Emmanuel got mail!

Courtesy of my mole at the International Sustainability Standards Board (this is not the same person as my mole at the International Accounting Standards Board, although the two of them do often meet up for coffee) I now present a selection of recent correspondence to and from the office of the Chair, Emmanuel Faber. You may recall that Faber was formerly the Chair and CEO of Danone, from which he was ousted following pressure from activist shareholders. Even if you don’t remember, some others do…

Dear Mr. Faber I’m not surprised you got out of Danone. Those yoghurts are the worst. Do they even make a cherry flavour, which is my favourite of all yoghurt flavours? If they do I can never find it at my local store. Anything to say about that?

  • Since, as you point out, I’m no longer with Danone, these matters are no longer at the forefront of my mind. But certainly, sometimes it’s hard to be optimistic about the prospects for finding the yoghurt we want. It’s something that brings out the worst in humanity as commonly as the best. But I’ve defined myself as an activist for change, and it’s illogical to blame capitalism, to blame business, for all our failures and disappointments. You and your defeatist attitude sound like the very definition of unsustainable.

Dear Sir. I understand you are a leader in saving the planet. A good place to start would be by killing off Oikos. Every time I eat that crap, I feel like launching a nuclear missile in the direction of the kitchen

  • Your communication is misdirected as I left Danone some time ago. However, I can assure you that Oikos is all about moments of reconnection with oneself, with its own visual and conceptual language to describe its own kind of discerning pleasure thanks to the blend of the sensuous white mass and the layers beneath it. If you’re unable to perceive this, it is no doubt because something has died within you, as surely as if killed off by a poisoned climate. You, my sad friend, will never know the unique pleasure of an Oikos moment, and I grieve for you, as much as I do for the polar bears.

Mr. Faber – I’m much impressed by your career achievements to date. Won’t it drive you nuts in your new role to have to focus every day on drafting and nit-picking and, especially, on having to deal with a bunch of accountants? I’m really surprised you went for it.

  • Well, my dear sir, you make a good point, which I hadn’t really thought of. But look, I really wasn’t doing anything else except sitting at home, obsessively rewatching Call my Agent! and gorging myself on Actimel. So I don’t suppose I have much left to lose. And at least this time round I’m not going to be fired for spending too much bloody time on sustainability!

To Emmanuel Faber. In an interview you said, “CEOs are held back in talking, by their legal teams, by their comms teams, by their PR teams. They have this polished, you know, sometimes bullshit kind of communication.” Can you promise then that in your new role you’ll never resort to that kind of bullshit?

  • Certain information that I will set forth in answering your question contains “forward-looking information”, including “future-oriented financial information” and “financial outlook”, under applicable securities laws (collectively referred to herein as forward-looking statements). These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, (i) the expected nature of the responses that I may give to future questions (the content of which can not be reasonably anticipated); (ii) the projected degree of bullshit evident in my future communications…(remainder of response omitted)

Friend, Make sure President Trump sees YOUR name. President Trump’s Birthday is coming up and we’re giving you the exclusive chance to sign the only Official TRUMP BIRTHDAY CARD. This is the ONLY official TRUMP BIRTHDAY CARD where you can leave your name and a personal note for President Trump to read. You’ll see a lot of FAKE Birthday Cards out there, but this is the ONLY one he’ll read.

  • Happy Birthday Donald, and you know, it would probably help my chances of success if you could somehow make it your last.

Emmanuel – in an interview, when asked what was your future dream job when growing up, you said you “could not choose between ski instructor, diplomat or astronomer.” It seems to me that chairing the ISSS will take plenty of diplomacy, and provide lots of opportunity to keep people from falling off their skis, metaphorically speaking. As for the astronomer, if you think you’re going to get anywhere meaningful, your head must already be among the stars. So mission accomplished!

  • Thank you my friend for the words of encouragement!

Hi Emmanuel. I bought a month’s supply of Activia but then realized when I got home that it had all expired. Could you swing by and pick it up and drop off a refund? Thanks so much.

  • First of all, I don’t work for Danone anymore. Second of all, when I did work there, my responsibilities hardly included responding to such menial requests. Third of all….oh screw it, you know what, I’ll be there around six.

Well, that was certainly informative. Once again, happy holidays!

The opinions expressed are, well….

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