Letter to Editor by Louise Shawkat, April 28th 2021

In Europe, when corporations were invented, the purpose was to establish not-for-profit entities to build institutions, such as hospitals and universities, for the public good. By the 17th century, corporations became profit-making entities, so the CEOs fell under pressure to pollute the planet to increase profits rather than install expensive pollution control devices.

With the establishment of B corporations, we have turned full circle. These are committed not just to profits, but also to protecting the planet and serving the community.

Allbirds is a B corporation clothing company. They placed a full-page letter in the New York Times challenging other apparel industries to display their carbon footprint for products they make. Allbirds is giving their GHG calculation spreadsheets to these companies; an Earth Day gift. It’s called collaboration. It is about time! I expect some fast, comprehensive actions.

Earth Day has been trying to mobilize us for 50 years to nurture our planet. But a one-day love affair with the Earth is not enough. This precious planet needs our full-time attention.

We have several B corporations in the Rogue Valley; let’s urge more!

Louise D. Shawkat

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