ENVS  5150



                                          Fall 2014



Wednesdays, 5:30-8:30

HNES 141


Course Director:  Brian Milani <bmilani@web.ca>

Office Hours: 4-5:15pm & 8:30-10pm Wednesdays

or by appointment




Description of this Year's Course

Perspectives on Green Business is an overview course that examines the role of business both in contributing to our social & environmental problems, and in providing solutions to them.  It does this by focusing on a combination of key sectors and issues.  Since there are far more sectors and issues than we can include in one term, the course tries to highlight key principles, tendencies and potentials.  This year's main theme concerns the increasing roles of both human creativity and the Commons in the creation of a postindustrial economy, and how this affects both the business models and regulatory forms that can unleash or support growing green economic potentials and eventually regenerative economies.  Classes are a mix of lecture, discussion, and videos. 


Schedule and Readings

[Note: Readings subject to change.  Check each week.]

Week 1, September 10, Introduction: student introductions and statements of interest, with an overview of key issues and relationships in green business.

·        Brian Milani, “What is Green Economics?”, Synthesis / Regeneration, #37 (Spring 2005); and Race, Poverty and the Environment: A journal for social and environmental justice (2006)

Video: Ray Anderson: The Business Logic of Sustainability




Week 2, September 17, Perspectives on Sustainability & Business

Jonathan Rowe and David Bollier, "The Missing Sector: Enlarging our sense of 'the Economy'," On the Commons, October 24, 2010

Walter Stahel, “The Business Angle of a Circular Economy,”  Ellen MacArthur Foundation / Product Life Institute, May 2012

 Eric Assadourian, “When Good Corporations Go Bad,” World Watch magazine, May/June 2005

 Gary Gardner and Thomas Prugh, “Seeding the Sustainable Economy,” Chapter 1, The State of the World 2008, NY/Washington: Worldwatch Institute, 2008

Joel Makower, The State of Green Business 2014 overview , GreenBiz.com

Majorie Kelly, "Can There be "Good" Corporations? When companies are owned by workers and the community–instead of Wall St. financiers—everything changes," Yes! magazine Spring 2012

Neal Gorenflo & Jeremy Adam Smith, "10 Ways Our World Is Becoming More Shareable," Yes! magazine, June 22, 2010

Powerpoint Presentation



j0440103David Morris, "The Next Stage of Capitalism," review of Barne's Capitalism 3.0, AlterNet, Jan. 4, 2007

Blue-Green Alliance, Building Ontario's Green Economy: A road map, 2012

David Korten, The Pursuit of Happiness: A new development paradigm, contribution to the Government of Bhutan's New Development Paradigm report presented to the UN, 2013

Adam Parsons, "From sharing cities to a sharing world," STWR website, Feb. 7, 2014

The Great Transition, executive summary, New Economics Foundation report, October 2009

Bill McDonough & Michael Braungart, “The Next Industrial Revolution,” Atlantic Monthly, Oct. 1998

Green Growth or No Growth, CBC radio IDEAS program, featuring Peter Victor & Tim Jackson

Michael Connor, Sustainability Progress: More ‘Words’ Than ‘Action’, Business Ethics, Sept. 6, 2013

Polly Cleveland, "Sustainability Squared: How we can sustain both the environment and the people, " Dollars & Sense magazine, January/February 2014




Week 3, September 24, The Corporation: Problems & Strategies

Jonathan Rowe, Is the Corporation Obsolete?”, Washington Monthly, 2001

Eric Assadurian, The Role of Stakeholders,” Worldwatch magazine, Sept./Oct. 2005

John H. Richardson, "Saving Capitalism from Itself: Inside the B Corp Revolution," Esquire, August 23, 2010

MonopolyMan.jpgChristine MacDonald, "The Big Green Buyout," E magazine, July/August 2011

Catherine Ruetschlin & Amy Traub, A Higher Wage is Possible at Wal-Mart, summary and update of Demos report, June 4 2014

Ashley Renders, "Setting a global transparency standard is like herding cats," Corporate Knights, July 9, 2014

Justin Fox / Don Tapscott, "Why Apple Has to Become More Open," Harvard Business Review blog, March 11, 2013

Ron Robins, "Does Corporate Social Responsibility Increase Profits?", Business Ethics, May 12, 2011

Powerpoint Presentation



Stefan Heck and Matt Rogers, "Will a Natural Resource 'Revolution' Create a Trillion Dollar Opportunity?," Business Ethics, May 28, 2014

Les Leopold, "The Real Story of Our Economy: Why Our Standard of Living Has Stalled Out," AlterNet, March 23, 2011

B_the_Change.jpg--Melissa Shin, "Cooperatives at the Forefront: This ancient form of business organization is leading innovation in Canada," Corporate Knights, 2010.

