Transcript: The Boardroom Activist | Jan 18, 1991

(music plays)

Outside a diner, a man reads the paper, another man juggles and a magician plays tricks. The name “The science Café” appears in neon lights on one of the windows. Inside, the waitress shows a menu that reads “The Science Café proudly offers food for thought. Fragile Nature Forum. The Boardroom Activist. Producer and director: Michael Kushner. Researcher: Nadine Galszechy.”

The caption changes to “Tyler Norris. The Windstar Foundation.”

Tyler is in his late thirties, clean-shaven and with short straight dark blond hair. He wears a tweed suit, white shirt and burgundy tie.

He says I THINK IT'S ESSENTIAL THAT
THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS ARE
IN THE BOARDROOMS.
AND IT'S ESSENTIAL THAT WE
START TO WORK TOGETHER.
THE PERSPECTIVE, THE
RESOURCES, AND THE TECHNOLOGY
THAT CORPORATIONS HAVE TO BEAR
TO TAKE THINGS OUT INTO THE
MARKET, AND THE KNOWLEDGE
ENVIRONMENTALISTS HAVE
IN TERMS OF WHAT CAN BE
DONE, AND WHAT WILL BE
LASTING IS IMPORTANT.
AND WE REALLY MUST LEARN TO
WORK TOGETHER, AND I THINK
THAT'S WHERE THE SOLUTIONS TO
THE BIGGER PROBLEMS WILL COME.

The caption changes to “Vicky Husband. Sierra Club of Western Canada.”

Vicky is in her fifties, with short wavy gray hair with bangs. She wears a black and white jacket, white shirt and a pendant necklace.

She says THEY DO NEED
ENVIRONMENTALISTS AT
THE BOARDROOM LEVEL.
SOME OF THE COMPANIES ARE
HIRING ENVIRONMENTAL
VICE PRESIDENTS.
I'M NOT SURE WHETHER
THEY'RE BASICALLY REALLY
ENVIRONMENTALISTS
AT THIS STAGE.
THIS IS JUST A BEGINNING.
WE DON'T HAVE VERY MUCH TIME.
YES, I THINK WE ARE GOING
TO HAVE TO BE INVOLVED
AT THAT LEVEL.

The caption changes to “Lynda Lynch. Environment Watch.”

Lynda is in her mid-forties, with long wavy gray hair in a low bun. She wears a blue blazer, white blouse and a pair of pearl earrings.

She says ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS
GREENPEACE, WHICH DO DANGEROUS
STUNTS TO DRAW ATTENTION TO
TRANSGRESSIONS AND TRAVESTIES,
I THINK THERE'S A REAL NEED
FOR AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THAT.
BUT I ALSO THINK THERE'S
A NEED FOR THE BUSINESS,
HANDS-ON APPROACH, THE SOLID,
ACADEMIC RESEARCH THAT YOU GO
FORWARD AND YOU LOGICALLY,
PROGRESSIVELY, CHANGE
THE SYSTEM.

The caption changes to “Peggy Hallward. Probe International.”

Peggy is in her early forties, with short wavy brown hair. She wears glasses, a white blouse, a patterned neck scarf and pendant earrings.

She says BRASSCAN, ALCAN, INCO,
HAVE OPERATIONS IN BRAZIL,
AND PETRO CANADA HAS
OPERATIONS IN ECUADOR.
AND TO SOME EXTENT, THESE
CORPORATIONS ARE HURTING
THE RAINFOREST.
AND WE COULD PUT PRESSURE
ON THESE CORPORATIONS
AS CANADIANS, AND
THEY WILL RESPOND.
BECAUSE THEY ARE CONCERNED
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT, ALSO.

The caption changes to “James Micak. Ontario Waste Management Corporation.”

James is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven and with short straight brown hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt and a striped gray tie.

He says I THINK THERE IS A GENUINE
CONCERN FOR QUALITY OF LIFE
CONSIDERATIONS, WHETHER IT'S
NOISE COMING FROM A HIGHWAY,
OR HAZARDOUS WASTE
FLOWING DOWN A RIVER.
I THINK PEOPLE ARE GENERALLY
CONCERNED WITH THE QUALITY
OF THEIR ENVIRONMENT, AND HOW
THEIR LIFESTYLE, AND LIFESTYLE
OF THEIR CHILDREN
MIGHT BE AFFECTED.
AND I THINK THAT'S REFLECTED
IN THE POLITICAL ACTIONS THAT
ARE TAKING PLACE, AND IN THE
INCREASED RESPONSIBILITY,
IF I CAN SAY THAT,
BY INDUSTRY.

The caption changes to “Joanna Kidd. LURA Group.”

Joanna is in her early forties, with short wavy brown hair. She wears a striped sweater and a delicate silver necklace.

She says THOSE COMPANIES THAT CAN
SHOW THAT THEIR PRODUCTS ARE
ENVIRONMENTALLY BETTER THAN
THE OTHER ONES IN THEIR FIELD
ARE SELLING MORE PRODUCTS.

The caption changes to “Norman Rubin. Energy Probe.”

Norman is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy salt and pepper hair. He wears glasses, a blue suit, white shirt and patterned tie.

