It’s not only the virtuous who are jumping on to the green-building bandwagon: Companies hoping to burnish spotty track records are hopping on as well. The blog Green Building Elements did a helpful service, gathering ten of the most egregious examples. Included are Justin Timberlake’s green golf lodge–that actually sits on a golf course that guzzles water; a LEED certified water-bottling plant; and the tower you see above. It’s a huge skyscraper intended to be a carbon-sink in the middle of Mumbai. Only it’s also a single-family home.
These are all good examples, but you can’t blame the architects. I actually once interviewed one of the architects of the Helios House–a green, BP-branded gas station–and he pointed out that each building should be as green as possible, so it’s hard to refuse this sort of commission, especially if your firm is living hand-to-mouth. Meanwhile, the bigger problem is that superficial touches such as green buildings make for better publicity than calls for changes in our behavior. That’s a tough, fundamental problem that marketers and business strategists will be hard pressed to solve.