Marge Wood email@example.com (915) 674 2341
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 00:38:43 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Not necessarily the NBL: GFA Update, June 1997
In our recent readers' survey, many of you expressed interest in knowing
more about our work and activities at GFA. Here is the first of periodic
summaries we'll be sending you. (Feel free to share it as appropriate.)
If you'd like more information, please contact me directly at the
coordinates shown below. (If this is more than you want to know, just use
that delete key, and stay tuned for the next NBL.) And thanks for your
- Gil Friend
Gil Friend and Associates (GFA) Update - Spring 1997
GFA (& what is "eco-ops"?)
Be our speakers bureau
Gil Friend and Associates (GFA)
GFA helps companies and communities gain competitive advantage and
breakthrough economic performance by building the laws of nature into their
business operating systems. Or to put it more simply: we help companies
make more sense _and_ more money, boosting profits while reducing
Yes, it flies in the face of the common "wisdom" that environmental quality
is a cost, that you can only afford so much of it. That's exactly the
point. _Pollution_ is the cost -- energy and materials that don't add
value, don't earn revenue. Companies which understand this and which
systematically move toward _zero_ waste operations gain enormous strategic
and economic advantage (as demonstrated by leading companies in Europe).
GFA associates -- engineers, ecologists, designers, strategists, trainers,
change managers -- all share two common strengths: professional excellence
and a distinct ability to think/understand whole systems.
Our "strategic sustainability" approach provides a web of inter-related
services -- Assessment, Design, Implementation, Training, Environmental
Management Systems and Strategy -- that help clients put these ideas into
practice. Clients select one or several of these elements, in the sequence
that best suits their needs.
Integrated EcoAudits assess a company's environmental quality and
efficiency, and identify prioritized opportunities to change materials,
equipment and processes to improve profitability while reducing
"EcoMetrics" provide a visual quantitative analysis of past and future
performance, tied into existing MIS and TQM programs.
Benchmarking protocols enable clients to compare their performance with
best industry practices -- or to let their facilities or divisions "race"
against each other for better performance.
Design is the key to long term and short term success. Our design services
help clients invent their future, through design of products, processes,
practices, market positioning and business strategies. Our goal: leverage a
client's physical, intellectual and marketplace assets to meet both the
constraints of the marketplace _and_ the constraints of the biosphere.
Our experienced interdisciplinary teams are available to provide the
implementation assistance clients require -- from occasional coaching, to
periodic training and assessments, to complete turnkey management services.
We can train management teams or the entire workforce in a broad range of
both "thinking and doing" tools that will enable your company to put these
ideas into practice effectively and profitably. Training options include
- The Natural Step (TNS) environmental management framework,
- Environmental Management System design and implementation,
- pollution prevention,
- Design for Environment (DFE),
- environmental management information systems,
- and more.
Environmental Management Systems
GFA's environmental, management and information system specialists can help
design and implement an ISO 14000-qualifiable management system -- as well
as one that adds the strategic and performance tracking elements that ISO
does not yet address. Our focus: tangible benefits, whether or not a client
chooses to seek formal certification.
This core activity enhances each of the other elements -- shifting
"environment" from an operational function to a strategic driver of our
clients' economic future -- by:
- reconceiving and leveraging core competencies,
- demanding and achieving breakthrough efficiencies,
- conditioning for resilience,
- calibrating for uncertainty,
- sharpening organization-wide reflexes and
- embedding laws of nature as guidance system
that is durable in face of inevitable change.
The same range of services applies, though the client is typically
represents many stakeholders. Programs here also include economic
development strategy, business outreach and development, community-based
planning and regulatory reform.
What is "eco-ops" (as in eco-ops.com, our internet domain name)?
It's short for Ecological Operating Systems[tm]. Just as computers have
operating systems that provide the framework and "rule set" that enables
the computer to work, the software to run, the printers and modems to
interact, companies, agencies and organizations also have operating systems
-- which set the template for what they do, and what they _can_ do.
_Ecological_ Operating Systems embed the laws of nature and ecological
wisdom at the heart of a company's operating systems -- offering an
effective framework, we believe, for both ecological and economic
- REGIONAL METABOLISM ANALYSIS
Building on our integrated EcoAudit methodology for individual companies,
we have just completed a "Regional Metabolism Analysis" for a ten county
economic development region in Virginia. The analysis will map resource
flows with a goal of identifying opportunities to "close resource loops,"
helping the region identify economic development opportunities in turning
wastes into resources.
