Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Why Sustainablogability?

When we first started this blog site it was to look at two aspects:

  • Would we be able, as complete novices, to put together and run a blog that would gather enough readership? and, more importantly,
  • To highlight the growing impact of the issue of sustainability in everyday life.
Since about the mid-1990s I've been increasingly aware in the business world of the growing interest in the topic of sustainability in the sense of ensuring that what we do has a minimised impact on the earth and is efficient in the use of energy and raw materials to achieve it.

In the early days it was the likes of Friends of the Earth and others that brought the issues of the planet to the fore however this area has grown to become more and more main stream as it jumped over the chasm and into the main stream with the likes of the Fortune sustainability rankings. Nowadays it would seem unforgivable for a company to put out their Annual Report without the use of the word sustainable in their CSR section if nowhere else.

I would argue it has now become unacceptable for companies not to at least point their investors at some of their sustainability projects/ developments. But in the cynical world in which we live one can certainly feel that some of the major corporations that publish their green credentials set themselves up when the reality does not match their marketing. If you are going to advertise yourself as green then one bad news story that runs contra to that message can ruin the thousands of dollars spent on image. A most recent example was BP; having gone through a significant greening campaign over the past years the oil spill in Alaska and the subsequent inquiries have undoubtedly gone along way to undo all the past CSR work.

So what does the corporate world do? Do we almost need a root and branch check of our processes and systems along the lines of a "Sarbanes-Oxley" for sustainability - help no! Companies that are in business for the long term have a reason to act in a sustainable way. We need to help the others to come to this conclusion through legislation and our own buying habits.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You asked what does the corporation do?

Move to another part of the globe that has slack, non-enforced legislation or where these issues are not socially important.

Sorry to be cynical!

Corporate engineer.