Green vs clean technology - How to prevent "greenwashing" fundamentally
As an operator of a global platform that promotes a transition to electric vehicles I obtained an insight that may be of value.
I have noticed the hype around 'green' products first hand and while any initiative to spur environmentally conscious business is to be welcomed, my experience has been that the concept green may not drive companies to exceptional performance - i.e. to 'deliver results' - when it concerns the environment.
The term green is used as a marketing term to drive sales in markets of environmentally conscious customers. However, as is evident from the term greenwashing, commercial exploitation of the concept 'green product' can lead to abuses that ultimately undermines the market potential for environmentally friendly products and thereby cause damage to the required results to protect the environment.
My suggestion for a solution is a change of frame of thinking and to change from the term green to clean.
With the term clean, companies will be inclined to think much further than with the term green.
The term green communicates a vague ambition while the term clean communicates a commitment to results.
In the case of electric vehicles, mere electric propulsion would be sufficient for a vehicle to be marketable as green.
With the term clean, a manufacturer will be inclined to look much further and also consider the materials used, the source of fuel used once the vehicle is in use by customers and even beyond the vehicle, to look at the economic impact of a product (a clean vehicle will provide maximum cost saving on the long term) and societal impact.
A clean product cannot be other than what it is referenced to be and companies will be demanded to deliver results.
When customers opt to buy 'environmentally clean' marketed products, they cannot be blamed for buying into a vague ambition based hype. Instead, customers can continue to press sellers to deliver on its promise with ultimately the best result possible for both the environment, economics and society.
I am looking forward to your responses.
For inspiration: cleantechnica.com (a blog with which I am not affiliated)