The methodology developed in this project will enable us to offer this
service to other jurisdictions.
Related economic development projects: the "Building an Environmental
Economy" economic development strategy we wrote for the City of Berkeley CA
-- winner of 1996 California Governors Award -- Montana State University
"green building" project, and the "Greening of Yellowstone National Park"
These Regional Metabolism and Environmental Economy methodologies can be
replicated in any region, at large or small scale.
- CLIMATE WISE
We've begun our second contract with the EPA/DOE Climate Wise program,
recruiting small to mid sized industrial companies into this ecoefficiency
program, designed to help companies profitably reduce their emissions of
Last year's pilot contract, which GFA conducted with the City of Berkeley
and the West Berkeley Neighborhood Development Corporation, delivered the
fastest recruitment of the six pilot communities, and provided companies
with "mini-EcoAudits" to guide their ecoefficiency Action Plans. The
program has been renewed for a second year, this time with the
collaboration of ManEx (see below).
- EXECUTIVE STUDY MISSION: SWEDEN & GERMANY
Our second annual Executive Study Mission (conducted with EKOS
International and Corporate Elements Group) on "Business-Driven Sustainable
Development" headed to Germany, Switzerland and Sweden June 8-18. Details
on the study mission, custom research opportunities, and our "Strategic
Sustainability" seminars are available by sending email to
A 60 page report on our 1996 study mission is available for $125 postpaid
(for delivery in North America) or $75 for academics and small business. An
eight page Executive Summary is available for $15 postpaid.
- THE NATURAL STEP
We continue our work with The Natural Step -- an extraordinarily lucid
framework for embedding the laws of nature into business strategy --
delivering trainings and briefings, helping create the TNS web site and
developing new training delivery strategies
Gil Friend and ally Russell Barton served as faculty members for the
first TNS advanced training, with Karl-Henrik Robert, Paul Hawken and John
Holmberg, in Santa Fe May 4-9. Other recent TNS trainings and presentations
have included the San Diego Museum of Natural History and the Health Care
Forum national conference in San Francisco.
GFA associates comprise the largest pool of senior TNS trainers in North
America. You can find TNS training information at
Gil has joined the resource advisory board of the Corporation for
Manufacturing Excellence (http://www.manex.org), the Northern California
affiliate of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (of the US Department
of Commerce), with a focus on helping Manex build environmental excellence
into their manufacturing excellence offerings. Gil also writes a regular
feature column for the Manex newsletter.
- STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
GFA continues to develop new strategic allies and associates, to support
our commitment to field the strongest possible team for any project. We'll
share details on these in our next update.
- NEW PLANTS
After years of giving advice about already existing facilities, we are
now making an effort to identify and work with companies _before_ they
build. Significant resource and financial savings -- often far better than
mandated efficiency standards -- are much more feasible if we come in at
the design stage, rather than after concrete is poured.
Working jointly with Russ Barton of Ekos International, GFA has advised
Monsanto Corporation on making sustainability a strategic driver in the
company's redirection away from chemistry and toward biology and
information systems. (See interview with Monsanto CEO Robert Shapiro in
Harvard Business Review, Jan/Feb 1997.)
GFA has helped Datafusion, a startup software firm, develop initial
application prototypes to demonstrate its innovative, patented
data-correlating software and to secure second round financing.
Datafusion's PowerPrism (tm) input-output analysis software facilitates
life cycle analysis, modelling and visualization of complex systems;
identification of unintended consequences; and decision support.
- California Energy Extension Service
GFA completed a "small business ecoefficiency" project for California
Energy Extension Service. Focused on commercial bakeries, our services
included integrated EcoAudits plus collaborative benchmarking of
ecoefficiency. Recommendations are summarized in a 32 page booklet, _Energy
and Resource Management for the Bakery Industry_, that has been distributed
to more than 1000 commercial bakeries in Northern California, and is now
available from GFA.
- Environmental Economy
Berkeley, California's "Environmental Economy" program (designed by GFA)
received a 1996 Governor's Award from California Governor Pete Wilson.
