GREEN PRODUCT AWARENESS 7
Recently,more people are getting sensitive and highly involved inenvironmental issues. As a result, many consumers look out forproducts with labels such as environmental friendly, eco-friendly ororganic. Environmentally aware consumers will recognize as this as aform of personal commitment in contributing positively in conservingand sustaining environmentally-friendly activities In addition,buying eco-friendly products is a personal commitment to benefittingthe environment, since environmentalists are actually willing to paymore money when purchasing certain products. This trend has in effectprompted the business environment to develop and manufacture moreproducts using buzzwords such as sustainable, green, organic,natural, environmental friendly and biodegradable. Thisbusiness trend adopted by the business community aims at attractingthe environmentally conscious consumers in the market for profit.
Whyshould consumers be cautious?
Forthis reason, it is important for consumers who care about theenvironment to be cautioned against these flooded products. In therecent research, it was established that business community use suchlabels and buzzwords even on products that are not environmentalfriendly. This means that they engage in unethical activity ofproviding misleading and hence manipulating information to theconsumers. There are a total of eighty buzzwords that are currentlyused by the business community to market and promote their products,which have lacked about 98% of proof that can justify their claims.
Examplesof green-washed products
Anexample of a company that has been known to adopt green-wash(Knufken, 2010) strategy as a form of marketing is Chevron Company.Chevron created an advertisement to inform the public andspecifically the environmental conscious consumers about its WeAgree Campaign.
Inthis particular campaign, Chevron employs actors who are supposed toimpersonate individuals asking for renewable energy as well as localjobs. This is meant to attract the attention of environmentalconscious type of consumers with the main intention of making sales.However, Chevron takes no action toward environmental protection andpreservation.These advertisements use catchy words and images that attract andhence trick environment friendly consumers. Such images or words aredisplayed in the in the products employing the green washing strategyas shown below.
Weare justified to ask what actions have been taken by the governmentin the many existing cases of green fraud (Knufken, 2010 The FederalTrade Commission’s task is to provide consumer protection from suchbusinesses, which are typically misinterpreting their businesspractices to the unsuspecting consumers. In this case, the commissionis still making recommendations as well as implementations that areaimed at controlling or regulating the environmental marketingguidelines. As a conscious environmentalist, it is thereforeimportant to be cautious against green-washing. Green-washing is amarketing strategy that many business communities adopt through thistype of deceptive green marketing. In this regard, it is advisable tocheck products carefully and establish other endorsements from mainlythird-party groups such as Energy Star or Ecologo. Additionally,eco-friendly consumers could check out the products’ website to tryand find out additional information that could be of help.
Asan environmentally conscious consumer, one looks out for particularproducts that are assumed to have certain traits or characteristics.Some of them are greener, higher quality, which can save both moneyand time, which preserves the environment and one with prospects ofhealthier alternatives. However, this noble action is under threatsby the green-marketing strategy that is characterized bygreen-washing. Many businesses ate thus creating many products whichhave green claims, hence misleading or confusing the consumer. Suchbusinesses that adopt this kind of marketing strategy tend to risktheir business reputation or credibility. This is because actions maybe taken against such businesses for deceptive marketing that isassumed to be unfair to the consumers. In addition, in case suchconsumers learn about those deceptive advertisements, there is a highlikelihood of shifting their loyalty to more trustworthy businesses.
Whatconsumers should look out for?
Itis important for environmentally conscious consumers to be able totell the differences between genuine and in-genuine products.
This can be achieved by being in a position of determining a company’s commitment towards sound environmental policies as well as sustainability.
There are many greening companies which have been known to have specific attributes that make them leaders in the course of environment protection. Many of these companies are normally visible with very clear visions that are known to make environmental issues a corporate priority.
Consumers are advised to check the product details and ensure that relevant information is clearly available on corporate practices in relevance to environmental issues. Some of the details to watch out for includes the business relationship and partnership with other non-profit organizations such as the ISO and the United Nations Environment Program. All these organizations are aimed at promoting and reporting on social, environmental and economic performance.
Consumers can also check the labels to verify whether they contain endorsements from institutions like eco-labels, USDA’s Certified Organic and Energy Star. These are ideal credible third-party labels that may assist the consumers make an informed purchase.
KnufkenDrea. (March 2, 2010). TheTop Greenwashed Products in America.Retrieved from,<http://www.businesspundit.com/the-top-25-greenwashed-products-in-america>June 17, 2016.
ChevronToxico. Chevron’s “We Agree” Campaign Exposed. Retrieved from >http://chevrontoxico.com/news-and-multimedia/we-agree. Date Accessed.June 23, 2016