--Pay Violations Rampant in Low-Wage Industries Despite Enforcement Efforts, Fair Warning website, May 13, 2014

 --Nelson Lichtenstein, “Wal-Mart: A Template for 21st Century Capitalism?”,  New Labor Forum 14, no.1 (2005): 21-30. [abridged version of introduction to Wal-Mart: The Face of Twenty-First Century Capitalism, New Press, November 2005]

Stacy Mitchell, "Wal-Mart's Latest 'Buy America' Sham," Huffington Post, August 22, 2013

William Young and Fiona Tilley, "Can Businesses Move Beyond Efficiency? The Shift toward Effectiveness and Equity in the Corporate Sustainability Debate," Business Strategy and the Environment, 15, 402–415 (2006)

Robert Poiasek, Debunking the Notion of a Triple Bottom Line,  GreenBiz, August 31, 2009

Majorie Kelly, The Next Step for CSR: Economic Democracy, Business Ethics, 2002



The Corporation: Birth

The Corporation: A Legal 'Person'

The Corporation: Externalities

PBS News Hour on B Corporation certification

Don Tapscott on Mass Collaboration




Week 4, October 1, Values-driven & Local Business

8 Acupuncture Points for Transforming Capitalism," Huffington Post, June 15, 2014

David Korten, "A New Economy Policy Agenda," BALLE Policy Panel,  May 23, 2009, livingeconomies.org

 Rachel Mendelson, "Canadian B-Corps Put their Money Where Their Branding is on Social Causes,"  Huffington Post.ca, March 2012

Gael O'Brien, "Patagonia: Lessons from a Pioneer in Responsible Business," Business Ethics, Sept. 5, 2012

 Anthony Pringle, The Power of Purchasing: The economic impacts of local procurement, Columbia Institute, LOCO BC, and ISIS Research Centre at the Sauder School of Business, May 2013



John Talberth, “A New Bottom Line for Progress,” Chapter 2, The State of the World 2008, NY/Washington: Worldwatch Institute, 2008 image016.gif

David Brodwin, "Americans Leading a Do-It-Yourself Economy as Washington Stalls," US News website, August 2, 2012

Stacy Mitchell, "Independent Businesses Deliver Bigger Economic Benefit, Study Finds," ILSR website, August 16, 2012

Kirk Johnson, "Small Farmers Creating a New Business Model as Agriculture Goes Local," New York Times, July 1, 2012

Carl Frankel, "The Lore of the Local: Q & A with Michael Shuman," Chronogram Magazine, Feb. 27, 2009

Josh Harkinson, "Profits of Place: A different vision of success emerges along Main St.," Orion magazine, Jan/Feb. 2004

Herman Daly, “Globalism and Its Discontents,” August 2000

Stacy Mitchell, “Keep Your Eyes on the Size: The impossibility of a green Wal-Mart,” Grist, March 28, 2007



Michael Shuman at UVM 

Keeping Austin Weird with the Multiplier Effect

Zingerman's Business Model

Jib Jab: Big Box Mart




Week 5, October 8, Green Manufacturing & Energy

green-city2.jpgJeremy Rifkin, "A New Economic Narrative: Industrial revolution 3.0," Our World 2.0 website, United Nations University, March 7, 2012

Keith Parkins, “Soft Energy Paths”, Gaia briefing paper.

John Farrell, "Expect Delays: Reviewing Ontario's 'Buy Local' Renewable Energy Program," Executive Summary, ILSR website, May 2013 

Stu Campana, "Is Canada Suffering from Dutch Disease?" Alternatives journal, May 6, 2014

Guy Dauncey, "Ten Ways to Use the Sun's Energy," Corporate Knights, Jan. 1, 2010

Yashnin and Associates, Sustainability Through Product-service Systems and Servicizing, Policy Research Initiative, May 2010

David Morris, "The Once and Future Carbohydrate Economy," The American Prospect, March 19, 2006

Ed Cohen-Rosenthal, “What is Eco-industrial Development?”, chapter 1 of Eco-industrial Strategies: Unleashing Synergy between Economic Development and the Environment, Sheffield UK: Greenleaf Publishers, 2003


Powerpoint Presentation 



Scott Sinclair, Saving the Green Economy Ontario’s Green Energy Act and the WTO, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report, Nov. 21, 2013

Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss,  "The Rocky Mountain Institute and Weaning Ourselves off of Oil and Coal," E magazine, June 22, 2014

William McDonough and Michael Braungart, "Can Soil Replace Oil as a Source of Energy?,"  excerpt from The Upcycle: Beyond sustainability—designing for Abundance (North Point Press, 2013), Scientific American, April, 2013

Green Energy Across Ontario, Environmental Defense website, 2013

Helen Lewis and John Gertsakis, Introduction: Design + Environment: A global guide to designing greener goods, Greenleaf Publishers, 2001

The Great Green Technological Transformation, World Economic and Social Survey 2011, UN Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs.

