The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

The 6 Most Half Assed Attempts at Corporate Green Washing

Posted by keith on February 1st, 2010

Just been sent a link to this cracking semi-serious article on Cracked.com by David at The Good Human. While I would probably balk at being called an insufferable prick (but I suppose it’s better than being called a Terrorist – see all these links) I go along with everything else here. Pity they don’t bother filtering out their comments…

For a person, “going green” is as simple as recycling more, wasting less and always, always, always behaving like an insufferable prick in social situations. But for a corporation, “going green” can be a much harder task that costs million of dollars, thousands of hours of manpower and often painful company-wide cutbacks.

Or, they can opt to do jack shit and just spend all of their money and effort convincing the public otherwise. This is what is referred to as “greenwashing,” and it works like this:

#6. Who Needs Water When You Have Coca-Cola?

Listen: India is a beautiful, ancient place with a rich and storied culture and we don’t mean to knock it, but it’s pretty damned overcrowded. They’re practically breathing other people right now, and as a result their resources are stretched taut. Water actually still means life over there–as opposed to the Western world where it’s just something that needs to be enhanced with electrolytes or thrown on the t-shirts of girls who hate their fathers.

So when Coca-Cola came to India and started sucking up thousands of gallons of the nation’s precious life-sustaining water each day to make their bottled acid-baths, it kind of rubbed a few (billion) people the wrong way. So to balance out this horrible misappropriation of resources, Coke tried to prove they were environmentally conscious by setting up a donation scheme to help save polar bears… which, of course, aren’t native to India.

Then at a San Francisco business conference, Coke also pledged to go water neutral. Well, actually they said they “aspire to put back” what they “take out.” Aspire. You can aspire to anything; take a poll of a first grade classroom and you’ll get 18 kids aspiring to be astronauts, four aspiring to be policemen, two aspiring to be president and one special child aspiring to be a motorcycle.

Wait, it gets better! Part of the their plan is that if they take all of the water out of one village’s wells, they can become “neutral” by putting the water back… into a different village. You know, like how instead of paying back your loan to your bank, they’ll allow you to just give the money to some random person instead. As long as you’re paying somebody, right?

[Five more of these hideous greenwashes here]

2 Responses to “The 6 Most Half Assed Attempts at Corporate Green Washing”

  1. Les 6 tentatives les plus foireuses de greenwashing | Responsable de communication responsable Says:

    [...] l’intermédiaire de l’excellent Unsuitablog, je suis arrivé sur un article hilarant qui relate 6 cas spectaculaires de greenwashing. Une fois [...]

  2. Viktor Says:

    Am I crying from laughter, or frustration?

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