Posts Tagged ‘greenwashing’

Globe – My 2 Cents

I had the opportunity this week to participate in Globe 2012‘s Leading Change. Never having participated in anything like Globe before, it was a great opportunity for me to check it out, see what was going on.

As you may have gathered from my last post, I have an ongoing internal struggle when it comes to corporate sustainability initiatives, which often treads a fine line between making meaningful change and greenwashing. So I went into an event like this with a little trepidation and not a small amount of scepticism. When companies talk about that 5% of consumers who will buy something simply because it is environmentally friendly (known as a “niche” market, I suppose), that’s me they are talking about.

So, you may be able to imagine how I felt attending the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative roundtable on Tuesday. I fall much more firmly on the David Suzuki side of the Tar Sands arguments, that of the radical. I felt like I was visiting enemy camp, and prepared for brainwashing.

Well, I’m happy to say, I didn’t come out in favour of the oil sands. I did, however, get a chance to air my views to people in the industry – namely that I feel that Canadian politics has been entirely hijacked by their interests, to the detriment of the rest of Canadians – and I learned some new things about the industry.

I think it’s important, in any dialogue, to listen to all sides of the story. In every fight, people on both sides are always guilty of one-sided arguments. I’ve always been able to see 2 sides to every coin, play devil’s advocate, see things from someone else’s point of view. I would like to think that this gives me a balanced perspective. It may mean that I am not pure activist material. But I think the environmental movement needs a lot of people looking at things from all perspectives. Because if we want meaningful change to happen, we have to appeal to the other 95% – and we need to know what’s important to them.