Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Perils of Going Green

Fast Company has an article about how Clorox struck up a partnership with the Sierra Club when it launched its Green Works line of more environmentally friendly cleaners. The deal means that the Sierra Club label to appear on all Green Works products. Naturally, the environmental organization receives a payment in return for the use of its logo. This partnership has been very beneficial for Clorox, but it has created much internal furor within the Sierra Club. Some members apparently do not agree with this type of commercial deal.

This case illustrates the perils of "green" strategies, both for the for-profit firms and the environmental organizations. In this case, the environmental organization found itself on the hot seat for its commercial tie-ups. In other situations, we find that firms who are trying to "go green" find themselves inviting much more scrutiny than they had ever experienced. Sometimes, claiming progress on the environmental front only invites more attention, and perhaps criticism, from various constituencies and activitists. In sum, becoming more environmentally friendly has many merits, but it can be a perilous activity for all involved.