Going Green is the new trend

Posted on July 22, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Consumers who care about the environment are a prime target of green washing, fake “green” companies. This is no surprise. Environmentally conscious consumers are generally well educated and well off. They are a great target market and thus tempting to companies that might otherwise have no green interest (environmental “green,” that is).

You have to do a little additional homework to separate the truly green companies from the green washers. I propose this simple three part test to figure out who talks “green” and who actually walks “green:”

1. Does the company only offer green products or is a green product part of a group of products, including polluting products?

Are they promoting “wind power” on the one hand, while selling massive amounts of coal or nuclear power on the other hand?

2. Are the company’s operations certified as being sustainable by a legitimate third party entity, which performs an actual on-site audit?

For example, when Clean Currents got certified by Montgomery County Maryland’s Department of Environmental Protection, we had auditors visit our office to ensure we are doing everything we claimed we were. Any kind of “green registry” that does not require a third party audit is worthless.

3. Does the company work with advocacy groups to support environmental legislation beyond legislation that would directly improve the company’s business?

A solar company that advocates for increased solar incentives does not count. That’s pure self interest. But companies like Clean Currents that push for broad legislation that reduces carbon emissions, or that cleans up the Bay make a real difference beyond their immediate self interest.

So, if a company claims they are sustainable on their web site, ask them for proof. If they say they donate money to non profits, or support planting trees or something like that, tell them that’s not enough. Even Exxon Mobil donates to charities like that. The true test is what are they doing to change the laws of this nation (or of their home states or cities)? Voluntary green actions are great, and they are important in terms of making a difference. Environmental consumers have the power to change the way business is done, to ensure that every company becomes a true green minded entity instead of a green washer trying to make a quick buck on the latest fad. By purchasing products only from green companies that pass the simple green test, you are ensuring that there will be a growing industry of truly green businesses that protect the planet while protecting their bottom line.

From Garys blog!
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