Should we work with – and for – businesses that destroy our world?

Many of us don’t have any choice in the jobs we need to take, but many millions of us who are more privilieged in this do to some degree. This is for those of us who have some choices. In our current economic system it’s always difficult. There are lots of trade-offs and it won’t ever be perfect, but, if you can meet your basic needs well enough, should we work for organizations that negatively impact on the environment or human rights?⁠

Should we have clients that help cause destruction? What if your company services customers that promote overconsumption? How should Instagram influencers decide which countries are good and bad to promote for tourism boards? They all do some terrible things. What about tech products, nearly all of which require exploitation in natural resources and human labor? Can you call it sustainability if you work for a plant plastics company whose goods aren’t home compostable and cause mass monocropping and land clearing, replacing one problem with another? There are some pretty murky lines to draw. ⁠

For me (Lis here!), I made a personal decision one way but it’s come at a cost – and it’s not perfect. I’ve got a little framework as a suggestion as I end up in a lot of interesting conversations around this but we’re more intrigued to hear from you!⁠

Have you been conscious in who you’ve chosen to work for, or with? Have you had no choice in the matter? Do you try and push and wield as much influence as you can within your position? Are you thinking about a career change? Have you sacrificed in order to do something more aligned with your values? Would love to hear your thoughts and stories!