Everyone is going green, or so they say. Even large corporations have found that touting their environmental policies looks good to the consumers. It seems as if the ecological bandwagon just keeps getting fuller but what are those corporations actually doing to make our world a better place for us and for future generations? Many are doing something but each corporation also seems to have their own ideas as to what “going green” actually means.
NBC was not the latest to get on the bandwagon but they did jump up on a soapbox with their recent “Green is Universal” promotion. NBC’s Web site states that it was “a week of green-themed programming aimed at entertaining, informing and empowering Americans to lead greener lives.” Environmental themes ran through all of prime time throughout the week and some shows took up environmental activities such as the Days of Our Lives crews adopting a park in LA. NBC spends an entire week on environmental programming and promotion, on air and on its website, telling consumers what they can do to reduce their environmental footprint on the world. What the website does not state is what NBC itself is doing to make its company cleaner. There is no mention on how NBC could have produced its shows for that week in a more environmental manner.
Perhaps this is because NBC is actually owned by General Electric and General Electric has been touting its own environmental policies for some time now. GE states on its website that it is working to cut the greenhouse emissions that its industries put out and that it is working to make the technology it produces more environmentally friendly.
General Electric also has its own promotion called “Ecomagination”, an environmental play on their tagline “Imagination at Work”. The website Ecomagination shows General Electric’s work in solar and wind power as well as what GE is doing to clean up older technologies such as coal plants and trains. Unfortunately, General Electric believes that green technology can include nuclear power plants and that the cleaner energy and extra safety measures they put into their plants outweigh the risks of it blowing up.
Other corporations see going green in their own ways. Ford and Chevrolet spout environmental jargon and cleaner cars, which is true on one hand while the other still produces extra large SUV’s. Dupont says it is working to reduce greenhouse emissions and water consumption while increasing the efficiency of the fuel their trucks use and buying more their energy from renewable resources. Home Depot has a large environmental policy that includes recycling and conservation as well as greener packaging and products and they say they work to only buy wood from non-endangered forests. Even FedEx is trying to add hybrid vehicles to their fleet but costs have kept them from putting more than a few on the road since 2004.
These corporations have not seen as much negative publicity as Wal-Mart has previously about their environmental policies. Wal-Mart has many policies now in place to try to reduce their environmental impact by gradually eliminating the energy they use from non-renewable resources, eliminating the waste they put back into the world and by selling sustainable products. The only problem is how many of those sustainable products are actually making it to the local Wal-Mart. In 2005, organic cotton apparel was put into some Sam’s Clubs and very quickly sold out. The website comes across as if this is wonderful but does not state what they have been doing since 2005 to get these products to the consumer because there does not seem to be a wide assortment of organic cotton apparel to choose from at the local Wal-Mart.
Corporations seem to be better at telling everyone else what to do to make the world a better place, then picking and choosing what they want to do to lessen their environmental footprint. Consumers are more ready to buy greener products and live in a greener world than they ever have been before but they may have to wait until it is cost-effective for the larger corporations to make those products and services.
Information On Environmental Policies of these corporations found on these Web sites.