Apparently Richard Branson has written on his blog that ‘businesses should stand up to climate change deniers’ according to an article in the Guardian. He is citing the case of Apple whose CEO recently told climate change sceptics to ditch their shares in Apple.
So, whilst I am sure that Sir Richard’s remarks will actually have an influence on other CEOs (otherwise there would not be so many quotes on LinkedIn attributed to him) and it is fantastic that someone with his clout is being positive about the need to move on in the climate change arena and go from debating to doing, I can’t help feeling that there is something a bit wrong here. After all, one of the messages that a lot of environmentalists try to get across is that flying is bad and for the founder of Virgin Atlantic, someone who made flying more accessible to the masses, to be talking about climate change seems a little bizarre. It appears yet another example of do as I say and not as I do (as he lives on an island now I can only assume that he has not minimised the travelling that he does, particularly by plane).
So, whilst I applaud anyone trying to make the world a more sustainable place, I wonder why it is someone like Richard Branson, rather than governments making these statements. Will the fact that Sir B. makes his money from areas that are inherently sustainable will lessen the impact of his message or will it just give more publicity to the climate change deniers instead of just pretending they don’t exist.