I just finished reading the cover story (Little Green Lies) from the October 29, 2007 issue of BusinessWeek magazine. The article offered a fascinating look into the difficult job of a “corporate sustainability” advocate.
Over the past decade, some companies have been quick to cash-in on the beneficial PR that comes with corporate environmentalism. For many firms, this has meant buying renewable energy credits (RECs), and releasing statements claiming that the company is committed to minimizing greenhouse gases. In many cases, the firm does nothing to actually minimize its own share of greenhouse gas emission. The company buys RECs, and continues to pollute as it always has in the past.
This article highlights the fact that businesses have a lot to learn about true environmental stewardship. Will there come a day when the “Chief Sustainability Officer” has the same amount of clout as the CFO when it comes to corporate financial decisions?
We will have to wait and see.
Update: The Triple Bottom Line Blog has some critical points to make about the BW article.