Thursday, March 24, 2011

Greenwashing Can Mean a Black Eye

A British survey found the UK public is highly skeptical of companies "greenwashing" -- promoting their green programs to reduce carbon emissions to sound good, but not necessarily taking action significantly or consistently. Just 7% of consumers take companies at their word on their actions to reduce climate impacts, according to a damning new report.

Businesses are risking a costly backlash due to customers’ perception of greenwashing, the UK's Carbon Trust said. Just over half of respondents said they are concerned that companies make one-time improvements to win publicity, before returning to business as usual.

The British survey is similar to what's been investigated in the US market, and which has been going on consistently in the past 10 years, especially the past 3-4 years. It's all in the realm of trends going on now -- corporate responsibility, ethics, accountability to the public and the environment, stricter government guidelines, etc. 

For automakers, suppliers, and dealers, there are strides being taken forward by certain companies encompassing the manufacturing process and end products -- what goes into the car, and its fuel efficiency and emissions. From there, what about the assembly plants and corporate offices  -- energy usage, recycling, conservation, etc. Some companies are putting a lot into this process -- Ford, Honda, GM, Toyota, and Tesla would probably be in the top five. It's still fairly new to the car business and scrutiny is being done in the process.

No comments: