchange (published in October of 2010 in the SB News Press)

Santa Barbara is truly one of the most amazing places on the planet.  I don’t think there is another city of this size that offers such a diverse array of activities for virtually every interest under the California sun.  For entrepreneurs and business owners, this is certainly the case. The Santa Barbara Tech Brew, “The Premier Networking Event for High Technology Professionals, Cutting Edge Innovators, Business and Community Leaders, and…

Local Wineries Using Sustainable Business Practices (published in March of 2010 in the SB News Press)

Much has been written in the last few years, especially with the concerns over global warming and the rising cost of energy, about sustainability.  Many local businesses, including some of our local wineries, are finding innovative ways to use sustainable business practices.  In this week’s column, I will explore some of those practices, reviewing the economics involved, and exploring some of the problems our wineries face when considering adopting these…

>Building “green” in Santa Barbara isn’t just for hippies anymore (published in July of 2009 in the SB News Press)

> In recent years, the building industry, especially in California, has evolved to a point where today, the inclusion of “green” features, materials, and technologies is routine and pervasive.  A combination of factors—some regulatory, some environmental, and some economic—have sped this evolutionary process.  Not too long ago, the perception of the public was that environmentalism and green building and living, were issues that only really mattered to hippies.  The image…

Does building green make financial sense? (published in the Santa Barbara News Press in July of 2009)

Green building has gained in popularity over the past few years.  Just about any new building, whether residential, office, or commercial, will have green features, either because they are mandated by the state or federal government, or because they are believed to be cost-saving in the long-run, and good for the environment.  But are they really either of these? First, we need to understand that while it is possible to…