In spite of a the litany of columns, reports and studies on the topic of Greenwashing, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwash), it seems that confusion ensues, resulting in more unsubstantiated claims which only serve to make the market more jaded and fussy with those that make them. I think the causes can often be traced to over-enthusiastic marketing teams who forget that what you do matters more than what you say. For these teams and others like them, I offer the following helpful memory device:
Responsible communication is Clive Owen. Children of Men, Clive Owen, especially.
Discounted by many, dogged and committed, often indelicate, the guy backs up his statements and pretty much single-handedly saves the world. No pretentiousness, just results. Action first, communication second. Have you seen this movie? You must.
Greenwashing, then, is Sylvester Stallone, let’s say in Rambo III.
Bless him for his energy and creativity, there’s a lot more bluster than substance here. Overly produced and with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, his performance is wholly unbelievable. He phones it in. The result is a lot of irritation and an immediately forgettable product.
Both get attention, but which would you rather be? Cool and current and relevant and admired? Or somebody… well, somebody used as an unfavorable comparison?
Not that you’ll ever need more than this mental image, here’s some links to deeper research on the topic: