We know that it is actually a positive thing these days to care about the environment. It is not a fringe, weirdo concern. For this reason, we now even have the problem of corporate greenwashing — companies (or politicians, people, etc.) trying to convince people they are green when they are not.
As we approach a major worldwide environmental event — Earth Hour — we can see that we have come a long way in the world of corporate environmental care. Currently, corporate support for Earth Hour is coming from a wide range of large, mainstream companies, such as Canon, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Nokia Siemens Networks, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Wells Fargo.
Are these companies really concerned about the environment, or are they just looking for good, easy publicity? Either way, their support for the event is going to make a huge difference.
“Thousands of offices of some of the world’s leading corporations will be supporting this year’s Earth Hour ‘lights out’ initiative for effective climate change action,” the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports. “Many of the companies will also be encouraging staff to individually join the expected hundreds of millions of others from every continent who will turn lights off for one hour from 8.30 pm on Saturday, March 27.”
Although it is just one hour, the effect may be large, especially when you consider the broader educational and habit-changing effects this may create.
“HSBC will switch off lights in its offices around the world to highlight to our employees, customers and the public the continued importance of thinking about the way we consume resources,” said Head of Group Corporate Sustainability for HSBC, Simon Martin.
When you consider that HSBC has 8,500 office locations in 86 countries, that makes a difference.
“Climate change remains a clear challenge to human society, and the symbolic act of powering down our offices for an hour is a way of heightening awareness of the need for everybody to act responsibly and cohesively to manage the challenge,” Martin said.
With this kind of corporate leadership, much more can be done in the realm of environmental sustainability. Hopefully, HSBC and all the other companies involved in this event will go beyond this one hour and look to implement more clean, green policies thoughout the rest of the year as well.
At the least, these companies’ creative and focused public education efforts for Earth Hour are sure to have a broader, long-term effect on the public.