From the Airwaves: The Corporation
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.
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
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