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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

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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!

Valerie Casey, founder and Executive Director of the Designers Accord, used her SXSWInteractive keynote last year as a call to rally the interactive community to create positive social and environmental changes based on sustainability.

This notion fits in very well with Ray Anderson’s 7th and final front on Mount Sustainability, “redesigning commerce”.

Valerie said that the interactive community will be the one to make the  biggest strides in the sustainability effort because  members of the digital community control a great deal of  the dissemination of information.

She says they are in the best position to help shape the global community into a more eco-conscious one. They are particularly influential because they are designers and communicators all in one.

The Designers Accord provides a platform for product designers and anti-consumption environmentalists to find common ground and begin tackling the problem of sustainability together. Here is a video of a few segments of Valerie’s address (the most relevant part is around the 3rd minute):

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=805-HI8Jx2I[/youtube]

Redesigning commerce is what the Designers Accord is all about.  Why not learn more about this important initiative and take on the 7th front of Ray Anderson’s Mount Sustainability.  The world needs more companies like Interface Carpets and CEOs like Ray Anderson.

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!

Not Far From The Tree

When a homeowner in Toronto, Canada can’t keep up with the harvest produced by their trees, some of them let “Not Far From The Tree” know and volunteers come by to pick the fruit.

The harvest is split three ways: 1/3 is offered to the tree owner, 1/3 is shared among the volunteers, and 1/3 is delivered by bicycle to be donated to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens.

This is a good example of a project that helps “sensitize stakeholders” thereby scaling the 6th face of Ray Anderson‘s Mount Sustainability.

Photo credit: NFFTT

Photo credit: NFFTT

Awareness in the community gets raised by this project while making good use of healthy food, addressing climate change with hands-on community action, and building community by sharing the urban abundance.
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In 2010 Not Far from the tree picked nearly 20,000 lbs of fruit from 226 trees, participated in 40+ fairs, festivals, and community events across the city and ran 12 preserving workshops.Click the image to watch the video in H.264
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On a mobile phone?

Click the image to watch the video in H.264

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Spreading the harvest and sensitizing the community about sharing good, locally produced food. Sensitizing stakeholders, in this case, owners of urban fruit trees and agencies in need of healthy food.

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!

CAR SHARING

Ever dreamed of owning a fleet of cars for yourself or for your business? With car sharing companies like AutoShare and Zipcar now in existence all over North America, you can now take part in the operation of a fleet of often new and very high tech vehicles not as an owner but as a member of a pretty cool club.

You can do this and also be climbing Ray Anderson’s 5th face of Mount Sustainability which is Resource-Efficient Transportation.

If more businesses and everyday folks took advantage of the offerings of car sharing companies like these, there would inevitably be less cars on the road and less CO2 in the air.

AutoShare in Canada reports that every member of a car sharing organization saves on average about 1.2 tonnes of CO2 per year as a result of changes in their lifestyle because they are a member of their fleet.  They also say their customers often wind up choosing alternative methods of transportation such as biking or public transit because they don’t always need a car.

Here are some videos that explain how car sharing actually works.  It only takes a few minutes to learn how easy it really is. Check them out and consider tackling the 5th face of Ray Anderson’s Mount Sustainability by becoming part of the car sharing revolution!

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/10564522[/vimeo]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uux8uSRDFK0[/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!

Ray Anderson’s challenge for businesses to join him in the climb up Mount Sustainability includes a commitment to 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]

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!

The second face of Ray Anderson’s Mount Sustainability is “Benign 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!

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

he 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 re-usable 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!

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!

Happy New Year!
02Jan
2011

We at GreenHeroes are looking forward to the year ahead with more webisodes and take action campaigns to get you involved.

Between now and mid-June we will be introducing you to more GreenHeroes who acted on their ideas to bring about environmental change.

We start the year off with webisodes that show how corporate responsibility and green initiatives cango hand in hand.

January 3 – Willa Black – Willa is a Cisco executive and inspiration behind the successful One Million Acts of Green that in 105 days had Canadians reach the goal of 1 million Green Acts to help the planet.

January 17 – Ray Anderson – Crowned America’s Greenest CEO, Ray turned his carpet manufacturing company into an example of sustainability that also turns a sizeable profit.

January 31st – Shane Price – is Founder of Green Circle Salons an initiative that recycles and reuses waste from hair dressing salons.

Other heroes to watch for in the coming year

Ian Clifford (creator of the Zenn Electric Car)

Emily Hunter (MTV eco-journalist and daughter of Greenpeace’s co-founders, Robert and Bobbie Hunter)

Ric O’Barry (star of the Academy Award winning documentary – The Cove)

Also featured are profiles of Green Giant, David Suzuki, Musician Bruce Cockburn, Owl Magazine Founder, Annabel Slaight, Clayoquot Sound hero Tzeporah Berman, and Bullfrog Power founder,Tom Heintzman

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, healthy communities matter. Share your story of how you are affecting the health of your neighbours and your local environment, by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.

By Joan Prowse

Director/Producer of GreenHeroes

We’ve had a thrilling run on TVO and we can’t believe we’re already on our last episode of our very first season of GreenHeroes!

This week’s show, “Groundbreakers” shines a spotlight on the visionary efforts of GreenHeroes that have literally changed the face of environmentalism as we know it.

Leading the pack is this week’s featured GreenHero, the inspiring Dr. Vandana Shiva, world renowned for her efforts to bring change to agriculture and food production.

Based in Delhi, Vandana is making an effort to move people away from growing and eating genetically modified plants. Her work has advocated a major shift in the agricultural system and given her a huge fan base around the world.

She’s planted the seed in us to entirely transform the way we think about our food systems. You can plant the seed in others too.

Joining her are other visionary heroes, including the unstoppable mother-daughter duo Emily and Bobbi Hunter.

As the daughter of Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter, Emily has carried the torch on eco-activism, making a stand for marine life and the environment. Guided by her activist mother Bobbi, who stood with her husband on Greenpeace’s early whaling missions, Emily is carving out a new activist strategy for a changing world.

Ray Anderson is perhaps most inspiring of all, for breaking new ground in an industry often synonymous with pollution.

As head of a carpet manufacturing company, Ray wanted to build the biggest carpet business the world had ever seen.

But after reading Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce, Anderson’s motive shifted to creating a completely sustainable business.

His company, Interface Inc., is a leader in sustainable manufacturing and as he tells us, the cost savings from recycling and reducing wasteful practices has been good for his business’ bottom line too.

Tune in tonight and in the weeks to come for other GreenHeroes venturing forth to Save the Planet One Story at a Time.

If you can’t tune in tonight, Groundbreakers will also be playing this Saturday at 4 pm (EST) on TVO!

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, you can plant the first seed: Share your story of how you’re planting seeds for change in your community, by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

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