Increasingly we are seeing cooperation between environmental organizations and businesses. All around the world, grassroots environmental organizations are teaming up with corporations in the service of the environment.
Environmental organizations have commonly pressured corporations to change. Greenpeace’s widely publicized campaigns against unsustainable companies are some of the best known examples.
Other environmental campaigns are less adversarial and more inclusive. There are many strong partnerships were the business community is working alongside environmmental groups. For example, Xerox has partnered with The Nature Conservancy to promote sustainable forestry, preserve biodiversity and help minimize forest loss and degradation that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
Strong partnerships are forming where non-profits are putting their expertise to work guiding businesses. Some of the most productive partnerships involve information sharing between environmental groups and companies. Greenpeace has partnered with companies like Cisco and Google, Carbon Trust has put out a Green Guide for SMEs and the WWF-UK has launched its Green Game-Changers initiative for Business. The WWF is involved in training business executives for sustainability through its Sustainability Training Program. The WWF has partnered with the IMD to create a Sustainable Business Program. The WWF also provides training to business leaders through its One Planet Leaders Program The Environmental Defense Fund has the comprehensive Innovation Exchange and Ceres has been integrating sustainability into capital markets for more than 20 years.
Other campaigns work with companies to foster change from within the business community. For example, 350.org’s “The US Chamber of Commerce Doesn’t Speak For Me,” campaign.
Various professional and development organizations support sustainable businesses. The B Corporation, certifies businesses as change agents, The ISSP, International Society of Sustainability Professionals, promotes professional development, as well as providing networking and sharing of best practices.
Although the EPA is a government organization, the public – Private cooperation that fuels its Green Power Partnership program has yielded impressive results.
Cooperation between businesses and environmental organizations is helping to produce a greener world. These partnerships illustrate that capitalism and environmentalism can converge in ways that benefit the planet.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.