Smoking hot action on climate change wins accolades

A CIGARETTE – that is, a smoking – company has been recognised as a global leader in climate change.

No, seriously, Bottomline will repeat the accolade, as all great WTF news reports (Editor’s Note: does that stand for World Tobacco Federation? ) are wont to do:

A cigarette company – in fact, Philip Morris International Inc, creators of Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand.— has won international accolades for the action it is taking on climate change. 

The announcement was made in one of the most serious, official and no-tongue-in-anybody’s cheek towns in the world: Lausanne, Switzerland. So it’s gotta be as sound as a Swiss timepiece and a yodel put together.

To put this into context, a company built on putting carbon dioxide, monoxide and particulate tobacco smoke into people’s lungs – and then inevitably into the atmosphere – has been acclaimed by ‘climate authorities’ for helping to reverse dangerous global warming and probably apocalyptic climate change.

The official statement read:

“For the third consecutive year, the company is on the CDP’s ‘Climate A List’ for taking comprehensive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change, and for its transparent disclosure process.”

CDP, by the way, was formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project. Even as an acronym of its former self CDP is pretty confident in claiming it is “the leading international not-for-profit organisation assessing the work of companies worldwide in the area of climate change”.

What happens is, “Thousands of businesses submit annual climate disclosures to CDP for independent assessment against its scoring methodology.”

Now, here are the facts as we seem to know them from the CDP news release:

Philip Morris International’s ranking places the company among the top 9 percent of corporations, known as ‘A Listers’.

And, get this, CDP’s Climate Change benchmark report is produced at the request of 827 investors with assets of US$100 trillion. (Editor’s Note: What the hell does that mean – and who … what … how much money?)

By way of explanation, for our Bottomline Editor, as much as anyone else, Philip Morris International’s head of Environmental Sustainability (Editor’s Note: usually we would present his title as Environmental Sustainability head, but that just does not sound right …), Andy Harrop was delighted to say:

“We’re very pleased to be included on the CDP A List again, and remain dedicated to playing our part in limiting global warming. Building on the reduction of 200,000 tons of CO2 since 2010 across our operations, and our continued action to promote sustainable tobacco production and environmental improvements across our value chain, next year we will announce a suite of new targets based directly on climate science.”

And there is more good stuff from Mr Harrop. He exhaled::

“PMI (Editor’s Note: That’s Philip Morris International, right? Not the Project Management Institute or Private Mortgage Insurance or Private Medical Insurance?) encourages strong action on climate change and supported an ambitious outcome to COP21 in Paris last December. With the Paris Agreement now entering into force, we look forward to working with others in facing the challenges and opportunities of climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

Now, here’s how all this works: The Climate A List is released in CDP’s report, Out of the starting blocks: Tracking progress on corporate climate action. This, CDP says, “establishes the baseline for corporate climate action and recognises that global corporations have started the transition towards a low-carbon economy, with some already capitalising on the opportunities this affords”.

Makes sense.

Such a report is used to show companies’ progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and companies will be tracked against this baseline in future annual reports by CDP. Beaut.

And as CDP points out, the 1089 companies it is working with globally would, if they could kindly stick to their plans, take 1-gigatonne of carbon emissions out of our beloved atmosphere (which, CDP cleverly acquaints to the same emissions as 291 coal-fired power stations in one year).

So, the bottom line is that Bottomline is not critical of any of that, in fact Philip Morris’s actions are surely to be applauded.

We just think it would seem incredibly ironic that a tobacco company may be heroically saving the world from carbon-emission induced global warming.

Maybe it will make more sense when the Marlboro man’s trusty steed canters to the high snowy mountains of Switzerland, where the real flavour is, then rears up and our cowboy draws nothing but a broad smile upon his lips, punctuated by a hi-tech carbon-free reduced-risk e-cigarette.

Ahhhh … Marlboro Country …


Would you hire this man? (He's a bit Brent)

Bottomline has been  mysteriously sent a copy of the CV of David Brent’s – star of The Office documentary and now featuring in a film about his triumphant new life as a rock star, video hit maker and, importantly, salesman. Or, as he more modestly likes to call himself David Brent: Friend, Boss, Entertainer.

THE BRAVE people at stationery and office supplies specialists, Euroffice, have forwarded Business Acumen a peculiar – but timely – CV of a man who may or may not be the star of the popular UK ‘documentary’, The Office: David Brent.

Apparently Euroffice cannot employ him at this time, so are passing his CV ‘down’ to Australia in an effort to assist this man of immense and intense talent – who also happens to be starring in a feature follow-up documentary at the moment, David Brent: Life On The Road.

We, too, do not have a suitable role for Mr Brent at this time, so in the true spirit of his up-and-coming hit single, Equality Street, we present his CV here for the esteemed consideration of HR departments and other ilks Australia-wide.


Quotable Quotes

Here are some more gems from Laura Francis’s inspirational weekly e-newsletter, Killing It Online :


People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

Zig Ziglar, American author, salesman and motivational speaker.


Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.

– Mark Twain, author and humourist.


You may only succeed if you desire succeeding; you may only fail if you do not mind failing.

–  Philippos Syrigos, journalist and author.


All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.

– Michael John Bobak, digital artist.


Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.

– Robert Collier American author of self-help books.


Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

– Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc.


If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

– Albert Einstein, scientist and innovator.


Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

– Nathaniel Hawthorne, 19th century American novelist.


Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

– John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and philanthropist.


When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you. 

– Lolly Daskal, founder of Lead From Within.


The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.

– Bruce Feirstein, American screenwriter and humourist.


What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.

– Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright, poet and novelist.


If you're going through hell keep going.

– Winston Churchill, author, historian and British Prime Minister in World War II. 



Name blame game

THEY just keep ’em coming …clever business names never seem to go out of fashion.

A classic is an American website that has registered hundreds of brand names for different business categories and developed stylish logos for them as well. The site provides a brand name, logo, and website address as part of the package and it performs this service because, it says:

“The initial impression customers have of your business derives from the business name. It is your first opportunity to attract their attention and begin to build brand awareness for your company. The most successful businesses have easily recognizable names that customers can connect with. Let us help you select a name that is right for you and ripe with possibility.”

This innovative company’s name? BrandRoot.

Er, not sure its message is as intended in Australia.

Here is a collection of clever sand catchy business names recently spotted by Business Acumen staffers … one unfortunately in the liquidation and administration notices … that might become an opportunity for someone new.

Hunky Dorys … Irish fish and chip shop.

A Salt & Battered Fish Shop.

Sofa So Good (in liquidation).

No Yelling Driving School (pictured, from Brisbane).

Pasta La Vista Restaurant.

Smart Arts Youth Festival, Sydney.

Reel McCoys – fishing tackle shop.

Lee Kee Shipyard – Hong Kong.

Cowabunga Milk Bar.

How’re They Hanging? – picture framers

Get it India – Indian Restaurant.

Thai Phoon

Thai Tanic