NY Times Lauds Earning Green for Being Green

     Now Hiring: Environmentally friendly, highly motivated individual to fill executive position. Fortune 500 Company seeks experienced chief sustainability officer to reduce carbon footprint, utilize alternative fuels and implement green policies in corporate headquarters. Salary: $500,000 a year plus benefits. Must love trees.

 

     The media often attack executives for how much they make, but The New York Times has found a highly paid executive position it likes: chief sustainability officer.

 

     “The new environmental chiefs are helping companies profit from the push to go green,” wrote Claudia H. Deutsch on July 3.

 

     Deutsch’s article supported the concept talking about how it will make money for companies, without mentioning any drawbacks. She also left out the radical left-wing nature of some of the groups mentioned in the story. The only criticism of the new positions came from the left.

 

     The Times quoted Eileen Claussen, president of the pro-Kyoto PewCenter on Global Climate Change. Claussen, who also served in the Clinton administration, has advocated extremist global warming policies and testified before the Senate about the importance of the Kyoto Protocol – which would have cost taxpayers several hundred billion dollars a year.

 

     Deutsch also quoted Gwen Ruta of the liberal group Environmental Defense. Ruta told the Times, “In the best of all worlds, we wouldn’t need a separate person to link strategy and sustainability.”

 

     Ruta is the director of corporate partnerships for Environmental Defense: an extreme environmental organization that has consistently maintained that global warming is man-made and there is no room for disagreement. It also claims a “carbon credit economy” would create a sector to make up for any economic costs of climate control-based regulation.

 

     Overlooked by the Times was what consumers and investors would actually get from the creation of this expensive position. In 2000, the average corporate salary for the top five executives at 1,500 of the largest publicly traded firms tracked by Standard & Poor's was $894,100 for women and $1,333,700 for men.

 

     Adding another executive will be a cost passed on to consumers or result in lower returns for investors.    


     Deutsch is a Times business reporter and has been a “green” crusader for the newspaper. Three of her four most recent stories are all about “green causes” including a climate-change scorecard for companies and college presidents working in unity for carbon neutrality.