In November 2008, Pierce Brosnan and his wife Keely Shaye Brosnan were honored for Responsible Activism in Media and Entertainment at the Jane Goodall Global Leadership Awards in Washington, DC. Other honorees included US Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM) for Excellence in Public Policy and Green Mountain Coffee for Corporate Social Responsibility.

"Keely and I are honored to be in Washington, D.C. at such an exciting time in this nation's history and to accept this award from our dear friend Dr. Jane Goodall," Pierce said while accepting the award. This is the second year the Leadership Awards have honored personal and institutional action that reflect the Institute's mission of helping all living things. 

So what did the Brosnan’s do to earn this honor? The couple supports the Goodall Institute's youth program, Roots & Shoots. Renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, who just won a lifetime achievement award from Glamour magazine, describes the aim of the program most inspirationally while explaining its name:

"Roots creep underground everywhere and make a firm foundation. Shoots seem very weak, but to reach the light, they can break open brick walls. Imagine that the brick walls are all the problems we have inflicted on our planet. Hundreds of thousands of roots & shoots, hundreds of thousands of young people around the world, can break through these walls. We CAN change the world."

Also, I've spotted a pattern: Behind almost every environmentally conscious man is a green-minded woman. OK, this is not necessarily true in the case of Ed Begley, Jr., whose wife admits she would like just a little more luxury sometimes (such as longer showers). But it is true with last week's subject, Michael Chiarello, and with this week's subject. "I have a wonderful wife in Keely, who is very versed in the world of green," Pierce said. "This is a partnership now of 16 years, and she has educated me on the environment and how to bring up children, whether it's the food they eat or the food that we grow at home in Hawaii – clean water, good vegetables, recycling."

Why are there so many dashing eco-minded gentlemen in Hollywood? Adrian Grenier, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Joaquin Phoenix, Leonardo DiCaprio, the list goes on and on. I tried to think of one hot actor who openly goes against the environmental awareness trend, and couldn't come up with one—and that’s a good problem to have. 

Story by Colleen Kane. This article originally appeared in Plenty in November 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008