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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.


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!

When Ric O’Barry was denied the right to film in Japan, to tell the world about the slaughter of thousands of innocent dolphins, he didn’t let that stop him. He kept going and moved underground-or rather, underwater. It was 41 years ago this past Earth Day that Ric experienced a life-changing moment that began his years of dedication to the cause of preserving and protecting dolphins and their habitat.
Under cover of darkness and under threat of incarceration, divers from The Oceanic Preservation Society, Louie Psihoyos (director of The Cove) and Ric, planted equipment that captured the harrowing sight and sounds of innocent dolphins being killed in alarming numbers. By planting inventively customized cameras beneath the waterline, they were able to capture footage to make the awareness-raising The Cove. This film has been seen all over the world and has affected massive changes for the better. Documentaries have this power, as the outspoken filmmaker and director of the well-known Sur said:
the important thing was not the film itself but that which the film provoked.”
—Fernando Solanas
Here are just some of the things that the film The Cove managed to provoke:
-The cove in Taiji, Japan is no longer a secret.
-Previously, the film was banned in Japan, now it has been seen by hundreds of people within Japan.
-It helped fight off a proposal at the International Whaling Commission to lift the ban on whale hunting.
-Soloman Islands tribes agreed to end hundreds of years of dolphin hunting. NO DOLPHINS HAVE BEEN KILLED there in the past year for the first time in 450 years!
-Since The Cove the sale of dolphin meat within Japan was down 30%.
-Read more HERE for what other changes this film has affected.