Saturday, February 16, 2008

Is green business doing enough?

Here's an interesting interview with Joel Makower that explores the new report on “The State of Green Business 2008” is just out from

here's some of the questions they ask Joel.

Click the link to read the whole article . . .

Bill Baue: The report seems to reach two seemingly contradictory conclusions: pessimistic optimism or, more precisely, optimistic realism. On the one hand, you say that green business has passed the tipping point on many indicators you consider, shifting from a movement to a market. On the other hand, the positive changes seem woefully inadequate to the crises that we face, like climate change and water scarcity. Say more about this tension between the positive growth of green business and the daunting task at hand.

Francesca Rheannon: The stock markets have been incredibly roiled lately. There are fears of a recession, perhaps even of a depression. Could this throw a monkey wrench into the kind of positive developments you're talking about?

BB: You say that "while carbon intensity represents improvement of sorts, it also obscures the fact that overall carbon emissions need to decrease significantly, not grow more slowly, in order to avoid what a consensus of scientists predict will be the worst impacts of climate change. According to many scientists, greenhouse gas emissions need to decrease 80% by 2050. At current rates, the US will never get there." That is a really dire prediction. Can you talk about the problem that carbon intensity creates for creating environmental solutions?

BB: Describe the impetus behind creating the Green Index and what impact you intend on green business practices.

BB: Explain the rating system that you created: “swimming”, “treading water” and “sinking”. How did you come up with that rating system and what are the implications in terms of where we are right now and where we're heading?

BB: The report also includes what you consider the ten biggest stories from 2007. What are a few of the big stories to take away from 2007?

FR: There's the issue of green washing and green marketing. On your blog and podcast you covered the report, The Six Sins of Greenwashing, by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing. Could you discuss the tension between greenwashing and bona fide green marketing?

BB: Recently, Bob Langert of MacDonald’s posited a list of the “Six Sins of Greenmuting” — when companies choose not to communicate their green initiatives for fear of being accused of greenwashing. What are your thoughts about that?

BB: You mentioned Clorox earlier, and they just bought out Burt’s Bees. Can you talk about what Clorox is doing in greening their business?

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