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New Sierra Club Chief has Record of ‘Environmental Agitation’ Toward Corporations

Michael BruneWhile Greenpeace has been the 800-pound gorilla in pressuring corporations to do right by the environment, the Sierra Club may be stepping up its own activism with the hire of a new chief executive.

Michael Brune, currently the head of Rainforest Action Network (RAN), will become executive director of the Sierra Club March 15.

Brune has a history of using “environmental agitation” to influence industrial polluters, reports The Guardian.

In past dealings with Bank of America, Citigroup and General Motors, Brune would use polite negotiations at first.

And if corporations didn’t adopt more eco-friendly practices, Brune turned up the heat. That proved to be the case with Home Depot, which the RAN was able to convince to cease selling wood from endangered forests, according to the article.

Brune and his cohorts were able to get codes for Home Depot’s public address systems, and subsequently announced to shoppers that “wood ripped from the heart of the rainforest” was for sale, reports Reuters.

Rainforest Action Network’s other campaigns are legendary.

In 2008, at WSJ’s ECO:nomics conference, the Rainforest Action Network ambushed Patricia Woertz, chairman, president and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland over ADM’s use of palm oil from endangered forests in Southeast Asia, and tried to hand her a petition from schoolchildren asking ADM to stop the practice.

In 2007, RAN activists in more than 50 cities across the U.S. turned out to protest Citi and Bank of America’s investments in coal-fired power plants.

Also in 2007, RAN aimed to stop U.S. agribusiness expansion in the rainforests by draping a 50-foot banner on the Chicago Board of Trade building at the start of trading. Calling them the “ABC’s of rainforest destruction,” RAN singled out agribusiness giants Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill.

Brune is said to be bringing the same mentality to the typically more conventionally mannered Sierra Club, which has 1.3 million members.

The Sierra Club, which since 1992 has been directed by Carl Pope, has identified global warming as a major issue.

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One thought on “New Sierra Club Chief has Record of ‘Environmental Agitation’ Toward Corporations

  1. Good news. Corporations need more people like Michael to keep the pressure on. I work for one of these corporations and we constantly need reminding to never stop innovating green into our operations and products.

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