Woopee look at me I'm green!
Date: May 29, 2015
James Adonis is one of Australia's best-known people-management thinkers
It's all the rage for businesses to strut their environmental credentials. Do you buy it?
Countless businesses publically profess their environmental sensibilities then proceed to trash the planet.
In the recent past, businesses engaged in philanthropy and environmental practices without fanfare. It was just the right thing to do. That no longer seems to be the case. Doing something good for the planet or for a favoured charity is now a carefully crafted marketing strategy. The primary intent is symbolism – an attempt to nab more customers, rather than make a real ...view middle of the document...
Consumers are no different. It's similarly baffling, for instance, when avid climate-change advocates rabidly eat meat, seemingly oblivious to the causal relationships between the two effects. Their actions contradict their militant-like rhetoric.
There are additional examples that demonstrate this distinction between advertising and deed. Coca-Cola has come under attack for its new Life product, which is designed for "balance seekers" – that is, balance seekers who still desire ten teaspoons of sugar in one drink. Likewise, Snowdale Holdings is being investigated by the ACCC for allegedly incarcerating 17,000 chickens in one barn – while publicly claiming their eggs were "free range". And then there's the NSW government, which professes its ambition to create more local jobs, but apparently has plans to outsource hundreds of its own to India.
A new study published this month in the Journal of Business Ethics further explores this conundrum. The researchers interviewed individuals from eight countries who'd been tasked with...