There is no doubt that going green is the new black. Companies spend fortunes on implementing eco-friendly processes, and even more on promoting them. As consumers, we all want to do our bit in creating an environmentally conscious economy. No wonder manufacturers are waving their green flags wherever the public can see them. But are they doing enough?
The value of green
Apple got slapped in the face back in 2011 when Greenpeace dubbed it as the ‘least green tech company’ (their data centres being mainly powered by earth destroying, air polluting coal). Since then their products were removed from the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) list for not complying to standards of production. Has this influenced the success of the Apple brand? Doubtful, as they have just struck a deal with China Mobile, infiltrating the world’s greatest mobile market.
Still, consumers want to update their multimedia free from the guilt of causing an energy crisis. Luckily companies like IBM, who are at the forefront of green production, are making this possible. IBM’s great advantage is they got on the green wagon early. Their eco-friendly policies were incorporated back in the 70’s. Since then, they have been at the forefront of low energy production, receiving the European Union’s Code of Conduct Award in 2012.
But at what price
The truth is global energy usage is increasing every year, and someone will always be the largest slice in the pie-chart. The cost of switching to environmentally friendly production can be sky-high, but leads to future savings for the company. Naturally lower energy emissions lead to lower production costs, and higher profits These saving are however rarely as publicised as the ‘good intentions’ of environmentally aware businesses.
So how do we know who’s faking it?
Beware of ‘greenwashed’ manufacturers who flaunt eco-friendly produce, but fail to minimise waste in their manufacturing process. The only real way to know whether or not you are a green consumer is to know your brand’s stance on the environment. They can’t all be in the top-10 of eco-friendly giants, but every little bit helps. Nike has built new headquarters in Netherlands using recycled materials, but they have been accused of running sweatshops. McDonalds can’t exactly claim to be animal lovers, but they have implemented new recycling equipment and methods to maximise energy saving in 2013.
Motor manufacturers are no exception. In the quest for the green thumbs-up, Isuzu launched a charter on global environment consciousness back in 1992. They have since gone green in all departments, and launched a range of fuel efficient heavy duty vehicles. They even host seminars on fuel efficient driving.
Not everyone can be 100% environmentally friendly just yet, but the more companies implement actual green procedure (not just the image), the easier it will be for consumers to support them.