04.01.08 — The Anniversary Challenge
Crabtree + Company, Inc. (C+C), a DC-area marketing communications and design firm, celebrated its 25th anniversary today with a look to the future. Amid the events marking the company’s silver anniversary, President and Founder Lucinda Crabtree laid out a challenge to her employees: “Within one year of this date,” she said, “I want C+C to be carbon free.”
Crabtree admitted that she didn’t know how difficult it would be to meet the new goal, but insisted it was an effort her firm must undertake. “Degradation of the environment is not someone else’s problem and contributing to its renewed health is not someone else’s job. We survive — and I hope, thrive — only by our collective efforts.”
Addressing the environmental role of small business, Crabtree drew parallels to other challenges. “Every day we see examples of individuals, with little more than personal resolve and remarkable courage, affecting great change: people like Paul Farmer or Julian Bond. And what’s true of individuals is true of small companies as well. We can, and we must, make a contribution and a difference.”
Crabtree had one more surprise for her staff: “I want us to keep a blog on our website, a running record of what we learn and what we do to reduce our carbon footprint. If we make mistakes, I want other firms to avoid them. If we make advances, I want others to adopt them.”
US Census figures show over 95% of American businesses (nearly 24 million firms) have fewer than 20 employees.
“And when we calculate our carbon footprint, the amount of CO2 we release into the atmosphere" said Crabtree, raising a glass to toast the firm’s success, “I want us to count all of these beautiful, little bubbles, too!”