Business Roundtable Launches S.E.E. Change

From GreenBiz (which now has an RSS feed) comes news of a new sustainable growth initiative by The Business Roundtable called “S.E.E. Change” (S.E.E. stands for “Society, the Environment and the Economy”).

The initiative… encourages CEOs of the nation’s leading companies to commit to business strategies that combine traditional corporate goals of higher profit and lower cost with a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and social improvement. Roundtable companies will be asked to set challenging goals that contribute to both the bottom line and improvements to the quality of life – now and for future generations.

“Businesses are in business to generate growth, but sustaining growth is more complicated,” said Charles O. Holliday, Jr., chairman of the Roundtable’s Environment, Technology and the Economy Task Force and chairman and CEO of DuPont. “The purpose of S.E.E. Change is to urge companies to adopt business strategies and projects that are good for the environment and society – and good for their bottom line.”

Among the first Roundtable companies to commit to participate in S.E.E. Change are: 3M, Alcoa, American Electric Power, Citigroup, Coca Cola, Dow, DuPont, Eastman Kodak, FPL Group, General Electric, General Motors, HSBC, ITT Industries, Office Depot, Procter & Gamble, Sun Microsystems, Weyerhaeuser, Xerox, and the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) will also be a partner.

While several of these companies stand out in the sense that we’ve seen sustainability initiatives with some teeth to them, we’ll have to keep an eye on this, as it could easily devolve into high-stakes greenwashing. I know GE’s “ecoimagination” campaign is associated with this, and I haven’t been very impressed with it so far: all I’ve seen at this point is the promotion of “clean coal” with supermodel-caliber babes as coal miners… At the same time, it seems foolish not to praise this to some degree, if only to let these companies know that we’ll be watching them.

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