Corporate Greening – Oxymoron?

November 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last week, I had the pleasure of hearing a presentation by John Mandyck, Vice President for Sustainability for Carrier Corporation. He gave a well rehearsed presentation about the company’s sustainability initiatives; specifically, he discussed how they have led the pack in their industry in terms of being the first HVAC company to have a LEED Gold certified factory, being one of the first companies to have energy reduction goals, and being a founding member of various green building councils around the world. The things they have accomplished are pretty far reaching and innovative.

Pretty cool, right?

However, his flashy presentation and Carrier’s successes are not what impressed me. I was struck most by the way he answered a few particular questions that essentially served to call him out as a “corporate liar.”

Easily, however, he proved that he wasn’t anything of the sort. He took a stance that many corporate “big shots” would never take, with his clear passion for the environment and belief in corporate responsibly for it, as well as his feeling of responsibility in his personal life as well. However, he also takes a stance that many environmentalists would not readily take, believing that people should not have to sacrifice to make their lives more sustainable. He also made it clear that in his mind, there is nothing wrong with benefiting (as a person or company) from improving the environment.

This last point has been a concept that was hard for me to reconcile with at first. Now, however, since I cannot honestly find anything wrong with it, I see no reason why that isn’t correct. If a corporation IS benefiting the environment and increasing our sustainability, then why should we stop them from making money off of it?

I did have some more questions for him, specifically in relation to his views on corporate responsibility to the environment, and as soon as I hear back from him I’m sure a post will follow.

Want more information? Here’s a linkto the Carrier Green site.

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