Jan 312011
 
I very rarely praise paying clients in blogs or articles, and if I do I declare the personal interest. By the same token I avoid attacking particular companies (it isn’t conducive to my line of work). Having said that, I was horrified last week to read that Habitat for Humanity has signed a partnership deal with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) to build, of all things, an ‘eco tourism village’ in Indonesia. The horror story is here, blissfully unquestioning and naïve.  http://tiny.cc/0z5ev

I assume that anyone reading my blog will be well versed enough in basic corporate responsibility history to know that either Habitat for Humanity doesn’t have a due diligence process, or is quite happy to sail the never ending tide of greenwash that has been the hallmark of this appalling company, APP, for years. That this firm (more on them here, and do click on the links within the story http://tiny.cc/ripan) should even float this pathetic ‘eco village’ in Indonesia is an insult to any intelligent being with so much as a scrap of concern for the natural environment. That Habitat for Humanity should associate its brand with such nonsense is terrifying and makes them unworthy of support by anyone, financially, morally and from a policy perspective. The environmental movement should strike hard and fast and apply serious pressure on Habitat to withdraw from this misguided financial transaction. Apart from the idiotic proposed work programme (teaching the natives to cook food hygienically for rich tourists and how to do laundry properly), they have nothing to gain from this association. Terrifyingly, although greens quickly latched onto the perverse irony of the partnership, lots of unthinking ‘eco tourism’ tweeters have been rushing to the internet saying how ‘interesting’ this new idea is (anyone would think no-one had built an eco village before). 
If nothing else, this risible news has angered me enough to get me blogging again. I hope one of my future posts will bear the news that Habitat, a ‘Christian’ organisation, has seen sense and withdrawn from this unholiest of alliances. It’s ironic that humanity is being offered a habitat in Indonesia that APP has denied so many other species, all of which predated our own. Come on Habitat, get out before you do any more damage. 
Jan 302011
 

In my latest column for Ethical Corporation, I argue that more CEOs should take personal responsibility for sustainability and their company’s footprint. It’s how they and their firms will be judged in the future. You can’t delegate this down and turn up with speaker notes at a ‘CSR’ forum once a year – you’ve got to own the issues, lead the charge, and educate the doubters. A CEO should talk as often to environment groups as investors. The best ones already do. Click here for the article http://tiny.cc/fi1zf