08 March 2007

PSFK Reminds Me...

Marc Alt, of MAP, brought up an interesting example of "greenwashing" during the Eco-Shift or Greenwash panel discussion. Ford Motor Company built the all-new Ford Rouge Factory with the help of William McDonough and lots of other folks. Lots and lots of critics saw it as greenwashing, perhaps myself included.

At the time, I worked at The Henry Ford developing and editing the labels for the observation deck and the legacy gallery in the Factory Tour. What amazed me most was the use of "we" in all of the labels (I did not write the labels, I edited them). "We" as in Ford Motor Company. "We" saved however millions of dollars. "We" are preserving the future. Blah blah blah.

The labels state that Ford ("we") saves money building F-150s (irony of ironies) in this green factory, it doesn't relate to me. I'm not saving any money. I don't care if Ford saves money. I don't appreciate being included into the group FoMoCo employees. It seemed as if Ford was defining what I thought was green by calling me part of their "we." And apparently, "we" care about saving money for FoMoCo.

In any case, the Rouge Factory is an attempt to rectify Ford's industrial past. And it is a really cool factory tour. Props go out to my boss Scott Mallwitz and my co-worker Donna Braden. You were both a blast to work with.

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