Sustainability execs' non-green guilty pleasures
As 2014 comes to a close, we asked members of the GreenBiz Executive Network, our member-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability professionals, to join us in a lighthearted confessional. These brave souls are willing to stand up and be shamed, so please be gentle in your responses.
I share many of their guilty pleasures, including travel, eating meat and playing golf (which I've always contended more CSOs should take up because it's a good way to hang with others in the C-suite). If I had to add one more, it's that I like printed text on paper. I like the heft of a good novel, thumbing back pages to remind me what a character said or did. But maybe I can offset that with one of my sustainable pleasures: watching the San Francisco Giants win the World Series every other year. Actually, that’s probably not that sustainable, but in our profession being optimistic helps us focus on the change we want to see.
Here’s what our members said when we asked: What is your unsustainable guilty pleasure?
Vince Digneo, sustainability specialist, Adobe
I’ve always loved the '60s Ford Mustang. This year, I purchased a new 2015 Ford Mustang. Obviously, its benefit to society is not fuel economy. So I am guilty on the carbon footprint measuring stick, but high on the charts for happiness and joy, which is part of sustainable living, no?
Kathrin Winkler, chief sustainability officer, EMC Corporation
I like a good filet (though only grassfed, no growth hormones, no antibiotics. Still …)
Looking at my own footprint numbers, flying is easily my single most impactful activity; and yet I enjoy traveling for work (within limits) and love traveling for fun. I carbon-offset all of my travel (I use TerraPass). Does that absolve me of carbon guilt? Intellectually I think it should, but emotionally, I kinda feel guilty that I don't feel guilty. … I wrote a blog post about this, would love to hear others' thoughts.
Cup-a-Soups. Not only do they come in styrofoam containers, I’m pretty sure the contents are equally toxic. They’re just so delicious.
My SUV, a Toyota 4Runner. I take it camping, it pulls the rafting trailer and it makes trips to Home Depot; otherwise, I mostly drive my tiny fuel-efficient car. But I fully admit to having a huge crush on the truck.
For myriad reasons, including my cholesterol — BACON.
Andy Wu, principal, corporate social responsibility, CA Technologies
Holly Emerson, Senior Analyst, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Ingersoll Rand
Growing up and working in Detroit, I can’t say I’d feel very guilty about driving around in a Ford GT or Shelby GT 500 — if I received one as a gift.
Scott Weislow, senior director, environmental services, Best Buy Co., Inc.
Drinking bottled water.
Personally, I love the outdoors (surprise surprise) and especially skiing in the Cascade mountains. I know that the vehicle itself and the countless trips I take with my family and friends to the surrounding ski hills isn’t the most sustainable pastime, but the personal enjoyment I get overshadows any guilt that I may feel.
Right now, it is good old-fashioned holiday lights vs. the LED kind that are too bright and make you look chalky!
Tom Carpenter, director, sustainability services, Waste Management
Brett Illers, program manager energy efficiency and sustainability, Yahoo
Travel. Travel makes up more than 85 percent of my carbon footprint, but it connects me with wonderful people and places.