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From 2001 to 2008 Majora Carter was Executive Director of the non-profit she founded, Sustainable South Bronx. There she pioneered green-collar job training and placement systems in one of the[…]

Since her famous TED talk, Majora Carter has found that many in the business community want to do well by doing good.

Question: Are corporations becoming more eco-friendly?

Majora Carter: Wow. Where should I start with that one?

There’s just such an opportunity to contribute to green washing, now, because it’s green and everybody’s doing it.

But I do think there’s also a general feel for most folks in the business community that really do want to do the right thing. I do think they need some support. And there needs to be the proper environment for these kind of businesses to flourish.

If we really knew what a gallon of oil really costs in terms of these subsidies that our tax dollars give to it, we might not think about it quite the same way. But if we also thought about, “How do we get that kind of subsidy to go to renewables, to support businesses that really want to do this better?” That I think is a really interesting thing to do.

Right now we are asking a lot from business communities. But at the same time, it’s not in their best interest to think that the days of abundant oil and coal are going to be here forever. They’re not. And the smarter money out there is actually thinking, “Well, how do I contribute? And how am I going to operate well in an environment that is going to change by necessity, when the price of oil is going to become what it probably should be?”

Recorded on: April 28, 2008