Jacquie Ottman's
Green marketing Blog

Jacquie Ottman's Green Marketing Blog

A Better Approach to Tackling Greenwashing Than Pointing Fingers

I have been doing a lot of finger-pointing of late in response to Terrachoice’s latest 2010 Sins of Greenwashing “Home and Family Edition”. Two wrongs don’t make a right. So, let me clarify my position—and in keeping with my normal positive self, offer some concrete suggestions for moving the industry forward.

Rather than analyzing green marketing claims as they appear on the shelf and concluding there’s either something ill-intended about the marketers’ making them (however, clumsily tongue in cheek), or that greenwashing is nearly impossible to avoid, let’s start by …Read more...

 

Terrachoice’s Sins of Greenwashing Report—Time for Industry Self-Regulation?

dried green paint Most of you are familiar with      Terrachoice’s “Seven Sins of   Greenwashing” report.  On a webinar aired in late October, CEO Scott McDougall admitted that his firm never intended to be malicious in their use of the term, “sins”.  He believes that most of the “sins” of greenwashing being committed today are really not sins at all, but rather, inadvertent missteps. 

Call me literal, or not a fan of hyperbole, but I believe that calling, in effect, …Read more...

 

Green Marketing Myopia and the SunChips “Snacklash”

SunChips bagsMany marketing experts have weighed in on what they believe to be the reasons for the current backlash against SunChips’s new compostable chip package: excess noise. If you somehow missed it, consumers complained so loudly about the snack food’s new environmentally preferable but noisy corn-based bag  that the brand reverted to the old packaging for most of its line. Before we blame consumers once again for not sacrificing a little inconvenience for the sake of the planet, let’s …Read more...

 

EPA’s Role in Advancing Sustainable Products—and You

EPA logo

According to a new entry in the Federal Register, EPA is now soliciting individual stakeholder input regarding the Agency’s role in the “green” or sustainable products movement. The Agency will consider the information gathered from the Federal Register notice as well as from other sources as it works to define its role and develop a strategy that identifies how EPA can make a meaningful contribution to the development, manufacture, designation, and use of sustainable products.

This represents an important opportunity for …Read more...

 

Opportunities for Marketing to the Green Consumer

Consumers buy over $200 billion of natural personal care and cleaning products, organic produce, hybrid cars, fair trade coffee, compostable plates and cups, and other green products and services.

Please join me on February 4, 2010 (in New York City) for Opportunities to Market to the Green Consumer.  Network with members of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club and other senior marketing professionals from New York.  Listen to green marketing practitioners from HSBC, Ozocar and Sundance Channel talk about opportunities to build green brands, innovate new products and services, and …Read more...

 

Eco-Logos: A Double-Edged Sword?

Eco-logos are all the rage - but how valuable are they as a green marketing tool? Are there some hidden risks that warrant a second look? Let's consider the three ingredients of an effective marketing logo - green or otherwise - and their implications for the savvy eco-marketer.

Here are the three factors at play:

1. Recognizability. Eco-logos can reinforce green messages, a welcome benefit for sure. But of the myriad eco-logos on the market, only a few are known to consumers. They consist of the, chasing arrows recycling logo, …Read more...

 

How to Avoid the Carbon Offset “Gotcha” Game

In a market that demands nothing less than completely honest, ethical, and authentic corporate communications, it can sometimes seem like no green deed goes unpunished. The NFL catching flak for its not-quite carbon neutral Super Bowl 2008 is a case in point.

For the second year in a row, the National Football League plans to offset "100%" of estimated emissions associated with the Super Bowl. Sounds pretty good, right? The NFL is taking positive climate action, from buying renewable energy certificates to replanting acreage lost to wildfires. Unlike …Read more...

 

Play Ball with a Polluter—or Not?

ExxonMobil is coming around to the fact that a green reputation is necessary to compete. Among other steps, they are investing in their R3M technology to remotely detect oil and gas and reduce drilling. From a marketing perspective, they are running an extensive campaign in major dailies and newsweeklies, and among other things, are sponsoring the Washington Nationals’ LEED-certified baseball park.

But not everyone is so comfortable with Exxon’s green marketing efforts. Sponsorship of the baseball park is drawing flack from environmental activists, who are pressing the Nationals to …Read more...

 

It Isn’t Always So “Friendly” Being Green

Don’t join the growing number of marketers throwing around phrases like "environmentally friendly,” “Earth friendly," and "ozone friendly." While such claims have a calming ring, they can be very misleading. The simple fact is, there is no such thing as an "eco-friendly" product; all use resources and create waste to some degree. To avoid such confusion in the marketplace, the Federal Trade Commission introduced its Environmental Marketing Guidelines in 1992. Some key takeaways:

—Be specific. Marketers are liable not only for inaccurate statements but also for consumers' misinterpretations of …Read more...

 

Before They Buy, Consumers Have to “Buy It”

Back in December 2004, HSBC became the first major bank to commit to carbon neutrality, aiming to improve energy efficiency, buy "green electricity," and then offset the remaining carbon dioxide emissions using carbon "allowance" or "credits." As a global bank with numerous offices and branches gobbling up significant amounts of fossil fuel-generated energy, HSBC made a smart strategic move by committing to carbon management. And the scope of that commitment, paired with the strong business case for action, gave HSBC the credibility it needed to deliver an effective sustainability-focused marketing …Read more...

 

FTC Takes on Green Packaging Claims—And Not a Moment Too Soon

As companies scurry to appeal to a fast-growing eco-consumer base, the Federal Trade Commission is stepping in to bring clarity to the arena of green marketing. As I write, numerous stakeholders are developing their testimony for an April 30 hearing on environmental claims for product packaging. Here’s a rundown of the key issues, and why they’re becoming more important by the day.

In January, the FTC held hearings with the goal of updating its Green Guides to include standards for the marketing of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates. …Read more...

 

What Green Marketers Can Learn from Prius’ Success

Hardly a week goes by without Toyota’s Prius making green marketing headlines. Let's take a step back and analyze why this product has been so wildly successful, attracting a broad swath of consumers — and not just deep-green ones — like a powerful magnet, all the while creating a new definition of automotive cool. By Jacquelyn Ottman

Let’s start with the car itself. Its distinctive styling and unique silhouette acted as a moving billboard for the new technology. Inside, passengers get all the creature comforts they expect from pricier vehicles …Read more...

 

Page 1 of 1 pages


Search This Site


Subscribe to Our Mailing List

Categories