Friday, March 11, 2011

Forget Boycotts, Who Are The Good Guys?

Much as I like the notion of punishing right wing outfits I realized there's probably more impact to be had in figuring out what firms and individuals are actually on the progressive side.   Worrying about which firms not to deal with, what places not to frequent is kind of meaningless if you just take your business to another place with the same leanings.   Besides, it's easier to remember the names of the good guys than to have to also memorize the names of the bad guys.

So, what are the top progressive businesses in Canada?   Who should we all be supporting?   We all have to find our own way a bit on this.   Many of the good guys are local businesses and surely they deserve priority.   Others may be regional or national.   But we need to know.

So, how about listing businesses that support progressivism in Canada?  Let's start putting together a list.


fern hill said...

Well, of the banks, I've always found TD on the slightly better side. More progressive ideas about taxation, cities. I'll look for links.

Good initiative, MoS.

Carter Apps, dabbler of stuff said...

Do we even have Progressive companies, where are the Canadian versions of the Body Shop(pre take over) who supported volunteerism, community building, family work balance, sustainablilty and social justice??

I'm not sure they exist.

Carter Apps, dabbler of stuff said...

mountain equipment co-op, perhaps

The Mound of Sound said...

Yeah GAB, that's a pretty good pick. It dawned on me that sorting out the good from the bad could be done via e-mail questionnaire. Figure out how we would define "progressive" businesses and then ask them about how they stack up.

For example, let's see if the volume of their business in Canada corresponds to the percentage of Canadians in their work force. How about finding out the details of their outsourcing. It burns my ass to no end to have somebody from Mumbai calling me about upgrading my Telus service. If they're a big outfit, find out whether they're unionized. Maybe consult unions for the employers they consider the most progressive.

Find out what they're doing environmentally, being careful to avoid greenwash. The same thing with community service.

The point wouldn't be to expose the bad guys - that's too fraught with legal perils - but to identify the outfits that seem to ring the essential bells. You would have to expressly state that the list isn't exhaustive, just a directory of companies you've been able to review so far.

I suppose this would entail setting up a separate site/blog for this specific purpose, to maintain the list, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Any ideas all?

The Mound of Sound said...

Update - I've e-mailed CUPE and the Canadian Labour Congress asking for their assistance. I think I'll tag a few other outfits like the Council of Canadians as well. What I've done is invite them to help set up a mechanism whereby their memberships could nominate candidate businesses to which we could then follow up with detailed questionnaires for evaluation.

Any thoughts?

The Mound of Sound said...

Update - I just e-mailed the Council of Canadians seeking their assistance.

Anonymous said...

Not so progressive... (this is their corporate speak page)

Anonymous said...

The above was Moutain Equipement Co-op...

GAB said...

I think its a project worth doing(if no one else has already) but its a very big project.

I'd suggest flogging the idea a bit and see if enough help shows up to run it. I'm supportive of the attempt but between EDA work and my local Transition Town position I personaly don't what kind or how much help I could add.

Defining progressive is a problem, dig deep enough and almost every company has purchases product from a questionable source, put profit above public good etc I think a scale would work better or 2 or 3 scores based on different aspects of a progressive mindset.

a simple yes or no statement will bring the nit pickers out in full force.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yeah, I find the possible enormity of the project a bit daunting too. It would require considerable resources. Perhaps if it was sponsor-supported - progressive organizations, labour groups, etc. - oh hell, my mind's wandering again.