One such BINGO who is trying to bridge the gap between the seemingly polar opposite worlds of conservation and corporations is the Earthwatch Institute. Since 1971, they have worked with field scientists and institutions to develop citizen-science-based research and environmental monitoring programmes. Last year, they supported close to 80 different projects in more than 30 countries, contributing to scientific journals, but also changes in management strategy for at risk environments. What distinguishes Earthwatch from others is their attempts to engage with their corporate partners rather than take their money and run with it. Most impressive is the 5-year partnership between HSBC, focusing on the impacts of climate change on tree growth. Regional Climate Centres were set up in China, India, Latin America, North America and Europe, where scientists, supported by local community members and HSBC employees, carried out field research to establish the health of the forests. More than 10,000 employees across the globe took part in field research before returning to their offices and implementing 700 initiatives to ingrain sustainability into their business. Whilst big banks mean big bucks, they too are implicit in every major transaction, and thus their actions have a global reach. But by partnering with Shell, have Earthwatch bitten off more than they can chew?
|Kader Attia. Oil and Sugar #2, 2007|