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Andrew T. Gillies is Director of Communications at the Center for Audit Quality, an affiliate of the American Institute of CPAs, in Washington, DC. Based in Washington since 2002, he has also worked in editorial and communications roles at the Investment Company Institute, the World Bank, Forbes, and Vault.com. His policy-themed writing has focused on aerospace and defense, energy and environment, transportation, and financial services.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

S.E.E. Change? S.E.E. Change Go Slow

As interest in all things green has surged, business groups in Washington have jumped cheerfully in. But as one association's initiative illustrates, these high-profile efforts aren't without risks.

In September, 2005, chief executives from Dow Chemical, Sun Microsystems, Xerox and three others joined then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist at an event near the White House to tout a new initiative called S.E.E. Change.

Sponsored by the Business Roundtable, an advocacy group representing 150 bosses of big companies, the initiative set out to burnish business "as a force for good" in matters of society and environment. Along with the event, the Roundtable took out full-page ads in several big newspapers and won widespread press coverage, including an item on Forbes.com.

In Pictures: A Gallery Of Green Spin
The progress so far? S.E.E. Change (which stands for Society, Environment and Economy) has added 10 new members to a founding roster of 18 companies who committed to showcasing and tracking their sustainability efforts. Not an insignificant increase, but a long way from the S.E.E. objective of getting all 150 Business Roundtable companies on board.

"It's an aspirational goal," says Marian Hopkins, director of public policy for the Business Roundtable. "[S.E.E. Change participants] can be great advocates to other member companies."

Full story at Forbes.com