the grass is greener on the internet

Green is the new yellow
September 8, 2008, 6:38 pm
Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , , ,

I have a lot of arguments with people about whether or not being environmentally friendly is a waste of company resources…

I really believe that there are a lot of instances where making a bit of effort to be ‘green’ is definitely in a company’s best interests. Cutting energy wastage, for example. But with environmentally-friendly consumer choice magazine G Magazine pushing ‘green’ companies into the spotlight, it’s not just about conscience but consumption. The magazine itself claims to be carbon neutral and use fully recycled paper. (I wonder if their paper is also carbon neutral?)

This will be seen especially with their ‘Green Book’  (based on their Green Directory) to be released in about a month and sold alongside the magazine. The difference with this directory is that the 1500 companies to be listed have been picked out by G Magazine, unlike with competitors the Green Pages (which has gone the other way and launched its own magazine) and the Australian ‘broad’ (read: scared of complaints) EcoDirectory.

What will this really mean, though?

Green-washing needs more than just putting a fancy name on a product. The coffee industry is rife with certifications programs, but unless consumers have some kind of understanding of what the label means they won’t pay a premium, as discussed on brandchannel. And even though most consumers aren’t going to dig into the whole process in detail to check you’re telling the truth, it only takes one carefully placed media investigation to unravel you (whether it’s true or not – jury’s still out on the Heart Foundation tick).

Meanwhile, certification programs like FairTrade have spent so much time and effort to build their image, which has only more recently started translating into a change in consumer behaviour. (Other established brands like ‘Made in Australia’ may not even see any changes in some goods.)

I note that none of the directories have direct links to their selection/screening criteria on their homepages, which is surely the first thing any conscientious consumer is going to want to read.

Can anyone now just come up with their own certification labels? Even if it’s for their own products? And will the added value be enough to overcome the resulting price premium?

What does green really mean?

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks for mentioning G Magazine in your comment.

To answer your question: yes, the paper on which G Magazine is produced in 100% recycled post-consumer waste – although the cover is 55% recycled with the balance being virgin paper from well managed forests. Both are a href=”” target=”_blank”>FSC certified. And yes, it is carbon neutral: when we offset out operations at G Magazine, we do so for everything we do – from the point of commissioning a story and designing it to printing and milling the paper, right to the point of sale.

Do we encourage consumption? Definitely. People are going to to consume anyway – buy clothes, food, electricity etc – we just encourage that consumption be on products tat have a lower impact.


Wilson da Silva
Editor-in-Chief, G Magazine

Comment by Wilson da Silva

Thanks for the reply Wilson, it’s a pretty impressive operation you have going.

Just to clarify – the consumption comment was intended to mean that companies can feel better and get better results at the same time. Sorry if it came off in a negative way!

Looking forward to seeing the Green Book! Good luck with it.

Comment by katherineliew

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