26 July, 2007
Let’s make one thing clear: I think a lot of big companies are starting to understand that they have to change ways and become serious about climate change. I even think that the climate change awareness and the willingness to change is much more advanced amongst big business than it is amongst consumers. The “personal social responsability” revolution (as opposed to the “corporate social responsability” one) is still a distant dream.
On the other hand, sometimes even the big companies who have taken up a serious commitment to “green” their “business imagination” and their practices can score an own-goal. Let’s take the example of GE’s new “Earth Rewards MasterCard”, a carbon-offset credit card which General Electric presented in the US and which gives consumers the impression that they can buy their way out of the climate crisis.
Even Fortune Magazine questions the seriousness of this new Ecomagination stunt:
“The credit card may turn out to be a good thing, too, but it runs the risk of signaling to people that their next trip to the mall will help solve the problem of climate change.
It’s a small example of a bigger problem: the belief that there are painless solutions to fixing global warming and that it can be a win-win for business, consumers and the planet. In fact, the solutions will be painful for some, they will involve sacrifice for others and they will be developed in Congress and state capitols, not at the mall.”
- New York Times: G.E. Unveils Credit Card Aimed at Relieving Carbon Footprints