*

Saving the Planet One Story at a Time
menu +

Blog


Loves sharks and wants you to too

Rob Stewart is the award-winning director of the multi-award winning feature documentary Sharkwater. The film, which challenges the age-old image of sharks as human-eaters, is helping to carve a new truth for sharks and elevate the reality of their plight to us all. Rob has brought attention to the urgent issue of declining shark populations worldwide. Since 1970 we have lost 90% of the planet’s sharks, owing to over-fishing sharks for shark fin soup and catching them as by-catch. Take Action now to help spread shark realities.

“If the public knew that we depend on the oceans for survival, yet we’re destroying them every day in unprecedented ways, they would take a stand, just as they spoke out for whales and for holes in the ozone layer.” – Rob Stewart, Sharkwater director, guest blogger

“Ordinary people have always made a difference and changed the world and that’s what it’s going to be in the future.”

Please support the following organizations that Rob Stewart is affiliated with:
Sharkwater


In memory of Ray Anderson (1934-2011), GreenHeroes recently republished its posts that were inspired by his accomplishments and his campaign to conquer Mount Sustainability. This is the final post.

GreenHeroes is pleased to celebrate environmental film making in the spirit of the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.


The Corporation is a 2003 Canadian documentary film written by Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary is critical of the modern-day corporation considering its legal status as a class of person and evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world at large as a psychiatrist might evaluate an ordinary person.

The Corporation has been shown worldwide. Please see http://www.thecorporation.com/.  Mark Achbar shared some thoughts with GreenHeroes about Ray Anderson who appears in this award winning documentary.


By Mark Achbar

Ray Anderson first came to my attention in the mid-90s, in an article in the Globe And Mail. What struck me about him was his willingness to be bluntly self-critical about his own business’ environmental practice.

The outlook normally delivered by CEOs of billion dollar corporations in thepress is all sunny for the next quarter, constant improvement, growth, up, up, up, and do no wrong. It was rare — perhaps unique — to see a full-on “mea culpa” in the business pages of a national newspaper.

Call it counter-branding if you will; I took him at his word and was rewarded with one of the most memorable interviews of the 70 I conducted for the film.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pin8fbdGV9Y[/youtube]

World premiere of The Corporation, at midnight, at a gathering on Squamish Nation land, outside of Vancouver

Ray became a strong supporter of The Corporation, and one day hosted a big screening of the film in Boston for all kinds of progressive business and design people. Before the film snacks and drinks were served.

I was wearing my “The Corporation” T-shirt, with the devil-man-halo logo on it, and all the serving staff were wearing black t-shirts with this sentence printed on them:

“Some day people like me will be put in jail”
– Ray Anderson, CEO, Interface

I quickly took the shirt off my back and made a trade with one of the medium-sized waiters.
– Mark Achbar, Director of The Corporation

.


Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

In memory of Ray Anderson (1934-2011), GreenHeroes has republished its posts that were inspired by his accomplishments and his campaign to conquer Mount Sustainability.


Ray Anderson’s challenge for businesses to join him in the climb up Mount Sustainability includes a commitment to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy which is step 3.

Nissan Canada is an example of a company that now powers its head office with 100 per cent locally produced renewable electricity.

They use the generators of a company called Bullfrog Power which injects renewable electricity onto the regional grid to match the amount of power the car company’s head office uses.

In the province of Ontario, Bullfrog’s electricity comes from local wind and hydro facilities that have been certified as low impact by Environment Canada. Across all of Canada, Bullfrog Power uses the collective demand of its customers to help support the development of new renewable generation.

This video explains more about how Bullfrog uses renewable energy to support the energy demands of businesses and consumers in Canada and is an example of a source people can connect with to scale Ray’s 3rd face of Mount Sustainability.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNRq3J-GrCc[/youtube]

Read GreenHeroes’ blog posts inspired by the rest of the steps of Ray Anderson’s Mount Sustainability.

