Eco-Friendly, Profit-Friendly Efficiency
This photo shows a partial view of the Pittsburgh city skyline, between reflections in windows as people walk along the park-like roof of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2009. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Robert D. Hormats serves as Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, and Kerri-Ann Jones serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

American companies face numerous competitive challenges today. While many are unique from those of decades past, one constant remains — the success of our businesses and economy as a whole is dependent on our ability to innovate and compete. To do this, we need to develop new products, new services, and new ideas. We also need to re-think how we do business, that is, we need to emphasize creativity and efficiency. The McKinsey Global Institute reports that to match the GDP growth of the past 20 years and the rising living standards of past generations, the United States needs to boost productivity growth from 1.7 to 2.3 percent a year. That’s a daunting figure. To achieve it, American companies need to examine all aspects of their operations, one of the most important being how they use energy and other natural resources. For example, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has had… more »

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