This scenario belies an innovation challenge for cities looking to establish themselves as green leaders. So what is the key to building a strong green brand for a city? And is it worth the trouble?
The Christmas tree lobby fights tooth and nail over the greenness of its respective industries. Does anyone else get a sense that "green" is the last thing on marketer's minds over the holidays? If so, they certainly might be missing something that other marketers' have seemed to notice: consumers do in fact want a green Christmas.
Now is the time to take a realistic look at your company's green initiatives and ask whether or not the practices undertaken are "evergreen" -- promoting not only environmental sustainability, but also sound business practices and solid return on investment so as to be sustainable in good economic conditions as well as bad.
New reports raise the temperature on environmental change.
A new kind of green is sweeping the country. Today's "greens" are not back-to-nature extremists with composting toilets. Instead, they are Americans of every stripe who find tangible benefits out of doing good. They are also businesspeople whose products and services generate more sales, and profit -- another kind of green -- because they can be branded eco-friendly.
The product that opened my eyes to the potential of Good Guide's technology was a skin cream, which showed a reasonable environment rating, good corporate track record (society rating), but contained some suspected toxins for a low health score. A very thorough product profile could be shared via email, twitter or Facebook. The product could also be purchased through Amazon, and the company's other products were also featured. One word: wow.
Whether it's PR or economics that drive green, both will continue to play an important role in the energy and environmental decisions that technology companies make. Says Bill Kosik of HP, "The business case for green could just as easily include increasing market share by taking an aggressive stance on minimizing the impact on the environment as it could include tactical upgrades to optimize energy use."
Smart companies will act as if there is full-cost accounting.
Do I have my own selfish reasons for hoping, praying these new guidelines go live once the 60-day comment period ends? Guilty as charged. But really, how can you reasonably argue against cleaning up green marketing's Wild West?
Marketers and advertisers need to continue to tap into the powerful anger, fear, passion, and hope that green marketing can nourish. However, the next evolution of this trend will require creative and accountable ways of tying green to the human factor.