What Does Green Really Mean? 5

By Ben

It’s hard to find something that’s trendier then ‘green’ right now, and marketers are taking notice.

BusinessWeek’s Heather Green reported that a survey released by consultant Cone LLC and the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship found that many Americans are not deciphering between the key words that are used in green marketing.

Over the past few months, just about everyone has been trying to jump onto the green bandwagon. From Sun Chips, Wal-Mart, and even Marriott, so many companies are trying to trying to show consumers their environmentally friendly side.

On this topic of appealing to consumers, the survey had some very interesting findings:

  • 48 percent of Americans believe that environmentally friendly products actually have a positive impact on the environment.
  • 39 percent of Americans buy products that they think are environmentally friendly.
  • 22 percent of Americans correctly understand that an environmentally friendly product means that its impact on the environment is less negative.

While it’s clear that a reusable shopping bags and hybrid cars create ways for us to limit our negative impact the earth, it’s understandable that some companies may try to confuse consumers with their messages. However, what’s really beginning to become a grey area is what ‘green’ means.

So many businesses are claiming to be green, but there can be so many different variations of being green. While one company may change its lighting to environmentally friendly light bulbs, another company could vastly enhance their IT infrastructure, use ‘green’ printers, and change their light bulbs. Both of these companies can still call themselves green – but they’re clearly at different levels.

The bottom line is that competition between companies to become ‘greener’ is great for everyone, and the better we understand what type of affect each product actually has, the better it is for our environment

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