This from today's Boston Globe business section:
The immediate value of solar panels may be from the publicity, not the electricity, they generate. Wash & Wax in Westport, Conn., installed 18 solar panels for $21,000. The panels will meet only a fraction of the car wash’s energy needs, and it will take seven years to recoup the investment. But it took only two weeks to land media coverage. And not just from local outlets: The New York Times has called. Going green is becoming ‘‘a surefire way to cut through the clutter.’’ So greenwashing — when companies portray a green image but skip the practices — has a cousin, greenhyping. But if the cousin can get more of us to adopt solar, it may be OK to have it in the family.
I think I agree with this statement. Not completely sure. Ends justifying means. Part of me wants people to adopt more environmentally friendly lifestyles because they feel, deep down, that it's the right thing to do. It's an ethical, moral impulse. The other part recognizes that people, most people (myself included sometimes), respond to economic incentives, plain and simple. It's about the economy, stupid.
It seems to me we're moving closer to the sweet spot, that part on the graph where the moral/ethical curve and the economic curve meet when it comes to environmental issues. Writ large, this is the idea of the for-benefit or Fourth Sector business model.
Which brings me to this piece on Green MBAs from the Associated Press. When the business schools lead, the managers will follow. . .