British Judge Says Environmentalism Is A Religion

by Aman Singh Das | November 10, 2009

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If you believe that climate change is a necessity moving forward for not just turning around the economy but also the survival of future generations, and aren't afraid of speaking your mind at work, then the United Kingdom might be the place you want to work. Not because they have the highest number of advocates for change but because a London judge deemed that environmentalism should carry the same weight as religion, under British employment law.

This strange case involves Tom Nicholson who was laid off from Grainger Plc, where he was (this is great!) head of sustainability. Apparently the executive suite wasn't too happy with his views on the environment. Or so he claims in his lawsuit, saying he was dismissed on discrimination grounds based on religious or philosophical beliefs.

While clear that this came about because of the peculiar law of Religious and Belief Regulations, instated in 2003 in Britain to become more inclusive, what can this decision mean for companies not exactly friends of sustainability advocacy and their environment-conscious employees?

The Time piece that talked about this case, quoted an employment lawyer saying that this could lead to "a tidal wave of philosophical-related litigation." Regardless of what happens next, advocates of climate change can take heart that at least in the Kingdom, their belief is now considered holy.

Bless you, Mr. Nicholson!

Filed Under: CSR

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