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Bills, bills, bills —Masdar walks the talk in 5-year social experiment

Bills, bills, bills —Masdar walks the talk in 5-year social experiment

Masdar monitoring its student's bills sounds somewhat invasive. But it’s a step forward (albeit a small and cautious one) toward actually practicing what the company is preaching. Will follow suit?

August 28, 2011 2:15 by

Kipp receives a number of press packages and invitations in the mail. At times, it can be a hard slog to go through them but there are a few gems that make us scratch our heads, raise our eyebrows and say “what the heck where they thinking?”.

There’s been a few over the years. Most notably we once received a big brown box, which contained another smaller green box, which then contained a smaller envelope, which finally held the press badges, parking stickers, brochures and booklets for an event. Take a guess what was that event.

If you said it was a conference on environmental sustainability, then you win a truckload of paper and plastic bottles to waste because you’re right on the money. It doesn’t take a tree-hugging hippie to see that sending out boxes upon boxes of paper (recycled or not) is not the best way to invite people to a conference about not wasting resources.

Too many times, Kipp has seen companies fail to walk their talk. So it’s good to see that Masdar Institute is starting a five-year study to monitor and study the energy and water consumption of its students. Kipp suspects this may influence the students to be more careful with energy and water consumption. More importantly, however, it shows Masdar’s commitment to practice what they preach. This is good to hear after seeing the company re-evaluate and redesign some of the original (and seemingly unfeasible) technology and features for Masdar City.

This got Kipp thinking about how companies should practice what they preach. Like maybe how a particular regional newspaper should stop give its employees their passports before it starts publishing stories about how other companies are illegally keeping their own employees’ passports. Another one could be how some fastfood chains should publish studies on the correlation of fastfood intake to children’s health before preaching about how their food is healthy. And what about energy companies that claim fund renewable energy research with the right hand and with their left, hand out bribes to corrupt officials in oil-rich, war-torn regions like Africa?

It’s a call for stopping hypocrisy in corporate promises, a call for value accountability. Call it what you want just live it as you call it.

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