Green Marketing and Greenwashing

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Media

Document 1

Through the requirements of the law or simply because of worries about their image, several companies have really changed their mode of production as well as consumption with an aim of showing their consumers they are going green. Companies are communicating and making big campaigns about their new policies, new production methods and their concerns about the environment and therefore everything seems green and the problem of pollution as well as global warming appears to be solved. However, this is not the true picture of what is happening because many company’s green adverts are greenwashed and not real commitment to the sustainable development (Walsh et al np). The notion of “green” in marketing, packaging, advertisement, product or even in consumers means that something or someone is aware of the environment and its preservation. Many companies have adopted green advertisement techniques because they want to attract more consumers to buy their products. However, the companies are not truly commitment towards ensuring the safety of the environment as they claim to be from the adverts they make and his has raised a lot of concern from the consumers and other environment protection organizations. Over the past years, companies have been painting a responsible and green image towards the consumers without taking active actions to support their claims. Greenwashing is the act of misleading consumers by creating an environmental friendly perception of a company or a product with an aim of restoring their image and creating benefits (Walsh et al np). Today the practice of greenwashing is used by several companies such as Shell, Coca-Cola, BP, MacDonald down to many other small companies.

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In addition, use of environment claims in advertisement is very common in auto-manufacturers such as Toyota that claim to sell cars with “ultra” low emissions of gas. The campaign appears to be facially eco-friendly, however, a closer examination of the facts about the plant bottle gives all the reasons to believe that Coca-Cola company has been tricking its loyal customers all through (Walsh et al np). Looking at the plant bottle itself, it is made up of a plant based material up to 30 percent and critically looking at this claim, then it can be anywhere between 1%-30%. The entire campaign aimed towards ripping-off consumers and it is also environmentally harmful. The company does not have a good track record as far as protecting the environment is concerned. Most of the packaging materials used by the company have not been environmental friendly and have really caused a lot of harm to the environment.

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The entire campaign was greenwashed because looking at the components used to manufacture the plant bottle, it is very hard to notice any difference and therefore this packaging materials bears the same risks associated with plastic bottles. The plant bottle does not easily biodegrade, pollutes our oceans and soils and has the potential of leaching chemicals into our food. The plant bottle harms human health due to the fact that plastics release chemical compounds such as acetaldehyde which has been linked to various types of cancer. In summary, the ad does not really give the true picture of the company’s commitment towards environmental sustainability and development and therefore it is true to say that the efforts made by the company towards this campaign do not meet the objective of protecting the environment.

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It is therefore important for the company to direct its resources and efforts towards running campaigns aimed at recycling their products and doing away with the bottle itself. Producers will always produce what the market needs and following the growing demand for green products, the producers have no choice rather than producing exactly what the consumer wants. This is the main reason why many companies have gone green. However, many companies are not genuine in their advertisements because they reveal something different from what consumers expect. Over the past years the problem of greenwashing has been experienced from several companies and this is unethical. The plant bottle from the Coca-Cola company has been greenwashed by claiming that it is environmental friendly yet this is not true.

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