Among bold environmental news this May, Tiffany has taken a stand against Trump’s environmental policies. Not his daughter Tiffany that is, but rather the infamous Tiffany & Co located beside his long-time residence on 5th Avenue, NYC.
It is not everyday that a brand as iconic and influential as Tiffany & Co expresses its political position in such a vocal manner, On May 9th the Tiffany and & Co social media pages and page A3 of the New York Times displayed an advertisement reading: “Dear President Trump, we’re still for bold climate action. Please keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement. The disaster of climate change is too real, and the threat to our planet and to our children is too great.”
The Paris Climate Agreement, signed by 197 countries, calls for ambitious measures and policies in order to combat climate change in all ratifying countries. The central aim of the agreement is to prevent global temperatures from rising a full 2ºC above pre-industrial levels; a goal only achievable if strong emission controls and carbon regulations are implemented worldwide.
The unprecedented move raises questions over the role that corporations play in our political landscape. Is it the place of a jewellery company, no matter how famous, to voice their opinion on an issue that doesn’t directly impact their business interests?
In capitalist-democratic society, there are only two truly quantifiably viable means for individuals to express their political opinions: through voting in elections, and through fiscal spending. The vast majority of days it is not Election Day so, as the consumer, you can only speak through where you choose to spend your money.
Some have argued that it is not the place of corporations to share their political opinions; particularly when these issues do not have any barring on their businesses. But then there are those of us that are inclined to view corporations, with their budgets and social clout, as having a social responsibility to speak out against injustices – including climate change issues.
Corporations are not impartial observers of the current political climate. We – whether referring to you as the reader of this article or you as a multi-million dollar empire – will all be impacted by the devastating consequences of ignoring climate change.
Tiffany & Co is to be commended for using their platform and influence to express their views on environmental responsibility and climate change, thereby empowering their consumers with the choice to make environmentally responsible purchases.
Indeed the statement put forward by the 180-year-old jewellery company was bold and divisive. However, let’s hope that Tiffany & Co’s bravery facilitates improved corporate environmental accountability, including initiatives like their net zero greenhouse gases by 2050 goal. I for one would rather give my money to a company courageous enough to say that they’d like our environment to still be recognizable for future generations.
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