GREEN: It’s the Right Thing to Do
QUESTION: What do Sports Illustrated, Kiplinger’s, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone have in common?
Answer: All of them have published “Green Issues.”
Unless you’ve been isolated from the world around you, you’ve noted that increasingly more companies, industries and institutions are taking great pains to profess their Green-ness. All of this activity is being heralded under the banner of Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR. (Yes Virginia, there is another CSR. It’s not just the Customer Service Rep anymore.)
Go anywhere. Green is a headline. It’s a leading marketing message, and it’s being placed at the head of the promotional line. Why now?
This is really nothing new. Going back more than 100 years to the “First wave of green-ness,” men like Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir saw a vanishing wilderness. In the end, this was the birth of the nation’s first environmental movement with the formation of the National Park System, and the Boone and Crockett Club, the nation’s first environmental group.
The “Second Wave of Green-ness” started in the 1960s with the publishing of eco-book “Silent Spring.” The old fogies among us will remember Native American Chief Iron Eyes Cody (who was actually Italian) standing at the side of the freeway with a single tear in his eye, as passing motorists flung trash out of their car windows. And remember those stories of Lake Erie and the Ohio River catching fire from all the toxic waste being spewed out by uncontrolled factories?
The Third Wave
For about the last decade (more like two), we’ve been in the “Third Wave of Green-ness.” This time it’s global and no longer just concerns the environment. Social and localized economic concerns and people’s rights have now crept in to the picture. Landmark events like the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India, Love Canal, the destruction of the rainforests in developing and third world countries, and too many other issues to name here became rallying cries for the modern environmental movement.
Vic Nathan Barkin has more than 35 years of experience in the printing, paper and wood products industries and currently owns a consulting practice specializing in business development, workflow, and technology implementation, focusing on “Green Procurement and Production” practices. Vic is a QMS Lead Auditor certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards, is a consultant for the Rainforest Alliance as an FSC Chain of Custody and Controlled Wood senior auditor, is an FSC, SFI and PEFC lead auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers and SGS North America, and has engaged in more than 700 site assessments and audits.