I blogged a couple of days ago about E.ON Innovation, a project that I really think can bring together people's ideas to stimulate developments in energy saving technology and lead to useful innovations that can cut our carbon footprints.
That post is a sponsored post. I will be paid by E-buzzing, an organisation that brings together projects with bloggers that are interested in them. I have blogged for E-buzzing before (you can read the posts here, here and here).
Now, I'm aware that E.ON are not an environmentally friendly company (and was before Harry Giles left his comment on the post I'm discussing here). However, I felt that the post was justified by the nature of the project and the potential benefits it brings - both in terms of engaging individuals in discussions around energy use and in the potential technological advances it could stimulate. Maybe I was wrong on that? Perhaps I should have inserted a critical comment on E.ON into the original blogpost?
I do think though that it should be possible to on the one hand protest against a company that does bad things (in this case funding coal powered electricity generation) and applauding (or at least acknowledging) the good things that they do.
I've worked as a charity fundraiser and I know how difficult it can be to find ethical sources of funding for good work - many charitable trusts (those benign sounding funds for good work across the world) are funded by money that ultimately comes from unethical sources (eg arms manufacture, tobacco) and it is likely that in some areas much publicly funded work is ultimately paid for by investments the public body has made in not entirely ethical funds.
How many big companies are truly ethical (I can count on the fingers of one hand the companies I would consider truly ethical)? How many small local companies for that matter? I think it would be impossible to get through life without interacting with less than ethical companies. We constantly need to make judgements about what we consider to be ethical and to make compromises.
So, I blogged about a great project funded by a less than great company. Should instead we pretend the project isn't happening and thus prevent people from getting involved in the discussion or in sharing their ideas for a better future? Or do we allow that companies can genuinely be prepared to change and to move towards a more sustainable model of operation? Personally I don't want to necessarily think that any particular company will always be bad, but perhaps I'm naive on that.
I'd be interested in your comments (though keep them polite please, and note I've turned off word verification (aware that many people hate the new version!) and replaced it with comment moderation (which will also combat the increasing amount of spam I've been recently getting on all my blogs) which may mean that comments now take longer to show.)
Note added to say - I just found that Greener Leith also blogged about E-ON Innovation!