Kermit’s Green Conundrum

Quick, before the new Obama CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards go into effect, go out and buy that Hummer. It might be more green than taking the bus if you believe this argument quoted over on Spend Matters affiliate site, MetalMiner. But it would never be the good or right thing to do. After all, green goodness only goes one way. My wife, and fellow green skeptic (who takes the bus as much as she can), sums it up well.

According to Lisa, here's how it works: "The calculation for green good deeds goes like this: SUV bad (poor gas mileage, big, heavy), small car good. GE regular light bulbs bad, compact fluorescent light bulbs good; fair trade coffee good, Nescafe bad; bamboo all natural fiber shirt good, imported shirt from China, bad. You get the idea. And voila, suddenly you are "green" and "good" if you follow the "right" choices."

But is it that simple? Of course not. Green goodness, especially when it comes to transportation, is not all its cracked up to be considering that "the full life-cycle of a car (that would mean from cradle to grave) alongside energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions," suggests a different view of carbon emissions." If you factor in these broader calculations, a new report shows that "cars and buses have 63% more emissions then they did before. Rail goes up by 155% and air travel/use (in the case of freight) increases by 31%."

Which is further proof to me that when Kermit said it's not easy being green, his prescience was telling indeed. And it's also proof that companies pursuing green sourcing and supply chain strategies should invest in a level of measurement and investigation that goes beyond simply relying on environmental certifications or third-party standards

Jason Busch

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