Bonus gem

There's a reason why it's right to be highly skeptical whenever a big utility makes noise about a sustainability initiative. This gem reveals yet an author that forgot the golden rule (via Guardian Sustainable Business Hub):

"Once in a while you come across a company initiative that makes you think: 'Here's a firm that's putting sustainability into action.' That was my reaction (and that of many others) this week when British Gas announced a new incentive to help the most vulnerable members of society cut their energy bills through free loft and cavity wall insulation."

Providing free or low-cost insulation to fuel-poor households is required for all energy providers under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target. That's why it's so funny to frame the new British Gas scheme, which offers £50 for locating people who could benefit from free insulation, as a laudably sustainable innovation. For a business that made £3 million in profit per day in 2010, it's paying pocket change to the public to help them comply with the law.

Speaking of which, the choice of timing around this scheme's announcement is nicely strategic. Big 6 profits will be announced within the next day and are expected to skyrocket £2 billion over last year's to total £15 billion, as a quarter of UK households remain in fuel poverty.

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