J500 Media and the Environment

Can sinners be saved? by angelikeg
October 17, 2008, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Fashion + Beauty, Society + Media | Tags: , , ,

Have you ever made a big mistake? You know, the kind that gets your hands shaking, your heart pounding and your head spinning when you think you will need to admit to it and the consequences are not going to be pretty. Admitting to making a big mistake is not easy. And now big companies that commit green sins are expected to do just that.

For corporations, admitting to having made big mistakes–the kind of mistakes that hurt the planet–might have been unthinkable in the past. But according to a BBMG’s study, honesty is among the five most important values of the “socially conscious consumer.” GfK Roper Consulting’s study also indicates that 74% of a survey’s respondents value transparency and believe that large companies should disclose their impact on the environment. This means corporations will need to shape up if they want to keep consumers spending the green in their wallets on their products and services.

Repenting is not enough. Sinners need to show what they’re doing now to make up for what they’ve done in the past. Walmart, for example, started implementing bold green initiatives two years ago. The retailer admits that it still has a lot of work to do, but at least it’s trying harder. In the meantime, it seems to be scoring points with environmentalists. I’m still skeptical, though. While it’s better to start later than never, as a consumer, I prefer companies that have been true to their values from the beginning, such as Nau. Only time will tell if Walmart and other companies that are “going green” have a sincere intent behind their plans or whether they’re just after consumers’ green dollars. But consumers are getting increasingly savvier about buying and living green. So, the question is: Will confessing their sins pay off for corporate America? Can the sinners change consumers’ perceptions?

Nau’s triple imperative: beauty, sustainability and performance.
–Angelike Gaunt


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Angelike, you bring up a good point, asking whether corporations can be forgiven for their green sins. In the case of Wal-Mart I am also largely a skeptic but have to admit that I like to see one of the largest box stores making changes. Wal-Mart is such a force that it could be an impetus for change among other stores such as Target and the millions of shoppers who visit their stores.

Comment by staceyc08

You’re right, Stacey. Wal-mart seems to be making progress. Whether their intents indicate a real intent to put environmental issues on the agenda or just target more consumer dollars, at least they’re doing something. And it’s better than nothing. They’re making green products available to the masses and that’s a big step in improving accessibility and educating consumers.

Comment by angelikeg

Great dialog, ladies. Angelike, you raise really important questions that we will try to flesh out in our next class. Sadly, Nau has been going through a lot of financial trouble. Here is a link to that info and segment from Sundance Channel on the company: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/emeraldcity/2008/05/bittersweet-eco.html

Comment by j500

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