Future Perfect arranged the sustainability event Ö Festival, starting on Aug 23 and ending yesterday. I attended the event in Vaxholm this Friday, and I really felt like coming to a "sustainability Almedalen in miniature".
If you have experienced the political gathering in Almedalen you understand what I mean (if you haven't I recommend that you check out some of my blog posts from Almedalen, e.g. from July 6, 2012). Several seminars went on simultaneously, people entering and exiting the different tents continuously. The seminar and panel discussion I participated in talked about relevant metrics to describe sustainability and about communication, beyond greenwash. Interesting and fun! On the panel we were representatives from the political arena, from NGOs and from corporations. One important take away is that our opinions do not differ that much. We may have different ideas regarding some of the measures needed to drive sustainability, but we all agree on the longterm goal. Hence, there are great opportunities for actions to be taken!
Regarding "communications and moving beyond greenwash" we all agreed of course that communication should be honest and transparent. I think it is important however to mention that I do see a risk that organizations have become so afraid for being blamed for greenwashing that they restrain themselves from communicating projects and initiatives. That's a shame actually, since communication is a way of spreading good practices. Hence, we all need to not only condemning bad examples (i.e. greenwashing) but also give cred to good sustainability communication examples. I liked the proposal that corporations should not report on their corporate responsibility programs, but rather on their corporate reality. What are your real challenges, opportunities, shortcomings and successes? If you manage to describe your reality, you should be pretty safe from greenwashing!
Do you think Pfizer have managed to report on our corporate reality? Check out our Annual Report.
The Ö Festival is a good initiative and I hope to see a continuation!