Are you beating yourself up for infractions like pitching a soda can in the trash or forgetting to bring your own travel coffee mug into Starbucks? If you answered yes, then you might be suffering from “Green Guilt.” Are you skeptical of every green marketing claim and more interested in the U.S. presidential election and Jamie Lynn Spears’ baby? Then you probably have “Green Fatigue.” The New York Times reports the green fatigue threshold has been reached. PR and marketing professionals are trying to figure out what to do about it as experts worry the trend will soon die off. “After 18 months, levels of concern on any issue tend to drop off,” said Jonathan Banks, business insight director in Britain at Nielson, in an interview with the Times.
According to PR industry e-zine, Bulldog Reporter, “The problem boils down to misleading and exaggerated environmental claims and ties by advertisers that have consumers caught on an overgrown lawn of green skepticism.” For example, the Times points out that The Advertising Standards Authority received 561 complaints from consumers about green claims in 410 ads in 2007, up from 117 complaints about 83 ads the year before.Where does that leave HP? Our commitment to environmental stewardship isn’t just a passing phase – in fact, it’s built into our DNA as a company, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were pioneers in recognizing that beyond making a profit, a company has a responsibility to enrich the businesses, lives and communities of its customers, partners, employees and stakeholders. Sure, like almost everyone else, we amped up our green marketing in the last year, but our claims are very real. They not only relate to our own commitment to the environment, but also our work to support our enterprise customers green goals. And speaking of our own commitment: Last week HP’s Corvallis site was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as exemplary steward, for making efforts, both internally and externally, to go above and beyond legal requirements for protecting the environment. The Corvallis site has reduced the total amount of electricity use by 6 percent, accounting for 9.7 million megawatt-hours, and invests in 4.2 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year. Congratulations HP Corvallis!