He says LOOK AT LIFESTYLE CHANGES,
AT GREEN PRODUCTS IN THE
SUPERMARKETS, AND THERE ARE A
NUMBER OF THOSE THINGS THAT
WOULD HAVE BEEN INCONCEIVABLE
TEN OR TWENTY YEARS AGO,
AND THEY'RE ARE HERE, AND
THEY'RE TAKEN AS NATURAL.

The caption changes to “Stephen Carpenter. Enermodal Engineering Limited.”

Stephen is in his mid-forties, with short salt and pepper hair and a beard. He wears a blue suit, white shirt and patterned tie.

He says ONE OF THE INTERESTING
DEVELOPMENTS WE'VE SEEN WITH
SOME OF THE U.S. UTILITIES, AND
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, THESE
ARE PRIVATE UTILITIES, UTILITIES
OUT TO MAKE A PROFIT FOR THEIR
SHAREHOLDERS, IS THEY HAVE
FOUND IT IS CHEAPER FOR THEM
TO GIVE OUT ENERGY CONSERVING
LIGHT BULBS, AND OTHER SUCH
DEVICES, INSULATING BLANKETS
FOR THEIR ELECTRIC WATER
HEATERS, AND SO ON, IT'S MUCH
CHEAPER FOR THEM TO DO THAT
THAN BUILD A NEW POWER PLANT.
SO FROM THE INVESTORS' POINT
OF VIEW, THEY ARE GETTING A
BETTER RETURN ON THEIR
INVESTMENT, AND FROM A SOCIETY
POINT OF VIEW, THEY ARE USING
MUCH LESS ELECTRICAL ENERGY.

The caption changes to “Noel Brown. United Nations Environmental Program.”

Noel is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short curly black hair. HE wears a black suit, white shirt and patterned black tie.

He says WE IN UNEP ARE VERY PROUD
OF OUR ASSOCIATION WITH
WORLD INDUSTRY.
IN 1984, WE CONVENED THE FIRST
GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON INDUSTRY
AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
AND WE BROUGHT TOGETHER THE
TOP LEADERSHIP OF THE
PRIVATE SECTOR, OF THE
MULTINATIONALS, AND OF
GOVERNMENT, TO FIND THE
COMMON GROUND.
AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, TRY TO
IDENTIFY FOR US WHERE HAVE
THEY SOLVED PROBLEMS, WHAT
LESSONS HAVE BEEN LEARNED,
AND HOW THESE LESSONS MIGHT
BE TRANSLATED IN LANGUAGE
AVAILABLE TO THE DEVELOPING
COUNTRIES SO THAT WE DON'T HAVE
TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES.
AS A RESULT OF THE VERSAILLES
CONFERENCE, THE INDUSTRIAL
COMMUNITY HAVE CREATED THEIR
OWN INDUSTRY ENVIRONMENT
BUREAU IN GENEVA, WHERE THEY
NOW HAVE A CLEARINGHOUSE FOR
ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM-SOLVING
TECHNIQUES, FOR BENIGN
TECHNOLOGY, AND FOR CREATING A
DIALOGUE AT THE POLICY LEVEL.

The caption changes to “Tom Lyons. CIDA Global Education Project.”

Tom is in his fifties, with short receding gray hair and a beard. He wears a gray suit, a white shirt, a red tie and a pair of aviator sunglasses.

He says I JUST COME BACK FROM EUROPE,
WHERE I STILL HAD TO HAVE A
SHOPPING BASKET IN ORDER
TO PURCHASE THE GOODS.
THIS IS THE WAY ALL OF
OUR GRANDPARENTS GREW UP.
WE HAVE BECOME ACCUSTOMED
TO THE PLASTIC BAG
AND THE PAPER BAG.
IT'S AN ATTITUDE.
AND I THINK IT'S AN
ATTITUDE THAT WE WILL CHANGE.
BUT WE WILL CHANGE IT WHEN
EVERYBODY COMES ONSIDE.
WE WILL CHANGE IT WHEN THE
CORPORATE WORLD IS ONSIDE,
WHEN THE EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY
IS ONSIDE AND WE WORK TOGETHER.
IT WON'T BE CHANGED
THROUGH EDUCATION.
IT WON'T BE CHANGED THROUGH
EDUCATIONAL COURSES, UNLESS
THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY
IS ONSIDE, AS WELL.
WE NEED THE PINSTRIPE
SUITS, I THINK.

Tyler says THE TIME HAS PASSED WHERE
ENVIRONMENTALISTS CAN SLAM
CORPORATIONS, OR VICE VERSA AS
NOT WORKING ON THE SAME TEAM.
WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER.

(music plays)

A slate appears with the caption “For more information, write to: Environment Watch. 117 Morse Street. Toronto, Ontario. M4M 2P9. The Windstar Foundation. 2317 Snowmass Creek Road. Snowmass, Colorado 81654. United Nations. East 44th Street, Room 803. New York, New York. 10017.”

Another caption reads “A production of TV Ontario. The Ontario Educational Communications Authority. 1990.”

Watch: The Boardroom Activist