not so Good Company

consultants who market "sustainability" to corporate and governmental polluters

War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Building More Roads and Clearcutting Forests is Sustainability

 

Good Company's website lists some of their corporate and governmental clients, which would make it very difficult for them to expose greenwashing since they would risk getting blacklisted by the polluters who hire these sorts of consultants, and then they would have to lay off their staff. There are many ways to financially compromise good people into staying silent about scams, a problem especially acute among these types of consultants.

"Sustainability" does not mean "things we like" or "mild improvements in efficient use of non-renewable resources."

Sustainability means practices that can be maintained generation after generation, without any -- zero -- use of non-renewable resources. A 100 mpg car is efficient, but not sustainable. A solar electric panel is efficient, but not sustainable. Hopefully future generations after the crash will have learned this lesson, since it seems unlikely our contemporaries will be interested. This is not a linguistic quibble -- we need to be HONEST about how deep in the hole we are to be able to think clearly about the scale of the needed shifts.

The definition of "sustainability" at http://www.goodcompany.com/lib/sustaindef.htm is vague to the point of mushy. The "triple bottom line" mantra sounds like it is a good approach, since saying that social and environmental concerns should be incorporated into economic plans is better than the traditional corporate policy of ignoring these concerns. But the principles of ecology teach that the environment is the basis by which the economy can exist -- energy and other resources create wealth, and without the natural world there cannot be an "economy." This is part of the principle of "steady state economics" -- endless growth is not possible on a finite planet. see the links at www.oilempire.us/peak-money.html for details.

Sorry that I don't trust a paid consultant for polluting corporations and governments to sound the alarm about the Seneca forest incinerator. I hope - as always - to be proved wrong.

Mark Robinowitz


 

http://eweb.org/public/documents/seneca/goodCo.pdf
Good Company report for EWEB promoting the Seneca Sawmill forest biomass incinerator

(It even suggests that nuclear power is carbon neutral despite the enormous amount of coal power needed to run the nuclear fuel cycle.)

 


http://www.goodcompany.com/clients/

Good Company clients include numerous governments, government agencies, timber companies, developers, road constructors and more.

There are some good folks on their list of clients, but generally they have much smaller budgets to hire outside consultants to polish their image than mega corporations like Louisiana Pacific (one of the companies they've worked for).

Note that "David Evans and Associates" is one of the main highway planners in the region, and a lead consultant for the $4.2 billion Columbia River Crossing between Portland and Vancouver WA (12 lane I-5 widening).

Good Company member Joshua Skov is part of the City's "sustainability" committee that claims the City will be able to go "carbon neutral" by 2020 by paying someone to claim their emissions are somehow "offset" while refusing to take a stand on the billion dollar plans to widen all of the major highways in Eugene and Springfield. Sustain-a-bullshit.

Carbon offsets are probably the most ludicrous concept ever to emerge from ersatz environmentalism.

www.cheatneutral.com is a great parody of this nonsense.

www.oilempire.us/carbon-neutral.html is a more serious analysis.

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http://www.goodcompany.com/about/performance/
For the purposes of calculating offsets for air travel, Good Company used the figure of 1 lb of C02e per mile for 2005. However, to better represent the changing consensus on the climate impacts of air travel, we have switched to using 1.36lb of C02e per mile for 2006 and subsequent years (pending additional changes in scientific and policy consensus and offset best practices). Click here for the calculator we used for this process.
To mitigate the effects of our carbon intensive activities, Good Company purchases high quality carbon offsets fromNativeEnergy, The Climate Trust, and Renewable Choice.

 

note: it is physically impossible to "offset" airplane rides, since the soot that is put into the atmosphere cannot be sucked back into the crust of the Earth by paying some blood money to someone else (whether that money is used to pay for a good project or not). The laws of thermodynamics are not subject to amendment for this sort of wishful thinking and public relations.

