When ads from the do-gooder phone company Working Assets would land in my parent’s mailbox when I was a teenager, I remember being thoroughly confused as to why a company would focus on socially-conscious and environmental issues. It just wasn’t done much back then. Of course it’s completely common place now, and every product or service coming out this year has a carbon neutral add-on or an opportunity for donation.
Well, Working Assets is still at it. This week the company started offering a Solio solar-powered hybrid mobile phone charger, and a carbon-neutral phone plan where they will offset your carbon footprint for a year. So far Working Assets says it has raised $50 million dollars for do-gooder programs over its 2 decades in business.
TreeHugger has an interesting interview with Working Assets’ president Michael Kieschnick this week, who noted that the company pioneered the way for future green credit card, like GE’s Ecomagination card. Kieschnick also had some good advice for creating a powerful green consumer base:
The best way for companies to cultivate an informed, loyal customer base . . . was to encourage them to volunteer and become activists . . . donations alone are simply not enough. — Working Assets’ president Michael Kieschnick via TreeHugger.