Dr. Emiliano Hudtohan

Educator, Business Writer, Industry Expert and Entrepreneur

Greening the Corporate Strategy for Philippine Enterprises

Reflection Paper

Dr. Emiliano T. Hudtohan

December 5, 2012

Ateneo Graduate School of Business

Rockwell, Makati City


Congratulations to the Ateneo Graduate School of Business for bringing us together to address Green Innovations and Competitive Advantage.

My reflection is an appreciative inquiry. It is intended for personal action and collaborative action research among us who are consciously and, more importantly, viscerally challenged by Professor Panahon’s presentation on green business.  The challenge involves a shift in our ‘inner space’ and a new behavior we bring to our ‘outer space’. The challenge touches the innermost quarks and ions of our bodily system and urges to address the planetary survival of the earth in our galaxy.  The graphic warning of Professor Panahon, taken from Rio + 20 briefing says it all.  We are squeezing dry the planet earth. Visually, if this orange were the earth, we can peel it, slice it and eat; we can virtually preserve it; or consume it and make sure the seeds are planted back to the earth for more oranges.


Time Line

I ask myself and I ask you:  How much time do we have to change?  Chronologically, Erwin Laszlo sees 2012 as the maximum limit of Chaos Point.  Thus, this conference is a giant step forward for the Philippines to awaken and reach a Decision Point.  The promptings of Professor Panahon qualitatively and quantitatively tell us that we must take action now to take the triple bottom line seriously.  Yes, to  economic gain; yes, to concern for people as precious capital and yes, to total care for the environment which is the platform of our existence.

Culturally, Catholic Philippines must assert a new theocentric view as the fourth dimension of business.  There is a call, in the words of William Blake:

To see the World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,

And Eternity in an hour.

Blake, an 18th century British poet, through symbols and metaphors teaches us today the transcendental meaning of ecology in nature:  To see the [Earth as an Orange] and hold [sustainability] ‘in the palm of [our] hand’.

There is a call to see our civilization in the evolutionary time line of the Alpha moving toward the Omega, as Teilhard de Chardin sacralized the whole of creation and our human existence.  Today, the Asian Social Institute ventures to add a fourth P to the business triple bottom-line if Profit, People, and Planet. The fourth P is prayer, our asset of the oldest Catholic nation in Asia.

The challenge to Catholic universities like the Ateneo, De La Salle University and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas is to provide an encompassing theological perspective not only on Green Innovations and Competitive Advantage, but likewise the greening of the Earth and the galaxy so that all of His creation will sing the glory and wonder of the Intelligence has been embedded in our civilization

The call for ‘sacralizing the earth and the galaxy’ is a call for a Human Race Church as envisioned by Br. James Ebner, FSC and AQAL theorist Ken Wilber.  Beyond competitive advantage, the global business awaits a massive partnership among business sectors, civil societies, and governments.

It appears that the impact of business management on educational institutions over the past decade or so has successfully transformed ‘charitable’ schools into efficient institutions with excellent bottom-line results so that schools are run professionally like a business.  It is about time, and the time is now, for Philippines educational institutions to return the favor by infusing into business corporations the transcendental values in management and governance to complete the 4-P bottom line.

In educational management circle, Laura Nash,  Newstorm,  Naughton, Dyck and Neubert are including ‘spirituality’ as legitimate management concern.  I understand De La Salle University and Ateneo are in collaborative partnership in bringing to the Philippines Catholic social teaching gurus.


A Caring Consciousness

The 21st century has been hailed as the century of women.  Rightly, so.  Carroll Gilligan’s feminine voice is heard by men and women today in advancing the ethics of care in opposition to Bentham’s utilitarianism, Kant’s Rights, John Rawl’s Justice, and Aristotelian-Thomistic virtue ethics.  Christine Page announced the return of Mother Earth, a Gaian concept of caring for the earth and more, the galaxy where the earth is part of the whole system.  Gilligan and Page are asking our civilization to shift to a feminist mode in viewing our survival.  Biologically, the women are advance in this regard but it does not mean that mean cannot be feminine in care.

Philippines is no stranger to gender equality.  Sociological studies have empirical shown that we are a maternal society.  As we allow our women and our feminist capabilities, I believe we can more forward to a faster pace of greening.  Maybe, Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian approach to The Wealth of Nations will eventually be rewritten as The Health of Nations, with feminist care and compassion.


A 2025 Vision

The call to partnership and global collaboration will spell out the difference in caring for the earth.  Erwin Laszlo says, “There are many things that differentiate people in the year 2025: religious beliefs, cultural heritage, economic and technological development, climate, and environment.  But a new consciousness enables them to agree on principles that truly matter:

  1. It is immoral for anyone to live in a way that detracts from the chances of others to achieve life of well-being and dignity.
  2. It is better to exercise responsibility trusteeship of the human and natural sources of wealth on this planet than to exploit them for narrow and short-term benefit.
  3. Nature is not a mechanism to be engineered and exploited, but a living system that brought us into being, nourishes us, and given our awesome powers of exploitation and destruction, is now entrusted to our care.
  4. The way to solve problems and conflicts in not by attacking each other, but by understanding one another and cooperating in ways that serve the shared interest.”
  5. The universal rights… in the 20th century – apply to everyone in the world, and deserve to be respected above and beyond considerations of personal, ethnic, and national self-interest.

His latest book, Worldshift 2012: Making Green Business, New Politics and Higher Consciousness Work Together is ‘a frightening but calm’ description of world scenario.  But his redeeming statement is that we make or break our future now by making a choice.  I began this reflection with an orange metaphor for a green consciousness; I end by tossing this orange into your hand.  It’s your choice.  What do you do?

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