Hill is the founder of TreeHugger, an online hub for news and information related to environmental sustainability.Hailed as a "green CNN," TreeHugger hosts a constantly updated blog, newsletters, video and radio segments and a user-generated Graham site, Hugg. In the three years since its inception, TreeHugger has become one of the most high-profile and highly-trafficked sites on the internet.
Recently, Hill his been hard at work developing Planet Green with Discovery Communications. Hill has also worked in a variety of industries prior to starting TreeHugger, including fashion, web-development, and plant-based air filters. He is also a designer, and his New York souvenir coffee mug is sold in over 150 stores. Hill was educated at Carleton University in Ottawa and Emily Carr Institute of ArtDesign in Vancouver.
Question: What needs to change in American business?
Graham Hill: Well certainly from an environmental level, the thing that we’ve been ignoring is we haven’t made the true costs of things part of their price. So externalities are sort of left out. And I think that’s a really, really important one. We’ve expanded to the point where we understand the limits of the resources that we have. 100 years ago this was different. It just went on and on.
But really we understand those, and now we realize we actually have to be careful. And we realize what an incredible impact we can have in a positive or negative manner on the earth that we live in, and the species that we share it with. So I think that’s a big one.
In the world of business, I think that business should be able to have less of an effect on government. I’d like to see campaign finance reform and less impact in that respect. I think transparency is really important. And so I think the Internet has been very helpful, and I’d like to see more and more of that. I think transparency is a great thing. We’ve got some ways to go with business for sure.
Question: How can established companies go green?
Graham Hill: The beauty of this stuff is that there are thousands and thousands of solutions. So it’s really about companies educating themselves and just approaching it; understanding that from a moral perspective; we have to do it; but also from a business perspective.
This is what people are going to demand more and more, and we have to look at things in a different way. So really it would depend on the company. But whichever business you’re in, there are more and more opportunities in terms of greening your own operations and your own products.
Recorded on: Oct 16, 2007