Work in a Warming World, York U. website



·        Jeremy Rifkin on the 3rd Industrial Revolution

·        David Morris on energy self-reliant states

·        The Circular Economy

·        How Local Motors Works

·        Barrack Obama talks about Local Motors

·        Amory Lovins on Reinventing Fire





Week 6, October 15, The Electronic Commons

guy_fawkes_mask.pngJay Walljasper, "What is the Commons?", chapter 1 of All That We Share: A field guide to the Commons, New York: The New Press, 2010

Yochai Benkler, A Moment of Opportunity and Challenge, Chapter 1 of The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, Yale U. Press, 2005   

Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, Introduction and Chapter One “Wikinomics: The Art & Science of Peer-Production,” from Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (Portfolio/Penguin, 2006)

Don Tapscott, "Firm Transaction Costs and the Unintended Impact of Ronald Coase," Huffington Post, Sept. 13, 2013

CBC News, Planned Obsolescence Pervasive in Digital Age, Dec. 30, 2013

David Morris, "Why is Multi-Billion-Dollar Telecom Time Warner fretting over a small city in North Carolina?", Alternet, June 27, 2011

Susan Crawford, "Fiber is the Key to U.S. Telecom Diet," Wired, April 7, 2012


Powerpoint Presentation



John Bellamy Foster & Robert W. McChesney, "Surveillance Capitalism: Monopoly-finance capital, the military-industrial complex, and the digital age," Monthly Review, vol. 66, issue 03, July-August 2014. j0286755.gif [Optional, but recommended: It's especially good from a historical perspective on the relationship among economic crisis, the information revolution, and the use of waste (military, financial and informational) to reinforce the status quo.]

Steve Anderson, "Net Neutrality in Canada: Closing in on Internet openness," p. 113-121 of The Internet Tree: The State of Telecom Policy in Canada 3.0, Marita Moll & Leslie Regan Shade (eds.), Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2011

CBC News, "FAQ: Net Neutrality and Internet Traffic Management," CBC website, Oct. 19, 2009

Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss, Apple Computer’s Green Initiatives, E mag, April 28, 2014

Chris Sweeny, "Is Your Phone Smart Enough to Not Poison the People Recycling It? This One Is," Yes! magazine, Fall 2013

Verdantix, Cloud Computing: The IT Solution for the 21st Century, study for Carbon Disclosure Project, 2011

Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss, "Dirty Cloud Computing," April 29, 2012

Laurence Lessig, “Some Like It Hot: Piracy & culture,” Wired magazine, Issue 12.03 (March 2004)

CBC News, "Verizon Challenges FCC's right to Impose Net Neutrality,"  CBC website, Sept. 13, 2013

Clay Shirky, "Does the Internet Make You Smarter?", Wall St. Journal, June 4, 2010

                    , "Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing," blog, Oct. 3, 2002

Diana Lind, policy brief, "Information and Communications Technologies Creating Livable, Equitable, Sustainable Cities,"  summary of chapter in State of the World 2012.

Net_neutraility2.jpgInternet Rights and Principles Coalition, Ten Internet Rights and Principles, p. 17-20 of The Internet Tree: The State of Telecom Policy in Canada 3.0, Marita Moll & Leslie Regan Shade (eds.), Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2011.

Stan Cox, "War, Murder, Rape...All for your cell phone," AlterNet, Sept. 14, 2006

Guide to Greener Electronics, Greenpeace International website, Nov. 2012



Also (optional) check out these excellent & informative documentary films:

RIP: A Remix Manifesto              The Internet's Own Boy

Extra video (17 min.):  Clay Shirky at TED: How Cellphones, Twitter, Facebook can make history




Week 7, October 22, Regulation

Michael Marx and Marjorie Kelly, “Who Will Rule?  Yes! magazine, Fall 2007                             

Neil Gunningham and Darren Sinclair, “Regulatory Pluralism: Designing Policy Mixes for Environmental Protection”, Law and Policy 21, 49-76, 1997

Brian Milani,  Mindful Markets, Value Revolution and the Green Economy: EPR, Certification and the New Regulation

