Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


Was I a green yuppy? (Aug21)

Thirty two years ago – September 1989 – the Telegraph feature title was ‘Saving the Earth…. and Making money’. I was described as a ‘green yuppy’ or ‘guppy’, who sold out to industrialists. I was keener on the term ‘green realo’ and was quoted as saying ‘The fundies believe in a few people doing a lot but we want a lot of people doing something’.

The Sunday Telegraph this weekend (29th August 2021) featured an update “Whatever happened to the yuppies?’. I’m not convinced that I ever really fitted the yuppy moniker as described in the original article – ambitious (yes!), conformist (definitely not), with a well-developed respect for success and the cash it brings (No). If earning lots of money was my aim, I don’t think I would have chosen an environmental career.

But what I thought was most interesting in comparing the two articles was that whilst my lifestyle is different, my values are the same. I’m still a campaigner. I’m still trying to save the world. And, I’m still convinced that businesses should be playing a key role in tackling environmental challenges.

See what you think – both articles are attached below. I’m particularly pleased they included a photo with our new puppy, Ziggy… Link to Telegraph online article.

Comment Section