Green Marketing: Fine Line Between Caring and Commercialism

Environmental concern is a major focus for many businesses today. Many companies recognize a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment. Also, socially responsible firms go a step beyond and use their platforms to spread the Green message to customers and other stakeholders. Unfortunately, some companies see green marketing as just a strategy that can be used to "demonstrate" concern.

The days of disingenuous green marketing practices are numbered, if not over already. The Federal Trade Commission's guidelines on green marketing were scheduled for review in 2009, but that process is beginning earlier because of the concerns about businesses abusing the spirit of green marketing. Companies that are truly advocating responsible treatment of the environment should trumpet their views and actions to make a difference. But, companies that see green marketing as a way to win over a few customers and create sales are likely to be recognized as being insincere by advocacy groups and consumers. It is one thing for a company to boast "we have great service" only to let us down when we interact with their service employees. It is quite another matter for a company to make claims about the importance of protecting the environment yet can show little evidence of making a difference. Link