Monday, November 25, 2013

When dumb questions are not dumb

Today, I read this article on Bloomberg's website:

There was a question, which I've copied here for the purposes of clarity, as it's one of many in that Q&A Session.

Q: It’s really hard to compare or rank companies based on their sustainability strategies. Take Coke and Levi’s. Coca-Cola can make drinks without sugar and caffeine. But Levi’s makes what it calls “waterless jeans,” which comes close to eliminating water use in the last phase of production. So why isn’t there waterless Coke? Does that make Levi’s more sustainable than Coke?

A: That's a really dumb question! Water is needed for every living thing on the planet. It is infinitely renewable. So the issue around water isn't not using water. We all need water. We're a beverage company. We make products that hydrate people and water is obviously essential to that.  The real issue is what do you with the water that you borrow from nature for your business, and how do you make sure you're giving back. In our case we've made a commitment to give back as much as we use by 2020.

This actually annoyed me.  The question being asked seems to be ahead of the mental capacity of the person answering.  

For instance, why can't you just ship the ingredients and mix at home?  That's actually a very "green" way of doing things, primarily because you stop moving about billions of tonnes of water that is already being pumped into the places where it's consumed.  They already ship the condensed "syrup" version to pubs and bars, so where's the consumer version of a soda-stream from Coca Cola?