Monday, July 2, 2012


Developmental activities which are an integral part  of Corporate World  have been in the  centre stage of discussion specially in the context of sustainable development . 4 decades back in Stockholm in 1972 we started discussing seriously the negative impact of various developmental activities on the environment. UN conference on the Human Environment or Stockholm conference that led to creation of UN Environment Program followed by different initiatives  started by  different Nations centring around the conservation of Environment.

It is very well known fact that there is continuous need of various developmental interventions many of which are  much required for the very existence of human race. Corporate World has adopted various strategies to sustain the demand of their products and advertising their products is one of the most important strategies. It is a fact that consumerism has been greatly influenced or developed by the advertising action of the business. Its really surprising to know that the Corporate world has identified the importance of being environment friendly even before the starting of UN conference on the Human Environment or Stockholm conference in 1972. Two years before  on 22nd April 1970,  the first Earth Day  was held on April 22, 1970 where it was decided by  many industrialists  to advertise themselves as being friendly to the environment. According to as estimate, Public utilities spent 300 million dollars advertising themselves as clean and  green companies basically to lure the consumers in the name of eco-friendly or green product or conservation of nature.

In the latest  WWF Living Planet Report 2012 the impact of Corporate advertising is quantified stating  Corporate advertising converts our insecurities into a chain of wants, needs and excessive demands, which have made our ecological footprint exceed the planet's ability to produce resources and absorb emissions — by more than 50%” . So in other words the greed of getting more profit from the businesses of the Corporates is resulting into exhausting of resources at an alarming rate.

The other aspect of “consumerism – advertising relation” is the increased trend of green washing by the corporate world and the enhanced level of awareness in the area  of environmental conservation is main factor for the green washing. With the back ground of consideration for environment the green washing is now becoming the core agenda of advertising for more and more corporates.

The problem with the green washing is that for many of the businesses this environmentalism is not more than a routine and business slogan and a few of them only are committed and concerned towards the environment.

The biggest challenge for the Consumer or Citizen in this context is to identify between companies having genuine concern and those camouflaging their actions with green levels.

Equally pondering fact related to green washing is that money being spent on the green washing is 8 to 10 times more than the money earmarked for the  conservation or environmental protection/ mitigation  measures like pollution control or related research activities .

Whatsoever may be the dynamics of advertised induced consumerism and green washing; the ultimate loss is for the planet earth and its resources.

How can we alienate ourselves from this nexus or look behind the green façade to know the facts?

What is your opinion?


  1. Too bad no one has commented here. I saw this earlier, but my wife and I were on our way to Dänemark and I didn't have the time then.

    I had written a post on this earlier and it hits the nail on the head. Corporate Entities under the guise of something Eco-Green are nothing more than a marketing ploy. Why the heck can't they simply pursue a just cause simply because it's the right thing to do as opposed to the old, "what's in it for me?"

    Governments and Corporations don't do anything these days without some perceived financial reward attached to it. I have no problem to be very honest , with making a profit. After all nothing is free and we need economies to keep running. However there are some projects that truly have value even though an immediate BUCK isn't immediately attached to it.

    For example, what is the dollar value to rebuilding forests? Some may speculate I'm talking about wood products. Hardly!!! Rebuilding forests will actually help regulate climate effeciency which has been disrupted by industrialized nations greed for raw materials to promote their economies. Yet the disasterous weather patterns and increases in earthquake intensities can all be attributed to the misuse and abuse of our planet earth.

    Science for all it's pumped up Public Relations virtues has been directly responsible for our present degradation of how our planet Earth presently malfunctions. Does anybody realize that most Scientists work for big corporations that are creating the present natural world dilemas ? Everything is based on Profit$$$ and there is no such thing as a patient Investor willing to wait years on a return on investment after it's been concluded that their is no danger to the environment. We don't live in a world like that.

    I just realized my text count may be running out, but at least readers should be able to get the point that lables like ECo-Solutions or Green-Innovations don't maen a thing in the real world. It's okay to be skeptical folks.

    1. Thanks for your comments,. In fact one good, relevant and apt response is more than thousand useless comments. I fully endorse your view on the great apathy being shown by the both Governments and Corporations in this direction. All so called initiatives and actions are nothing more than an eyewash.
      I recollect my experience with the Corporate giants while working as Conservator of Forests of Hyderabad Circle 4 years ago.Hyderabad being capital City has a good population of Corporate groups. So in order to get their active participation in a few conservation programmes like Tree Planting in degraded forests i started persuading the matter with them to contribute towards this important sector as a component of their CSR (environmental CSR). But to my surprise none of them came forward to take up such activities which are money consuming with not much of economic mileage. They were more interested in a few eye catching and short term populist measures like ceremonial tree planting, publicity on money saving actions like energy saving and green building adoptions as green initiatives towards the environment and so on.. Except for a few responsible Corporates most of them have just made the green washing as a latest and lucrative business strategy where the people with pockets full with money adopt these products to improve their so called social or celebrity symbol.

