The Green Rush Has Begun
Load shedding has catapulted an environmentally sleepy South Africa onto the front line of global environmental and energy issues.
Such will be the importance of mankind’s environmental battle in the years ahead that most brands will be seeking to appear – at the very least – in tune with sustainable business practices, specifically in terms of energy use and carbon emissions. Many brands are moving further, however, and positioning themselves as overtly green.
In one of many signs confirming the shift to eco-capitalism in South Africa, the half hour ‘green show’ Hybrid Living has appeared on the cusp on SABC3 prime time, at 9:30 on Wednesday evenings. In previous years any form of eco-series would have been consigned to after hours, but not any more.
Across the seas, the evidence of the emergence of eco-capitalism continues to grow. Virgin Atlantic (along with many other airlines), for example, increasingly features carbon offsets as part of its brand identity. Environmentally conscious passengers can purchase carbon offsets that mitigate (in theory) the environmental damage caused by inter-continental air travel. And Vodafone recently announced its intention to halve its carbon footprint by 2020.
The mass market brand shift towards eco-capitalism overlays a less obvious but perhaps more profound change to one of capitalism’s core economic pillars – the stock market trading floor. There are a huge variety of programmes and projects currently under way across the world that are attaching a fiscal value to the ability to either offset or reduce carbon emissions. Even in face of serious scientific questions about whether trading carbon emissions on the floor of stock exchanges will actually slow down global warming, the intensity of activity in this realm almost guarantees that carbon trading will seriously take off over the next decade, and will bring with it a totally new dimension to what can and can’t be traded, and how trading is actually conducted.
However you look at it, the signs all point in the same direction: The Green Rush has begun.
Article by Janice Sparks