The new rules of Sustainability: Anything other than fundamental change is greenwash
One of the things that really, really bugs me about Sustainability, whether in the business, political or personal spheres, is the belief that being able to list some green credentials is somehow virtuous. But, frankly, we’re now at the stage that this isn’t good enough. We need fundamental change to the way our society and economy works, not green bolt-ons.
But unfortunately this clinging to lists of credentials is all too commonplace:
- You can see it when Governments announces new research into renewable technology while still subsidising oil and gas at an order of magnitude above the research fund;
- You can see it when Local Authorities laud one good cycle route while redesigning other major road junctions with no regard for cyclists and pedestrians;
- You can see it when vox pops in the press say “I am environmentally conscious, I recycle everything I can.”
- You can see it when corporations say “we have appointed green champions.”
The problem with all of these is that the core mindset hasn’t changed and therefore neither has behaviour. Green champions will never deliver fundamental change; subsidising oil and gas is subsidising climate change, building junctions primarily for motor vehicles is making unsustainable behaviour easier than sustainable behaviour; domestic recycling is now normal.
We need to wake up and smell the coffee.