Thursday, October 18, 2007

posted by Sarah Krasley @ 11:20 PM
Environmental Leader posted this interesting story about the question Sun Microsystems is asking, i.e. what's next if you've already brought your emissions to net zero:

David Douglas, vice president for eco-responsibility at Sun Microsystems, raised an interesting question in his blog yesterday. Sun, which released its latest CSR report earlier this month, is pretty open with the fact that it’s not ready to go carbon neutral because the company is currently focused on lowering its carbon footprint by investing in projects that have a clear ROI, rather than investing in offsets.

“There is a cost to this strategy, and that cost is that we can’t claim that we’re carbon neutral,” Douglas writes. “Right now that’s a cost we’re willing to live with.”

Then Douglas asks if a company can be double carbon neutral? “If it is good to offset your emissions, is it even better to offset your emissions twice?” Douglas asks.

It’s an interesting question. As company’s continue to raise the green PR stakes, we could see moves like this down the road.

I think it's a little early in the game to try and claim "double carbon neutrality" when good old singular carbon neutrality isn't universally defined. However, I like the concept. It thrills me to the bone that corporate commitments to the environment are firmly ingrained in a competitive business strategy. Some of the old guard may say that it's ruining the purity of the environmental movement, but on average, one behemoth corporate commitment to renewable energy has the same benefit as, on average, powering several hundred thousand homes. If we're in a race against global warming, I'd rather have the behemoths taking action. What does the old guard want, larger emissions reductions or indie cred?

In regard to double carbon neutrality, maybe taking the approach of greening the city where the home office is located or greening the CEO's university would carry the same PR benefits and offer up positive secondary effects without the awkward title. Thoughts?

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