So is your job. How you earn your money is arguably just as important as how you spend it.
I’ve had this thought before, but Desirae’s comment on my Actics post reminded me of it. So did a blurb in the new issue of Sierra magazine about the Graduation Pledge Alliance, which enables college seniors to publicly promise to take into account the social and environmental impacts of any job they consider. Of course, not everyone has that luxury, but it’s nice to know that a significant portion of tomorrow’s workers and leaders are thinking along those lines.
What resources exist to help people find employers that align with not only their skills and interests but also their values—and hopefully treat workers well? That’s a tall order. SustainableBusiness.com offers a number of links. Another place to look is the corporate-social-responsibility press. As I pointed out to Desirae, Business Ethics magazine publishes the 100 Best Corporate Citizens list, and Ethisphere puts out the World’s Most Ethical Companies list every year.
But there’s a caveat. Such rosters only consider large, publicly traded corporations (because it’s easier to get data on them). And in the world of big business, “best” or “most ethical” doesn’t always mean great or truly ethical. For example, Royal Dutch/Shell, a company that lives in infamy after the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa, can be found on Ethisphere’s list. Kimberly-Clark, a recent addition to my own boycott list because of its reckless disregard of virgin forests, is on Business Ethics’ inventory.
Interestingly, a Harvard Business School paper published earlier this year titled “Do Corporate Social Responsibility Ratings Predict Corporate Social Performance?” determines that the answer is, essentially, Not as much as you’d like.
OK, I’m going to leave this Big Topic at that for now.