Michael Braungart, "Product Life-Cycle Management to Replace Waste Management", in Socolow, Andrews, Berkhout & Thomas (eds.), Industrial Ecology and Global Change, N.Y./Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, p. 335-337

Brian Dunkiel, M. Jeff Hamond, and Jim Motavalli, “Sharing the Wealth: If We Shift the Tax Burden From Work to Waste, Everyone Benefits”, E magazine, March/April 1999

Alex Goldmark, "The Benefit Corporation: Can business be about more than profit?" , Good Business website, July 1, 2011


Powerpoint Presentation



Walter Stahel, "The Virtuous Circle? Sustainable Economics and Taxation in a Time of Austerity," A Chartered Insurance Institute "thinkpiece", October 2011

Michael E. Conroy, Certification Systems as Tools for Natural Asset Building: Potential, Experience to Date, and Critical Challenges, Working paper No. 100, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts-Amherst, July 2005  (skim)

EPR: A Prescription for Clean Production, Pollution Prevention and Zero Waste”, Grassroots Recycling Network, August 2003

Brenda Platt, Local Inititatives Leverage EPR, ILSR Waste to Wealth report, Nov. 2000

Barry Commoner, “Pollution Prevention: The Source of an Ethical Foundation for Sustainable Development”, 1990

Google Books, excerpts: Norman Myers and Jennifer Kent, Perverse Subsidies: How Tax Dollars Can Undercut the Environment and the Economy,  Island Press, 2001

Alex Wilson (EBN), "Yes, the Living Building Challenge is Overreaching," Green Building Advisor website, May 29, 2014



[see end of Powerpoint presentation]  also:

Unfinished Business: Extended Producer Responsibility for Post-consumer Packaging

Participatory Guarantee Systems: the Alternative to 3rd Party Certification

Jason McLennan on The Living Building Challenge




Week 7 1/2, October 29, Reading  Week




 Week 8, November 5, Work, Social Justice & Community Enterprise

AtGoodJobSummit2.jpgLaurie Monsebraaten, "Half of GTA and Hamilton workers in ‘precarious’ jobs," Toronto Star, Feb. 23, 2013

Gerald Friedman, "The Rise of the Gig Economy," Dollars & Sense magazine, March/April 2014

An Examination of Pollution & Poverty in the city of Toronto, PollutionWatch fact sheet, Nov. 2008

David Hulchanski et al, Toronto's Third City: Dramatic change in the inner suburbs 1970-2005, St. Christopher House and U of T, May 2011

Toronto Workforce Innovation Group (TWIG),  Tending Green Shoots: Green Skill-building Programs in the GTA, 2013

Associated Press, "Income inequality slowing U.S. recovery, Ratings Agency says," CBC website, Aug. 5, 2014

America Keeps People Poor On Purpose: A Timeline of Choices We've Made to Increase Inequality, infographic, Yes! magazine, Fall 2014

Van Jones and Ben Wyskida, “Green-Collar Jobs for Urban America: Oakland looks for a greener path toward prosperity,” Yes! magazine, Winter 2007

Preeti Mangala Shekar and Tram Nguyen, "Who Gains from a Green Economy?,"  Colorlines, March/April 2008

Angela Glover Blackwell, "Embracing Diversity to Strengthen the Economy," Huffington Post, August 21, 2012

Michael Renner, "Making the Green Economy Work for Everybody," chapter 1 of The State of the World 2012.


Optional:                                                                                                                                                  image028.jpg          

David Macdonald, Outrageous Fortune: Documenting Canada's Wealth Gap, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, April 2014

John Cartwright, Green Jobs are the Future, background paper, Toronto Good Jobs for All conference, Nov. 2008   

Winona LaDuke, "Local Energy, Local Power," Yes! magazine, Winter 2007

Bernard Marszalek, "Green-collar Jobs, Industrial Policy, and Society with a Future," New Labor Forum, Fall 2008

Green-Collar Jobs in America's Cities: Building Pathways out of poverty and careers in the clean energy economy,  report for Apollo Alliance & Green for All, March 2008

James Trimarco and Jill Bamberg, "Worker Co-ops: Green and just jobs you can own,"  Yes! Summer 2009

Philip Mattera et al, High Road or Low Road? Job quality in the new green economy, report for Good Jobs First, February 2009 




Week 9, November 12,  Finance: Gambling or Investment?

