Green or Greedy?

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New Scientist is running an interesting feature revealing a gulf between public perception of a company’s green performance and its actual green performance:

“If you care about the environment, you may want to show that in the way you spend your money. Do the corporations that benefit from our environmentally conscious purchasing and investment choices deserve their green halo?”

There’s an interactive graphic you can play with to assess how a company is perceived versus how it performs. The assessment of public perception is based on a survey by Earthsense asking 30,000 US consumers to rate companies on a scale of 1 to 10. The assessment of actual performance is made by a company’s Trucost score: the estimated cost of its environmental impact under a “polluter pays” system, as a percentage of its annual revenue.

The companies are broken down by sector: food and beverage, retail, media, travel and leisure, personal and household, industrial goods and services, technology, chemicals, construction and materials.

The companies range from the New York Times to Apple, Nike to Timberland, Burger King to Starbucks, and a bunch in between. You can also get a pretty good sense of how sectors perform in relation to other sectors: food and beverage, bad overall; technology, better overall.
 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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