A Pig with Lipstick

Posted on June 8, 2011. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , |

We’ve all seen or heard ridiculous propaganda advertisements  by companies or organizations eager to tout their feel-good green attributes.  Often these attempts have proven pure marketing magic with little actual environmental weight behind them.

But what to make of companies that have made real commitments to sustainability and improving the environment, while simultaneously taking contradictory stances on climate change?


Big fund manager Calvert Investment Management (among other large investors) decided to tackle this such issue by sending a letter to 43 companies on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) asking them to explain how they reconcile their own greenhouse gas-reduction efforts with NAM’s efforts of stripping the EPA of its powers to regulate greenhouse gases.


The letter singles out companies such as Intel, Heinz, Pfizer, Verizon, CSX Corporation, Abbot Laboratories, and Dow Chemical for having industry leading sustainability efforts while also supporting NAM’s efforts to repeal authority of the EPA to regulate GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act.


The EPA was granted the authority to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (namely CO2) in 2010, but efforts by private interests and (mainly) republican officials have been underway since then to limit its authority.  NAM’s claims that EPA regulation of GHGs would impose unreasonable costs on American manufacturing  have been refuted by leading groups that have countered that imposed costs are exaggerated and pale in comparison to future costs of consequences of climate change.


The fact that companies are playing both sides – pursuing sustainability goals while also funding efforts to stymie environmental legislation in Congress is only adding to the partisan stall our country finds itself in today.


This is why it’s imperative to know the full-story of how a company operates and what it invests its resources (time, money, lobbying effort) towards – in order to be a conscious and informed citizen and consumer.


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