It’s great to see that people are starting to be more aware of the environmental crisis we are in. Some are even starting to make changes in their lives and this in turn has prompted companies to give themselves a ‘greener’ image. You see, we as consumers have the power, if companies think we want green, they go green.
The problem is, how sincere are they really? Big companies create departments to handle their social and environmental responsibilities and they link in to the marketing department so that we get to hear about all the great things they are doing for the planet. Obviously the marketing department doesn’t tell us about all the bad things the same company is doing to the environment.
If one could get a real picture of the amount of bad vs good, we could form an overall opinion on the company and decide whether we want to support it or not. To get this information takes a lot of research and with our friend, the internet, we get to find this information, thanks to the many dedicated people who do the research and share their information with is.
But sometimes it doesn’t take much research to see that something is not quite right. For instance, take a look at 5FM right now. They are promoting a social responsibility project called ‘Young Blood 5’. Which you can link to here. Basically what it does is create a forum for people to chat about issues, create causes and do a few other things. The top causes then get entered into some competition. All good, except that when you have finished browsing that site, you can enter 5FM’s competition to win a Hummer. The hummer is basically the poster child for the anti-environmental movement. Why is 5FM associating themselves with Hummers if they are trying to project a green image?
Another example is Nedbank. They deserve much praise for their green efforts. If my memory serves me correctly, they were voted in the top 50 greenest companies in the world. However, they are very proud to be sponsors of golf. Anyone who is green savy knows that golf courses use enormous quantities of water, leading to the depletion of our water supplies. Fresh water supply is going to be one of the biggest problems facing the world in the coming years.
So I have to ask myself the question again, how sincere are these companies?