In print, online and om television, you’ll see a lot of big corporations bragging about how they’re working to find ways to become more environmentally sustainable. Well, I can easily say that I’m “working on” a perpetual motion machine, but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever actually develop a perpetual motion machine. Promises are easy. Results are more difficult to achieve.
The Swire Group, the shipping company that owns the cargo vessel that spilled huge amounts of oil along the coast near Brisbane, Australia, has made plenty of impressive statements about its commitment to environmental sustainability in the past. A little over a year ago, the company pledged that it would be “best in class” on environmental matters. The Swire Group promised to to “ensure that its business practices minimise or eliminate where possible, detrimental effects on the environment”.
That was great talk, but then the Swire Group sent a rustbucket out to sea in the middle of a cyclone. It’s what a corporation does to support sustainability, rather than what it says it’s going to do, that matters.