The Seventh Estate

PR firm takes environmental issues seriously

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When companies start talking about “being green,” my bullshit-detecting antennae immediately prickle with activity and zero in the greenwashing centre of, well, bullshit. And, not to be overly judgemental, but this sort of nonsense is especially concentrated in public relations, which too often latches on any feel-good phrase to promote a business, and never mind the reality.

So it was refreshing to talk with Colleen Gareau, founder and owner of The Seventh Estate Public Relations Group (471-3181), which makes the claim to be “carbon neutral.” I’ve done a lot of research on carbon offsets, and am critical of the assertions put forward by many offsetting traders, and companies using offsetting as a marketing tool. Gareau, however, has a firm understanding of the issue, and we discussed gold standards for carbon offsets, how tree-planting is not an acceptable carbon offset and other shortcomings of the industry. I’m convinced that she’s making a good faith---and substantial---effort to run her business in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.

More, Seventh Estate is geared towards small businesses that need PR help but don’t have the resources to hire the big guns. Gareau contacted me via twitter (@SeventhEstatePR) and wrote an interesting blog post about our subsequent conversation (see seventhestatepr.com/blog); in my personal experience, I find Gareau is an unusual presence in the PR world---someone who gets effective communication without losing her grounded values, and who can relay that information sensibly. No bullshit.

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