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In preparing to blog about our visit to Ray Day outside of Atlanta, GA, an event that brought together a number of leading environmental organizations to honor the legacy of entrepreneur and environmentalist Ray Anderson, we revisited this 2005 documentary, CEOs on Sustainability, based on interviews with Lab founder, Dr. Michael Ben-Eli.

While there are some disappointing moments in the film—the CEO of BP insisting on the primacy of hydrocarbons at the expense of renewable energies, while defining the “long-term” future as 50-100 years—the majority of the film contains an affirmation of ecologically sustainable business practices as good common sense.

Ray Anderson particularly is full of standout, inspirational nuggets:

“The economy grows and the environment shrinks. How long can this go on? The driving force for unsustainability, in my view, is a system of economics that allows the externalization of cost, a system focused only on exchange value without regard for use value, and with no value whatsoever on nature.”

“I believe the power is with the people. I believe the people have to lead. It is the people who are the marketplace. It’s the people who are the voters. Government has a role. It has taxing power and it would be possible for government to redress the externalities and internalize the externalities through an enlightened taxation policy. Whether business leads or follows, it has to be part of the solution. Otherwise, it can drag the whole outfit down.”

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