Often, when we think of sustainable companies and corporate social responsibility we think of Patagonia, Stonyfield, Seventh Generation and the like: companies that have sustainability as part of their DNA and stakeholder engagement as the foundation for company culture. But what about the sustainability efforts of not so green companies? What about the CSR initiatives at corporations that have bad reputations, make questionable products and are late to the CSR game? Is there room for them?
In summer 2009, my small church started a Green Team. We felt a pioneering spirit as non-conforming liberals accepting responsibility for our modern environmental crisis. We were, as corporations and other NGOs have similarly done, positioning ourselves as problem solvers, eager to take on our collective environmental mess. But this venture, new to our congregation, was not new to the world stage or to the world’s faiths. By setting up our team we embraced a long-standing tradition of Earth stewardship, a tradition found at some level in all world religions. Our green team and those at similar congregations are not modern or revolutionary. Indeed, they are the fulfillment of ancient mandates. All of the Earth’s religions speak of an ethical responsibility to care for the natural world. In Buddhism, the tenets of reincarnation (samsara) and karma, and the acceptance of plants and animals into these modes of salvation lend value to all life, human or otherwise. Man must not harm the plants and animals of the Earth as they, too, are on a karmic journey. To read full article and comment, go to the ENN Community Blog