DecolonizeWS.jpgDoug Orr, "The Big Casino: How to rein in stock-market speculation," Dollars & Sense magazine, May/June 2014

Stacy Mitchell, "Banking for the Rest of Us," Sojourners magazine, April 1, 2012

Bill Baue, “Investing in Sustainability,” Chapter 13, The State of the World 2008, NY/Washington: Worldwatch Institute, 2008

Michael Shuman, "Put Your Money Where Your Life Is: Americans want to invest locally. What's stopping them?," Yes! Summer 2009

STWR, Financing the Global Sharing Economy, executive summary of report, 2013

Eugene Ellmen, "Socially Responsible Investing in Canada," Green Money Journal, August/Sept. 2008

Powerpoint Presentation


Joel Makower, "Why Sustainability Leaders Don't Impress Wall Street,"  GreenBiz, August 4, 2014

Tyler Hamilton, "Province Proposes New Path for Financing Energy & Water Conservation," Toronto Star, June 22, 2012

Tom Du, "Four Methods for Expanding Debt Crowdfunding," Corporate Knights, June 2013

SolarShare Hits the Big Time, Corporate Knights, Jan. 22, 2014

Paul Weinberg, "Self-financing Toronto: City could ease cash crisis if it put revenues in a bank of its own," Straight Goods, May 14, 2012

Chandra Pasma and Jim Mulvale, Income Security for All Canadians: Understanding Guaranteed Income, BIEN Canada study, 2011

David Korten, "When Bankers Rule the World: How we can call out the myths, restructure the banking system, ShumanBook.jpgshut down the con game, and take back America," Yes! magazine, March 2012

John Bellamy Foster and Hannah Holleman, "The Financial Power Elite," Monthly Review, vol. 62, issue 1, May 2010

Amy Cortese, "In Defence of Crowdfunding," Locavesting blog, March 16, 2012

Rebecca Leisher, "Watch Us Move Our Millions: Cities, churches and colleges take steps to move their money home,"  Yes! magazine, Spring 2012

Peter Boone and Simon Johnson, "The Canadian Banking Fallacy," The Baseline Scenario, March 25, 2010

Ellen Russell, "Should Canadians Worry about a Banking Crisis?", Toronto Star, June 23, 2012

Wuppertal Institute, Micro-finance and Renewable Energy Investing in a Sustainable Future, 2006



Money, Power & Wall Street, 2012 Frontline series

The Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis: Help for the Homeowners? , NOW on PBS [especially recommended]

Van Jones: America is Not Broke!

Matt Taibbi and Yves Smith on Big Banks and Government, Bill Moyers Journal

Michael Shuman on How to Shift Your Money from Wall St. to Main St.

Amy Cortese on Locavesting

SolarShare: Power Your Portfolio




Week 10, November 19, Consumption, Markets & Marketing

Michael Renner, "Moving Toward a Less Consumptive Economy,"  Chapter 5, pp. 96-119, from the State of the World 2004, NY/Washington: Worldwatch Institute, 2004

Helio Mattar, "Public Policies on More-Sustainable Consumption," State of the World 2012

Annie Leonard, "How to Be More Than a Mindful Consumer," Yes! magazine, Fall 2013

Chip Conley & Eric Freidenwald-Fishman, "Why Marketing Matters," Introduction from Marketing that Matters, SF: Berrett-Kohler Publishers, 2006

Jacquelyn Ottman, Consumers with a Conscience, chapter 2 of Green Marketing: Opportunity for Innovation, NY: NTC-McGraw-Hill, 1998



Powerpoint Presentation


Lisa Mastny, "Purchasing for People and Planet," Chapter 6, pp. 122-142, from State of the World 2004

Gary Gardner and Erik Assadourian, "Rethinking the Good Life," from State of the World 2004

Aseem Prakash, "Green Marketing, Public Policy and Managerial Strategies," Business Strategy and the Environment, 11, pp. 285-297, 2002

Tim Jackson, "The Challenge of Sustainable Lifestyles," chapter 4, State of the World 2008

Anders Hayden (MES 1997), Sharing the World, Sparing the Planet: Work time, consumption and ecology, book description and excerpts

David Morris, "Is Eating Local the Best Choice?", AlterNet, Sept. 11, 2007


Forbidden (not approved by Proper Authorities):

                             George Carlin on the American Dream        Rev. Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping


Health and Spiritual Perspectives (videos):

Affluenza (and remedies)

What Would Jesus Buy? 




Week 11   November 26     Presentations




Week 12    December 3      Presentations





Papers: approximately 15 pages, double-spaced, on a topic of your choice, due Dec. 16

Book Review: on a book of your choice, either on the course biblio or not, approx. 5 pages double-spaced, due Week 9

Presentations: approx. 15 min plus 5 for questions (total 20) on a topic of your choice.

Grades: Attendance/participation 10%; Review 10%; Presentation 15%; Term Paper 65%.


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