Step 4: Closing the Loop

Step 5: Resource-Efficient Transportation

Step 6: Sensitizing Stakeholders

Step 7: Redesigning Commerce

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

by Joan Prowse, Producer of GreenHeroes

It was my first thought as I heard the news of Jack’s passing – Jack Layton is a hero. Not only a strong voice for the marginalized, he was also a best friend to Mother Earth.

As a city councilor he co-founded the Toronto Atmospherics Fund in 1991. Internationally recognized for its innovative and effective programs, over the past 20 years TAF has helped the City save $55 million on energy costs and helped citizens to live greener lives in healthier communities.

On a smaller scale, Jack showed us a simple way to reduce our carbon footprint. A cycling city councilor, he didn’t stop this preferred mode of transport once in office as federal NDP leader. Jack and his wife, M.P. Olivia Chow, lead by example. Check out this video of Jack giving a tour of the eco-features of their home.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRQ7SBkfwAg&feature=related[/youtube]

Even as a busy leader of a federal party, I found Jack still took time to listen to community concerns about the environment.  As members of Community Air, John Bessai and I met with Jack in February 2003. Even though an icy wind blew on Parliament Hill that day, he stood outside and heard about our challenge to stop a bridge that facilitated expansion of an airport on Toronto’s Waterfront. Later that year, bridge construction was halted by a newly elected city council, led by mayor David Miller.

In reading the text to Stephen Lewis’ eulogy, I am glad that the rest of the country recognized Jack Layton’s contribution to our country.

For the planet, it is our sincere hope that we all “resolve to honour Jack by bringing the politics of respect for all, respect for the Earth and respect for principle and generosity back to life.”

A moment in time – Jack Layton and Olivia Chow celebrate their dual federal election victory, October 14, 2008. Photo credit: John Bessai

In memory of Ray Anderson (1934-2011), over the next two weeks, GreenHeroes will continue to republish its posts that were inspired by his accomplishments and his campaign to conquer Mount Sustainability.


The second face of Ray Anderson’s Mount Sustainability is “Eliminate Harmful Emissions”.

There are all sorts of attempts being made in industry to harness wind and solar energy to save money and reduce harmful emissions.

For Ray Anderson, this challenge was met head on at InterfaceFLOR. Where can this lead?

It is intriguing to think of how processes that would seem obsolete in today’s world, such as wind power for shipping, could be re-thought so that this second face of Mount Sustainability can be scaled.

KITE POWER

Photo credit: Tidewater Muse (Flickr)

Can you think of other ideas for how to make emissions benign where you work? Is it possible to incorporate wind or solar energy into the day to day operations of your workplace? How about harnessing a kite someday to your shipment of goods overseas!

Watch this video which shows how a large kite attached to an ocean going vessel improves performance while producing fewer emissions.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyLjISR6XQQ[/youtube]

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

In memory of Ray Anderson (1934-2011), over the next two weeks, GreenHeroes will continue to republish its posts that were inspired by his campaign to conquer Mount Sustainability .


Ray Anderson has 7 stages to climb what he calls Mount Sustainability.

The first one of these is thinking about eliminating waste at work. This can be done more easily than you think. In Canada there is an annual campaign called Waste Reduction Week which has some pretty funny and very short videos featuring Oscar the Grouch to help inspire us.

Who better to lead us in the battle against garbage? Waste Reduction Week isn’t until October of this year (Oct. 17-23, 2011), but the 2 PSAs for this annual campaign are amusing if you are a fan of Oscar.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjienlArV18[/youtube]

Think of Oscar the next time you need to throw out something at work rather than using a reusable container. Taking reusable containers to work just for your sandwiches would be a huge step for anyone who currently wraps their lunch with disposable plastic.

