Friday, April 17, 2009

is sex a renewable resource ?

i stumbled upon an interesting aspect of sustainability - an aspect about which i have not yet found a sustainability report that offers a comprehensive transparent disclosure (exposure?) of this sector. Yes, you guessed : sustainable love... sustainable sex ..." a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love and family" quoted from, Wendy Strgar's company site, marketing sex aids and accessories including personal lubricants, massage and pleasure objects, love flower perfumes, body desserts and more ..

Love and family ... renewable resources, eh ? Wonder how much love and family it would take to operate a power plant. Or fuel a train from New York to Las Vegas . Well, if all it takes to save the planet is lots and lots of sex, using parabens-free lubricants and environmentally packaged vibrators, then why isnt everyone doing it ? (or maybe everybody IS and i just caught on a little late...)(as usual) :((

Taking a deeper look, or to put it another way, penetrating harder, into Wendy's love nest, i discovered that "Good Clean Love is an approved Coop America Green Company" (green sex? has a kinda orgasmic ring to it, doesnt it ?), and that "by helping women to create and sustain strong families, we make the world a more loving place. " Great, Wendy is a feminist as well as a "loveologist". Wendy replaces the use of petrochemical and parabens in intimacy products, turning love-making into a truly sustainable experience (and you all thought that Viagra was the only solution).

I thought i had just better check that there wasnt actually a sustainability report in the sex sector, so i did a quick search for sex on and to my dismay all i came up with was Wessex Water plc and West Sussex County Council. Oh well, good to know that there is some element of reporting that comes close to containing sex.

Actually, i came to this sustainability revelation when my daily Google Alert threw up an interesting headling referring me to Andy Krolls piece on fox news dot com. He takes us on a tour of eco-friendly biodegradable condoms, solar powered vibrators and organic lubricants. Though he does recommend safety over sustainability when it comes to natural lambskin condoms. He didnt mention if he was talking from experience.

I wonder why GoodCleanLove has not yet produced a sustainability report. Perhaps just a little more renewable love is needed to fuel that process ? The positive impacts of sex appear to be clear. Wendy writes in Green Girls Global blog: "Hundreds of major medical studies have shown that an active sex life leads to a longer life, better heart health, a healthier immune response, reduction in chronic pain symptoms, lower rates of depression and even protection against some cancers. " Plenty of materiality and positive indirect impacts to report on here. And it is heartening to know that all i have to do to stay healthy is never get out of bed.

Now dont be sceptical. I mean, take Good Clean Love's New Cocoa Mint Body Dessert-smooth and creamy, all natural and organic butters and oils blended with organic Egyptian cocoa. Low calorie, too, apparently. I wonder how many kilos of that you can consume during a quickie before the kids get home ?

I couldnt leave the GLC site without a quick look at the number one selling sex-aid - the v-i-b-r-a-t--o-r. I discovered an amazing array of ergonomically designed shapes, some of which you can even plug into your ipod for the ultimate ergonomusical erotic experience. I wonder if they run on rechargeable bateries? Or are they powered by OTC lubes because "everything works better when it is well oiled".

So come on, GoodCleanLove... put your money where your passion candles are and lets see that first sustainability report. We are looking for a model of transparency. Or to use the professional jargon, bare all!

elaine cohen is the joint CEO of BeyondBusiness, a leading reporting and social-environmental consulting firm based in Israel. Visit our website at: !Technorati Profile

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cuppa, anyone ?

I just returned from a vacation in north Manchester, where i grew up. Aside from my family, and Coronation Street (there are some that would say there is a resemblance :)), there are only two things i miss and which are unavailable in Israel. Bisto and Tetley tea. You just can't get a great cuppa in Israel. So, as i enjoy sipping my round-bag Tetley, the nostalgic taste of my adolescence, i wondered about the reporting practices of this iconic brand. Tetley is number one in the UK and Canada, number two in Australia and three in the US. So i am in good tea-sipping company.

The site is not terribly revealing BUT i note that Teltey tea is ethically traded. "Growing and producing tea provides a livelihood for millions of people around the world. Assuring their living and working conditions is very important to us, and we manage this through our membership of a growing international organisation called the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP). This is a non commercial alliance of 18 international tea packers who believe in a shared responsibility for the social and ethical conditions involved in the sourcing of tea." Other than this positive revelation, the 2 pager on corporate information - the media pack - contains a page on ethical, environmental and social impacts. Wonder why they think only the press would be interested in this ? But no CSR report. What a disappointment.

However, another revelation, at the bottom of the website there is a tag: A TATA Enterprise.

Aha! So, Tetley's belongs to Tata.

So by now you know that i dont like to leave my tea-bags hanging in mid-air, so i take a trip to where i find Tata Tea's 2007-2008 Tata Tea Sustainability Report. I am impressed with the references to "holistic" management and "social awakening" - tea is really quite a spiritual thing, apparently. "In an attempt to migrate the Tata Tea brand medium of physical and emotional rejuvenation to a platform of intellectual and social awakening", Tata launched an award winning social marketing campaign. I am very gratified. Now i can not only enjoy my ethical cuppa, but i can be rejuvenated as well. Though organic instant tea isnt really my cup of tea. (Yes, that was a pun). Tata Tea is a Global Compact signatory, which is positive, and 100% of instant tea waste goes to the biofuel gasifier, which produces 200 tons of steam power per day to run the plants. A 54 page report written along GRI guidelines with an index and a UNGC index, this is a nice report and presents a credible picture of the way Tata and Tetley make my cuppa. Tata Group is a massive enterprise, in diverse sectors, turning over around $62 billion and employing around 350,000 people. So to have a focused report on their tea business is quite a refreshing surprise. Quite rejuvenating.

Makes me wonder about Tata-Tetley's indirect impacts - I mean - what do people do with tea-bags AFTER use ? How do Tata-Tetley influence consumer behaviour to manage tea-bag waste ecologically ? This site has some answers. Including soothing your eyes, curing your warts, scenting your drawers, mainating your meat, cleaning your mirrors and removing old polish from wood furniture. Removing old polish ? Oy, what is it doing to my intestines ?

Bisto (aaaaaaaaaaaah Bisto!. Remember those great TV ads ?), is less transparent but . Owned by Premier Foods, the CSR report is a 4 pager covering the headlines - Ethical Trading Initiative, WRAP for reduction of packaging weights, governance, employee practices, and adherence to the Five-Fold Environmental Ambition of the Food and Drink Federation. Good stuff on the whole. I am not tempted to think about what you can do with unused gravy, but Bisto makers could go that extra drop to make their sustainability a little more transparent.

Anyway, now that i am back home, awakened and rejuvenated, no warts, clean mirrors, depolished intestines and with full ethical gravy availability, i am glad that my nostalgic shopping spree was highly sustainable. Now, where did i put that used tea bag ..........

elaine cohen is the joint CEO of BeyondBusiness, a leading reporting and social-environmental consulting firm based in Israel. Visit our website at: !
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