I find the notion of reversing your carbon footprint interesting – plant a few trees and you’re clear. It’s an excellent concept, don’t get me wrong, but companies are using it as another sales tool, a way to boost their corporate conscience and the bottom line.
The concept of ‘green marketing’ has great irony. Buy more food in cardboard and plastic wrap to take home in your larger, easier to carry, enviro bag. Buy more plastic bottles of Mt Franklin water so Coca Cola can plant more trees on your behalf. I don’t see any major brands saying, “buy less of me, because I’m polluting our environment”.
What I’d really like to see, is Kevin Rudd driving around in a Toyota Prius Hybrid. I’d love to see even more, a politician stand up and say, “I’m not going to print any pamphlets, letters, mail outs or any other unnecessary promotional materials, as my gesture to my environment”. Or even, God forbid, print all their materials on 100% recyclable paper. Yeah right!
I’d really like to see someone get serious about utilising green marketing, to benefit someone else, rather than themselves. Fosters and their Pure Blonde low carb beer introduced a ‘clean space’ idea, finding dirty alleys in major cities, cleaning them up, and installing portable bars made from sustainable building materials. They even planted trees and shrubs, and when the bar was dismantled, the area was left clean and tidy. I really love this concept – as it gives something for nothing, whilst improving brand awareness and reiterating the brand strategy – ‘from a place more pure than yours’. Pure Blonde didn’t offer to off-set the carbon footprint of every beer drunk. They know damn well their bottles are probably littering streets and land fills, doing damage to the environment, so they chose to clean it up in their own unique way.
I’d love to see more brands avoid jumping on the band wagon, and break some new ground with new and innovative ‘green’ ideas, like Pure Blonde has so successfully done.