Thursday, February 4, 2010

Burger King enters Greenwashing Bandwagon

A trend worth watching. Last night I stopped at a remodeled Burger King in Bayamon and found, of all things, spaces reserved for 'hybrid parking'. In disbelief I pondered on what is the purpose of giving an incentive to a hybrid car driver to park close to the door to eat hamburgers, when beef is one of the least green feeds to have.

Handicapped parking, although abused here in the Island, has a purpose and is justified.
Expectant mothers parking, although I dislike, still has an honorable purpose. But a special parking just for having a hybrid? Even when in some cases, being a hybrid has closer emmisions to a regular car (Escalade Hybrid anyone?).

In my opinion doing such an action is plain wrong. Yet 'enviromentalists' all over are pushing bills to incentivate the practice. Even getting LEED points credits while doing so. In the states (why everything American is always good in Puerto Rico) the practice is gaining acceptance in Ikea, Home Depot and now Burger King. That everyone does it does not mean it is good. In my opinion it is all greenwashing (

From Wikipedia:
How to spot Greenwashing
There are many different ways to spot a company that may be greenwashing. Here is a list of things to consider when buying a product to tell whether it’s really green or just advertisement.
Poor use of scientific facts or the lack of any scientific facts.
The use of buzz words like ”carbon intensity”, “sustainable development”, “carbon offsets”, “clean technology”. These terms may be used to distract consumers from researching further into the product.
Look at the seal or environmental label on the product. Some labels like "Green Seal" and a few others labels are credible. They are backed by a strict independent certification. All other eco labels on products are unregulated and the manufacturer has the authority to use them even if the products are not green.
Use common sense. If the claims don’t feel right they may not be. For example is BP greener because they changed their name to a more eco friendly Beyond Petroleum?
Look out for companies that produce green products that actually pollute the environment more by making their products green. For example energy efficient light bulbs save energy, but if not produced responsibly and recycled correctly they can damage the environment more than they help.
Green pictures and pictures of nature can also be used to imply a product is green. Just because a product has flowers or a forest on it doesn’t mean it is green or eco friendly.
Look out for irrelevant claims, mainly, when a company focuses on one small green attribute when the rest of the company or product is un-green.
These are some simple ways to spot greenwashing when you buy a product or see ads on TV. If you feel a company may be greenwashing the best way to verify is to simply do some research. A good site to verify any suspicions is the greenwashing index.
It is the 'green mentailty' presented by greedy marketers that are green by sucking the green cash from stupid executives that offset their guilt by buying carbon credits. That is another story.
Finally, some experience from other jurisdictions:
Why do fast food companies, those that have the worst environmental sustainability, insist on using obscure green technologies? Why things like the Motion Power technology in some parkings on the United States? To give the appearance of being green, and so the clients visiting the store think they are being green by just being there....linkage below
On this case just one word. Why get power from running drive thru vehicles? Isn't it just simpler to get your fat ass off the car and enter the store, instead of waiting 5 to 10 minutes on a line to place an order on a drive thru lane, with the motot idling and eating food in containers that are as large as the food portion you are eating.
In my opinion, this is just corporate greenwashing sold like the Indulgences of days past.
Tags en Blogalaxia

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...