Here’s another new article, this time co-written for Ethical Corporation with my friend Tony Juniper, former Executive Director of Friends of the Earth UK. It challenges campaigning NGOs to ask whether their attacks on multi-member stakeholder initiatives like FSC and the RSPO will actually deliver their environmental objectives.Please see the article belowbetter-the-devil-you-know-eth-corp1
This caught my eye in the World Business Council on Sustainable Development weekly update. As doom mongers predict that enthusiasm for all things green will slowly wither away due to the recession, a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group finds directly the opposite.In 2008, a year of economic downturn and the supposed tightening of consumer purse strings, it finds that more green products were bought than the year before. 35% of the 9000 candidates interviewed (from East Asia, Europe and North America) systematically searched for green products when shopping and a quarter said that the higher prices attached were acceptable because green products were perceived as being of higher quality, with not only environmental but economic and health benefits.Of course, one of the major arguments by critics of the CSR and sustainability movement has been that consumers would only be willing to purchase green products when in a period of economic prosperity. Apparently not. Companies are increasingly realising that CSR can mean savings across the board.We will see what happens but for now, if you aren’t already buying your green cleaning products or your energy light saving lightbulbs you should definitely start. Recession or not!
An important week for oceans as my friend Charles Clover’s long awaited film, The End of the Line, premieres at the Sundance Festival. This promises to be a sort of ‘Inconvenient Truth’ about the disaster unfolding in our seas through years of rampant over-fishing and regulatory failure. The film is based on Charles’s award-winning book of the same name, a project in which I was involved some years ago when I was running the Marine Stewardship Council. A literary agent had read about our work in the Independent, and rang me to ask whether I thought there might a book idea in the topic of global overfishing, and did I know anyone who should write it.Knowing Charles had been investigating the subject for years, and that he was the first environmental reporter to make it front page news, it had to be him. Charles and I had often discussed the need for a book to raise awareness of the criminal theft of the world’s only naturally renewable food source. At last, here was his chance. After months of graft, the result was a superb, award-winning tour de force which has now been translated into countless languages. This film documentary version comes complete with a website, awareness campaign, and the endorsement of some of the leading organisations in the sustainable seafood movement. Check out the trailer here. Most importantly, make sure you see the film. Knowing Charles, he will pull no punches. Apart from being a brilliant investigative journalist, he also cares deeply about the cause of saving wild seafood, a protein lifeline for millions of people around the world. It’s an unbeatable combination.