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http://www.goodcompany.com/about/team/sl.htm
Before joining Good Company, Luftig worked for Climate Clean, a carbon offset provider

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http://www.goodcompany.com/corp/measure.htm
"It has been wonderful to work with you on LP's sustainability report. Your input and contributions were invaluable and truly helped me to take the report to a new level in both content and quality."
Shannon Tocchini, Louisiana-Pacific Corp.

 

note: LP is a much bigger, nastier clearcutter than even Seneca, since Seneca's impacts are very locally focused and LP is a huge multinational corporation.
Their former CEO, Harry Merlo, famously said "we don't log to an 8 inch stump, we don't log to a 6 inch stump, we log to infinity!"

Here's a good profile of the corporation, although slightly out of date (LP isn't headquartered in Portland any more). LP has probably had as many environmental lawsuits and fines directed against them as any other Fortune 500 corporation - they are one of the worst of the worst. http://www.endgame.org/lp.html

Weyerhauser also has a division of "sustainability," too, but their use of this mantra doesn't make their herbicide drenched clearcuts any more pleasant.

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http://www.goodcompany.com/about/advisors/advisors.htm
Brian Lanahan is Managing Director for Character, a firm that develops brand characters for marketing. His previous positions include Director of Special Projects World Wide Marketing Division, Coca-Cola; Brand Manager for Diet Coke, US Division; and Vice President, Environmental Federation of Oregon.

 

in other words, "sustainability" is another way to market corporate products. "Diet Coke" is a strong acid containing aspartame, a toxic sweetner that Jimmy Carter's FDA refused to approve because of brain tumors in test animals fed this stuff. Marketing this poison probably was great training for misrepresenting the severity of the environmental crisis.

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http://www.goodcompany.com/gov/manage.htm
"Thanks to the work of Good Company, ODOT is able to move forward with a focused, strategic program for incorporating sustainability into both our internal operations and broader organizational mission."
Damon Fordham
Sustainability Program Manager
Oregon Department of Transportation

note: in reality, ODOT is planning over $18 billion in widened highways and new bypasses, which is not "sustainability." It's a nice gimmick that they put up some solar panels at the I-5 / 205 interchange, but that doesn't mitigate plans for these new roads.

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http://www.goodcompany.com/corp/market.htm
"Good Company provided invaluable guidance in understanding the sustainability concept and delivering a market strategy that has become our blueprint for success. They really do understand how to "make sustainability work"."
Rusty Rexius, President, Rexius

 

note: Mr. Rexius told the City Club of Eugene a few years ago that "the timber company is already practicing sustainability." The most shocking thing about this lie was that no one there challenged him about this. I guess it would be difficult for him to admit that his company is essentially dumpster diving off of the refuse of the local deforestation industry.

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http://www.goodcompany.com/about/team/at.htm
Other recent work includes a feasibility study for the University of Oregon to quantify increased GHG emissions resulting from under-inflated vehicle tires and to determine the potential for a mitigation project based on proper inflation

 

note: Peak Oil expert Jan Lundberg told me that the New York Times once offered to publish an op-ed by him if he kept the focus limited to the need to keep car tires pressurized properly. He suggested instead focusing on bigger aspects of the energy depletion / overshoot issues, but they wanted to keep it focused on the tiniest of baby steps.

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http://www.goodcompany.com/about/team/dp.html
Currently, Ponder is coordinating the collection of more than 100 economic, environmental and social performance indicators for use in the production and writing of a corporate responsibility report for the Eugene Water & Electric Board.
Ponder also supports Context Sensitive and Sustainable Solutions activities on high profile bridge bundles funded by the Oregon Transportation Investment Act for David Evans and Associates and OBEC Consulting Engineers. This work includes identification of environmentally-preferred inputs, supporting external communication with key project stakeholders and reporting on project sustainability performance.

 

note: in other words they are paid to promote the multi billion dollar widening of Interstate 5.