    2. You will find most Corporations do things for what I lable "Eye-Candy" or as you put it with public tree planting , "Photo-Opting" for image control. I guess I can post this here without family members being incensed at my opinion.

      This past weekend my wife and I hosted her brother and sister-in-law from spain. He is in a rather an eco-investment & invention business. We were talking about my blogs and what I write about and he stated , yes I've read some of it, but I don't give a F*** if a product is eco-green as long as I make money marketing it as such. It was all I could do to keep my mouth shut and keep peace during the visit with their children present.

      That is most of the European attitude here. Nothing has really changed since the old colonialism days. The EU and North American powers still exploit the rest of the planet for raw materials. The biggest problem is the lack of morality and IF you bring that word into the discussion you are shouted down. The truth is that the world doesn't necessarily need new Eco-Green Products or innovations, it needs everyone doing the right thing and behaving properly with family members, neighbours, etc, but we don't have a world like that. This latest Eco Summit 2012 in Rio is proof of people NOT open to any agreement.

      I read today where a research of over $168 million Dollar$$$ grant over 6 years was awarded to Scripts in San Diego to come up with an AIDS cure. Why can't the world spend less time and money teaching people to behave properly and the consequences of misbehaving ? No that would be judgemental. Eco-Green and Enviro-Solutions won't mean anything without morality, but science doesn't pretend to go there. Often times it's governed and influenced by the exact opposites. Any AIDS cire will sure reep 100 fold times the investment. Can you imagine the Billion$$$ waiting to be made ?


    3. Agreed. I would rather not blame the European and US for the exploitation of resources.In fact with the improving economies the developing countries like India, China, Brazil etc are also in the process of making two distinct classes of people within their own territories (developed and developing )one having access to all resources and other struggling to survive even for basic amenities like water, breathable air and decent housing.So the main issue is the change of mindset followed by frugal lifestyle . But these traits are very difficult to adopt in today's materialistic world fueled by ever developing marketing strategies of corporations making all of us slave to consumerism.

    4. I'm posting something this evening on my blog and I'm asking a question to everyone around the planet if their are noticing a strange unnatural furitless season with regards to any type of plant growth, be it trees, shrubs, grass ANYTHING this year. Things are clearly getting bizarre and scary.

      As far as consumerism, in the old days people aquired things over a lifetime, but today's advertising presses people to spend and want it now. Young people are not encouraged to be furgal or thirfty, but materialistic and selfish and to do whatever it takes to attain these goals. Hollywood Celebritiies, Sports Stars etc are held up as shining examples and they are anything but examples if living a happy life. There is this thing called a Social Contract between governments and it's citizens and it goes as citizens agree to obey all laws & tax regulations and Governments agree to provide a measure of healthcare, economy, evironmental safety and protection from harm. But does anyone really believe these things will happen ? Here in the EU they are panicked. All these long believed in government social welfare benefits & entitlements have made the average citizen lazy. The modern day enlightened society as taken over by the modern social progressives who now dictate how life should be lived have effectly disrupted any normal traditional family life which has always been the backbone of all civilization. The average citizen now protests when these government cutbacks on benefits takes place because their are generations here who have never been taught to care for themselves, but depend only on government programs.

      Many of these folks are mentally displaced from reality. They don't seem to understand that governments simply cannot just print new money to pay for things. They don't really fathom that these programs are not free, there is a cost factor behind them. The family institution here in Sweden is so far down the drain because the believe is that government should take care of and provide for the elderly. There is no concept of many generations past here in Europe where close families take care of their elderly, NOT government.

      I should stop here for the moment, but if social welfare payments to those who refuse to work here could be channeled into a work for food program with conservation projects like the old days, it would create a feeling of worth and accomplishment in some of these folks, even if you have to force some to see it. Ultimately the mindset of modern society has changed. Here in Sweden, the land I always thought was A#1 on the list of all things eco-green isn't even in reality close to that.

      They pursue a massive program of Industrial Forestry here and Swedes won't do the work. They have to import Africans as seasonal workers to plant trees, which admittedly is strenuous work under some tough mosquito infested situations. Much like the Lingonberry and cloudberry picking season where people from Southeast Asia are conned into coming here and picking berries and making a small fortune in monies to take home. The reality couldn't be further from the truth and every year the poor folks who come here are cheated out of pay and stranded without visa or fare for going home.

      Incredibly, I always thought this was a USA problem if you believed the media. MY my my my my!

      Just noticed you posted something new --> Thanks - Kevin