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Some CEOs Are Concerned About Green Organizations Capitalizing on Social Issues to Fuel Their Own Agenda

Green groups have been expressing support for protesters of the Brown and Garner decisions, though there’s no direct connection to sustainability concerns, and CEOs themselves have expressed concern over the melding of the two.

For instance, the Sierra Club’s Facebook page featured a pair of statements supporting protesters, and Friends of the Earth temporarily blacked out its Twitter profile picture and replaced its background with a photo featuring the hashtag @BlackLiveMatter, according to the National Journal.

“These groups are trying to cobble together every ‘good’ they do under one umbrella.”

Incoming Natural Resources Defense Council President Rhea Suh wrote in her first blog post that the group could not abide “another injustice afflicting communities of color.”

The green organizations told the publication that they simply couldn’t stand by and watch “injustice” unfold in these cases and not comment about it despite the lack of an obvious tie to their sustainability concerns. But Sierra Club President Michael Brune also told National Journal that his group believes minority members are at greater social and economic risk from climate change—and that the environmental movement needs to step up its penetration amid minority communities.

These groups are “trying to cobble together every ‘good’ they do under one umbrella,” John Grace, the New York-based president of Brand Taxi LLC and a globally renowned branding consultant, told Chief Executive magazine. But in the long run, he says they’ll be found out, noting that “truth is the ultimate arbiter.”

As business chiefs deal with these rising demands and expectations around company policies, this trend further muddies the definition of “sustainability” and makes it more difficult for companies to focus solely on strategies, policies and practices that simply improve their approach to the environment.

Many CEOs, company owners and business interests also detect another development in this dynamic: It extends the continual broadening of the advocacy of environmental consciousness into an omnibus platform of leftist grievances and causes that have absolutely nothing to do with stopping pollution or even climate change. In that way, sustainability pressures become a Trojan horse for other forms of agitation.


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