Green Certification and the Democratization of Sustainable Lifestyles

I Pity The Fool Who Doesn't Recycle

Environmental Ethics asks questions about how one ought to act, from which we derive social mores. Based on these, we develop rules, regulations, the social contracts that govern society. Moving to a green economy and a green society is essentially a project in the movement of societal values. There are a handful of tools that are typically used to move social values, some more effective than others. Mass coercion is generally frowned upon, and proven to ultimately be ineffective. So, we are left to the hearts and minds campaign. Meanwhile, we work to improve some of the legal, regulatory and business frameworks in ways that minimally impact people’s general happiness. The tools most often employed by NGO’s, grassroots groups for hearts and minds are typically some combination of education and/or incentives and good ol’ shame (which is just a negative incentive). We educate on the problem, offer a solution, incentivize the transition and shame those who don’t comply. (If you don’t recycle, you obviously hate nature!) Read More

Conflict Minerals – Intel’s “Less Bad” Intentions

This week the popular Corporate Sustainability communications group Triple Pundit published a rather saccharine piece, lauding Intel for achieving a supply chain free from Conflict Minerals. Wow. (Insert slow clap here). Well, sounds good, right? Well… yes… But does Intel really deserve all of the love?

If you follow social justice and/or Conflict_Mineralshigh-tech news, you’ve probably heard of Conflict Minerals by now. Tin, Tungsten, Tanatlum & Gold – all used in your favourite electronic devices, and all mined by slave labor in a black market minerals trade by DRC warlords. These minerals are the “blood diamonds” of the electronics industry. As part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, measures to restrict the movement of conflict minerals were introduced in 2010 under Section 1502. Since then, the issue of conflict minerals has received increasing attention. Read More