Ripe and green
You may transform your company to green because of business ethics but also for your grandchildren’s future. Or because it improves your product and your efficiency. Or perhaps there is another reason: your competitors aren’t green yet. Whatever the reason, your motives should be sincere.
Since sustainability has become mainstream, many big brands have built their credibility around it. Many are authentically green and are making a big difference, but some are merely ‘greenwashing’. You have probably heard the expression “whitewashing” — it’s defined as “a coordinated attempt to hide unpleasant facts, especially in a political context.” “Greenwashing” has the same connotation, but in an environmental context.
An authentic example of a brand that is truly green is Patagonia Clothing Company see www.patagonia.com . An example of greenwashing is a hotel chain that calls itself “green” because it allows guests to choose to sleep on the same sheets and reuse towels, but actually does very little to save water and energy where it counts — on its grounds, with its appliances and lighting, in its kitchens and with its vehicle fleet.
The green consumer market is a mixed bag. You have the conveniently conscious. They feel guilty. They will buy green when there is no sacrifice. The positive choosers view the environmental problem as serious. They try to change their behaviour, to eat local foods, leave the car at home from time to time and are willing to pay more for green. The principled pioneers go further. They are exploring and investing in things like alternative energy and other green measures. They also willing to pay more for green. The vocal activists are highly engaged and will complain about the green responsibility of your company. Finally you have the onlookers who know the issue but dismiss it as overhyped. Or as somebody else’s responsibility. Observers, not buyers.
As a business owner, and consumer, are you an onlooker, a conveniently conscious, a positive chooser, a principled pioneer or a vocal activist with regard to sustainability?