Soundview Executive Book Summaries


Say No to Greenwashing
September 5, 2008, 6:39 PM
Filed under: Strategic Management

 

Going green is the socially responsible thing to do, but according to marketer, author and blogger John Grant no one agrees on what “going green” means. He plans on changing that.

Grant’s most recent book, The Green Marketing Manifesto (John Wiley & Sons, 2008), aims to educate readers about corporate sustainability and give them a solid understanding that green marketing needs to be both commercial and environmental, while encouraging marketers to “ditch the old 20th century marketing and hang onto [their] creative problem solving instincts.”

One of the most important issues that Grant breaks down is the issue of greenwashing—making something normal seem greener than it actually is — and labels it as one of the largest sins of green marketing. If readers take nothing else away from this book, it must be that though greenwashing can often seem harmless, it will be the end of a company’s credibility with its customers and the public in general.

Grant is passionate about green marketing and sustainability, practicing what he preaches; on the second page of the book is the statement of sustainability. “[The book] is printed in vegetable ink on acid-free paper, responsibly manufactured from sustainable forestry in which at least two trees are planted for each one used for paper production.” Of course, it only makes sense—you don’t stand to have any credibility left if you can’t be bothered to practice what you preach.

Ultimately, The Green Marketing Manifesto is a combination of a tutorial and inspiration for readers. “We need marketing that does good,” Grant writes, “rather than marketing that just looks good.”

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