- Keynote Presentations:
Recent keynote presentations have included: the Solar Energy Association
of Oregon in Portland, Instituto Tecnologico y Estudios Superiores de
Monterrey in Monterrey Mexico, the Elizabeth River Project in Virginia
Beach, the NIST/MEP Environmental Conference in Oakland, Canada's first
Sustainable Production and Consumption conference in Ottawa, and a
strategic briefing of leading Russian environmental managers. Coming up:
World Futures Society in San Francisco. (You can always find Gil's speaking
schedule at <http://www.eco-ops.com/eco-ops/gfa/gf_schedule.html>).
We are continuing development of our software tools, with current focus
on three related products:
- EQE (Environmental Quality and Efficiency) Checklist
A quick, simple, self-scoring self-diagnostic tool;
cross-platform (Mac or Windows), and customizable
with client logo, etc.
(There's a crude online demo at
a more developed version is available on disk -- contact us
directly for details: <firstname.lastname@example.org> or 1-888-ECO-OPS-1.
- EcoMetrics / Business Metabolics
This component maps actual resource use (energy, water,
materials, etc) of a company or facility, identifies
ecoefficiency "key indicators" and graphs them for
easy understanding by staff and line alike.
- EcoAudit Toolkit
We use this consultant support tool to enhance the
quality and completeness of our EcoAudits and the
productivity of our consultants. We plan to license
these modules to other companies as well.
- Welcome to new GFA associates Dominic Bosque (workflow re-engineering,
dynamic modelling), Stuart Cowan (ecological design, regional metabolism,
economic development), Chris Robertson (energy efficiency, utility company
programs, manufacturing, refrigeration), and Hardin Tibbs (industrial
ecology, scenario-based planning, business strategy). We'll announce our
new strategic allies in the next update.
- Interns Darcy Lynn Wheeles and Matt Dundas are working with GFA this
summer. Darcy, a Stanford Human Biology graduate, is focusing on marketing
systems, while Matt, a UC Berkeley Environmental Engineering graduate
student, will be expanding the "best practices" database in our EcoAudit
Software. Special thanks to last semester's intern Lloyd Connelley for his
pioneering work on exergy (no, ot a typo) analysis as an applied resource
- Gil has left the Berkeley (California) Environmental Commission after
five years of service. One of the commission's original members, he still
serves on the boards of directors of Institute for Global Communications
and Suntrain Transportation Development Corporation, and on the advisory
boards of Center for Manufacturing Excellence, Future 500 and Global
- After making herself thoroughly indispensible in a remarkably short
period of time, assistant Mandy Blake has moved on to the greener pastures
of the Sierra foothills and Mountain Adventure Seminars. Which leaves GFA
looking for a crackerjack executive secretary / marketing assistant /
project manager / light bookkeeper / good sport. Referals cheerfully
- Gil's wife, editor and muse Jane Byrd is completing three years of study
in homeopathy, and will be hanging out her shingle in July. Jane is gifted
with animals as well as people... and makes house calls!
BE OUR SPEAKERS' BUREAU
- I need to get out more. At least that's what my wife tells me. And
perhaps you can help.
Since New Bottom Line readers have a good idea of the issues I'm thinking
about these days and what I think about them, and seem to value what I have
to say, who better to identify (and perhaps arrange) speaking opportunities
for me...than you?
I can offer keynote presentations, panels, workshops and seminars -- on
most of the topics addressed in NBL, and on various aspects of our
Strategic Sustainability[tm] services. Natural Step trainings are also
available. (As are other GFA associates.)
I would be happy to pay you (or a favorite charity) 5% of my fee (exclusive
of expenses) for leads that result in paid events, and 20% for a "done
deal." Please contact me directly to discuss any prospective events, my fee
PS: It seems to us that the New Bottom Line could translate well into a
weekly syndicated business radio feature. If you can help make that happen,
please drop me a line.
That's it for now -- longer than I'd planned, but there's a lot to tell. If
you find these updates valuable, we'll continue them on an occasional
basis. As always, feel free to share them as appropriate.
Thanks for your readership, and your own good work.
* Gil Friend & Associates * Tel: 1-510-548-7904 *
* Strategic Sustainability(tm) * Fax: 1-510-849-2341 *
* 48 Shattuck Square #103 * Email: email@example.com *
* Berkeley CA 94704 * http://www.eco-ops.com/eco-ops *
* _New_Bottom_Line_ subscription details: firstname.lastname@example.org *
* "Nature's ecosystems have 3.5 billion years of experience *
* evolving efficient, complex, adaptive, resilient systems. *
* Why should companies reinvent the wheel, when the R&D has *
* already been done?" -- Gil Friend *