It is currently all the rage for companies to introduce environmentally friendly products, or change their methods of production to include measures to protect the environment. However, it is obvious that these actions are not done without a motive to increase sales or save money, especially given the current economic situation. This motive explains the copious increase in green marketing. TerraChoice points out that green marketing has tripled between 2006 and 2008.
A problem I see with the current onslaught of green marketing is not that these actions are being used to promote sales or save money, but that for some companies, these actions are merely defensive. In many case, companies choose to make huge strides in acting environmentally friendly when they have been criticized and given negative press for harming the environment. A recent example is Nike and Coca-Cola’s environmentally friendly commitments after being publicly criticized. Nike was criticized in a Greenpeace study of hurting the Brazilian cattle in the Amazon. In reaction to this study Slaughtering the Amazon Nike has made strides to make amends, including a possible implementation of a tracing system to ensure that future biome harm doesn’t occur.
That being said, is this issue of defensive green actions truly a problem? Even though the companies’ motives may not be ideal, environmentally friendly actions are still advancing. I believe it is crucial to the health of our environment that companies take charge in helping the environment. Therefore, although it is easy to see companies’ motives as insincere, the work they are doing to green-up their companies should be praised. They are still moving in the right direction, and if it helps their business, it can also help our economy, leading to a win-win for everyone.