Training on request
This course focuses on the biggest contributors to heating, pollution and extinction: damaging (multinational) corporations. How do they operate? Why do they stubbornly keep doing what they do? And how can you investigate them? In recent years, we have written dozens of stories for De Groene Amsterdammer, each showing different corporate-induced ecological malpractices. In this course, we share our experiences with companies, with sources and with the emotions that the shocking reality sometimes evokes. We look at the facts in detail, but also try to place them in a larger context. The course is designed for economic reporters who want to learn to look through an ecological lens, and for climate journalists and activists who want to refresh their economic knowledge.
We are going through a sustainability transition. This means that other aspects and values are coming to the fore. What do these mean and how can we address them in our stories?
• Donut economy versus free market capitalism
• Stakeholders versus shareholders
• Human rights and sustainability goals versus shareholder value
• Ethics versus crimes
• Strong government versus neo-liberalism
• Corporate versus individual responsibility
• Science versus the “Merchants of doubt”
• Citizens versus “homo economicus”
• Small is beautiful versus globalism
• Regeneration versus exploitation
• Health versus chemicals
• Healthy jobs versus a dead planet
It is not enough to look at companies through ‘classic’ financial glasses. Assessing their environmental impact requires (also) other specialist knowledge:
• Chemistry: What substances enter and leave the company?
• Scope 3: How does a company affect the whole chain, from suppliers to consumers?
• Legislation: How are environmental laws and permits structured?
• Lobbies: How to recognize them?
• ETS: Why is the European Emissions Trading System not working as it should?
• Alternatives: What real options are there for the sustainable (circular) production of basic goods?
Much more information is available on the environmental impacts of companies than on many other aspects of their operations. Among other things, we look at:
• Available databases
• The European hazardous substances list REACH
• Permits and inspections
• Scientific literature
• Unexpected sources within companies concerned about health and the environment
Luuk Sengers and Evert de Vos are experienced economics journalists specialising in the field of environment and climate.