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Green Corporations Make More Green

04/19/2011

On a blog with a decidely anti-consumerist bent, it might surprise you to read that I believe corporations have an important role to play in the environmental movement. But the fact that 51 of the world’s 100 largest economic entities are corporations seems unlikely to change, regardless of my personal leanings.

The fact that abusing the environment increasingly leads to consumser mistrust and hence reduced profit (especially in a Wikileaks world) is excellent news for the green movement.

Pursuing green policies and producing green products not only helps the environment but also raises awareness of green issues. And considering world governments’ repeated failure to make good on its promises to reduce carbon emissions, we need all the help we can get.

Companies like Ford, GE and Pepsi are leading in energy efficiency, while Ikea, Google, Time Warner and others are setting an example by investing heavily in renewable energy. 69% of companies in the U.S. now have green programs in place, and that number is bound to increase as more businesses realize these programs don’t cost money–they save money. A tremendous incentive, given the economic downturn.

Companies have also begun to grasp that doing business means having an environment in which to do it. We need that environment as well–to live–so we must encourage businesses to stay the course by buying only products made with the environment in mind. Companies have green programs because they’re profitable, and part of why they’re profitable is that we, the customers, consistently demonstrate we care about the environment.

Certain companies, however, will attempt to appear environmentally-minded while actually doing very little, for the good PR. This practice is called greenwashing. A little Googling will often uncover its use.

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