Start the climb on Mount Sustainability. Try to bring less garbage to your workplace. It might make Oscar mad, but he is always in a bad mood!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmgAlc2uLPc[/youtube]

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

In memory of Ray Anderson (1934-2011), over the next two weeks, GreenHeroes will republish its posts that were inspired by Ray’s accomplishments and his campaign to conquer Mount Sustainability.


Sometimes change comes in stages, as is often the case for businesses deciding to “go green”. Interface Global, an international carpet manufacturer, wasn’t always clean and green. But under the leadership of GreenHero Ray Anderson, the business is well on its way to reaching its peak of sustainability.

Ray Anderson is an enlightened business leader who listened to the call of his customers over a decade ago.

When buyers asked what Interface Global was doing to help the environment, Ray had an epiphany; the task at hand required new leadership and bold decisions to reshape production.

Springing into action, his company broke the seemingly mountainous task of “greening” into 7 stages, attempting to mimic nature by recycling everything and eliminating waste.

What resulted was a world-leading company in corporate social responsibility with low waste and emissions, and a world-class business model for other industries to follow.Take action now to help your company scale the sustainability mountain!

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of one of our GreenHeroes. Ray Anderson was the founder and chairman of carpet manufacturer Interface Inc. Ray passed away on August 8 after an epic struggle with cancer.

Ray  was a hero, as he encompassed the true spirit of entrepreneurship and left behind an innovative green business model. He used the metaphor of climbing a mountain to identify and explain what he called the Seven Fronts of Mount Sustainability, efforts companies must make to become sustainable:

  • Front 1 – Eliminate Waste
  • Front 2 – Eliminate Harmful Emissions
  • Front 3 – Increase Energy Efficiency and use Renewable Energy      Resources
  • Front 4 – Reduce Finite Raw Material Inputs and use recycled materials
  • Front 5 – Reduce Transportation’s Carbon Footprint
  • Front 6 – Sensitize Stakeholders
  • Front 7 – Redesign Commerce

Ray  saw that a profit could still be made by placing a heavy emphasis on recycling, ensuring that the company was working towards reducing their ecological footprint while also boosting their reputation and sales. Ray was a conundrum: he was both a successful capitalist as well as an active GreenHero — a Green Capitalist! He sought to drastically shift his company’s practice of operating primarily to the goal of achieving profit to becoming completely sustainable.

GreenHeroes has released several posts related to his great work and will be featuring them in the blog over the next two weeks.

8 q

GreenHeroes director and producer, Joan Prowse, took part in the inaugural SPLASH Floating Water Festival on Lake Simcoe, August 13. The festival served as the first step towards the development of The Ontario Water Centre for Innovation, Research, and Learning on the shores of Lake Simcoe; a proposed centre that will hopefully and eventually serve as the nation’s primary leading resource on spreading knowledge of the importance of clean water and healthy waterways.

The SPLASH festival is the latest endeavour of The Ladies of the Lake, co-founded by GreenHero Annabel Slaight, to help raise awareness on the importance of clean and healthy waterways across the nation, and to raise money for their dream of an Ontario Water Centre. The proposed centre would be primarily located in Georgina, on the coast of Lake Simcoe but would connect to all branches of the Lake Simcoe watershed. With the incorporation of digital communications, the Ladies would also hope that the centre would become a hub that could not only be able to connect to the Great Lakes and other fresh water systems across Canada, but also enhance Canada’s position as a leader in fresh water initiatives.

Ladies of the Lake president Goody Gerner, with co-founder and GreenHero Annabel Slaight at the inaugural SPLASH Floating Water Festival, August 13.

Director and producer of GreenHeroes, Joan Prowse, has just been made a board member of Planet in Focus, Canada’s leading international environmental film and video festival. To find out more, check out our online newsletter. Congratulations Joan!

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest activities at GreenHeroes? Click on “subscribe to list” in the top left hand corner of the GreenHeroes Newsletter. We publish it every second Thursday.

Joan with Planet in Focus board members and GreenHeroes.

TOP