Monday, April 2, 2007

Environmentalism is big business

The most recent issue of Fortune magazine has a run down of the top green companies in business today. Sadly, it would probably be surprising for many people to read for the first time the multitude of organizations who have been practicing and innovating green initiatives without government mandate.

I have no doubt of the sincerity of anyone who wishes to bring about change in the global environment, from Al Gore to your next door neighbor who merely recycles. What I do have doubts about is whether many of the zealots have taken a moment to pay a little attention to what businesses are actually doing. This may mean shifting attention from the politico's and shrill voices who constantly harp of the imminent doom, and lack of action from government(read the Bush Administration).

Sometimes I read stories and posts regarding environmental concerns, and I wonder, how deep is the understanding of these people of where the action really is. For example, is a symbolic dimming of the lights in a major metropolitan area a meaningful step in combating reported global warming? Or is the daily practices of a major airline, efforts to increase fuel efficiency, and procurement policies more beneficial to environmentalist goals?

Well, we can answer that question individually, for some the symbolism may be more important, while for others getting business to change is paramount.

But most times, the headlines and the emotional reactions are tied to the symbolic with usually an implication that the symbolic is all that is being done in this world. But if you take the time to check out the news from the business world, your find that being green is big business today, and many, many companies are doing this without the politician's and government's meddlesome involvement.

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