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Friday, June 20, 2008

Video: Adam Werbach Describes New Job

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 2:27 PM


If your job search has so far come up blank, cheer up. A whole new category of employment opportunity has appeared under the new rubric “Chief Sustainability Officer.” For these new positions, companies are recruiting sophisticated, idealistic, easily-co-opted SF Weekly readers like you.

This kind of work has always been around – making excuses to regulators when a company spills toxic sludge on the playground, or bragging to the press when Blarney-Tech plants eco-friendly shrubs around its new 50-acre parking lot.

As more Americans profess concern about the environment, this has become a full time job.

The June 9 Advertising Age describes this new job trend, and quotes San Francisco enviro-luminary Adam Werbach suggesting these the positions are mere window dressing. This is good news for those of us who dislike actual work.

“It’s a funny new duck that’s being created,” Advertising Age quotes Werbach as saying. The so-called sustainability officers “exercise soft power. They have very little budget, direct reports or organizational authority.”

Werbach, SF Weekly readers may recall, in 1996 became the youngest ever president of the Sierra Club at age 23. He holds the environmentalist seat on San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission. In 2004 he created controversy by suggesting environmentalist might be dead during a Commonwealth Club speech. In 2006 he joined the six-member international board of Greenpeace.

Most recently Werbach has become an even greater inspiration to those seeking to cash in on the enviro-craze by taking a new post as president of a division of the giant advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi and, which in turn is part of the French advertising conglomerate Publicis Group. Werbach earned his new title in January, when Publicis acquired Act Now Productions, the agency Werbach had founded to help apply green paint to enviro-challenged brands such as Wal-Mart.

In a piece of inspirational found video, Werbach and his new overlords give the rationale for his new career move. Watch it then join the hunt for eco-hokum gold.


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Matt Smith


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