Are Corporations Really Committed to Green?

Are corporate environmental sustainability efforts a joke? A majority of consumers and even executives seem to think so.

In a study released last month by Gibbs & Soell Public Relations, a large majority of consumers and executives seem to doubt the commitment of corporate green efforts. The exact percentages of consumers and Fortune 1000 executives who believe most or all companies are committed to “going green” came in at 16% and 29% respectively – much less than half for both.

What’s the reason for this perceived lack of commitment? Executives would like to push at least some of the blame off on consumers, with an astounding 71% claiming they believe that consumers are unwilling to pay a premium for eco-friendly products. Additionally, 78% of executives believe it is due to lack of return on investment and only 34% of executives surveyed believe it is due to a lack of commitment from senior leadership. Meanwhile, survey after survey shows consumers re-affirming their willingness to go eco-friendly even if it’s at a higher price point, as long as the products are comparable.  So what gives?

All things considered, the main issue at play appears to be lack of communication. With green notions still being a relatively new concept, many companies are still learning the best way to effectively deliver this message without being accused of greenwashing. There is a fine line between marketing actual sustainability efforts and inflating them.

With the recent environmental disaster in the Gulf, it is only natural that consumers will question the true commitment of large corporations more now than ever before. Corporations can overcome this challenge by being honest and willing to “walk the talk”. Transparency is key to winning the “green game” and the companies making these green claims need to be willing to prove their efforts. As Ron Loch, VP of Sustainability for Gibbs & Soell says,

“As long as companies are transparent in their communications and don’t overstate the social and environmental impact of their efforts, they can avoid being painted with the greenwash brush. It gets back to the need of really taking inventory of what is happening throughout the organization and then weaving that into a compelling, credible and defensible narrative.”

Read the original article.

Learn more about Green Books N Binders’ green commitment.

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3 Responses

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