Joel Makower, resident green business guru, vs. marketing professional Michael Martin, on the vortex of corporate sustainability (via GreenBiz, where else?):
"Makower: I'm getting pitches every day by publicists at major P.R. firms as directly from companies themselves, touting the thinnest of green initiatives. Company A just published a sustainability report! Company B put solar panels on the roof of one of its distribution centers! Company C is giving a nickel per widget sold to Ducks Unlimited for the month of June! Company D is eliminating a toxic ingredient from its products! Company E just got an award from the mayor for recycling! Company F is now selling shampoo in packaging made from plants!"
"Martin: Media outlets should be more aggressive in questioning companies about these small incremental efforts."
Finally. Unfortunately a media standard just ain't gonna cut it--most of the world's most respected (oops) newspapers, with the kinds of journalists equipped to critique and investigate greenwashing or incremental claims, are busy trying to adjust to the competitive digital sphere. Environmental journalism isn't exactly a moneymaker.
Meanwhile, the digital outlets that are most capable of keeping up with the powerful speed of corporate PR in real time, are busy trying to make money.
Time will tell for each and every company that tries to use tepid green marketing to disguise lack of meaningful strategy. You either accept the huge risks we face, and start to factor them into your core business, or you don't--and you'll fail.