Friday, 1 February 2008


There was an article in the Wall Street Journal the other day about how companies are (or are not) becoming more environmentally aware. It used the word greenwashing. It’s a useful term to describe companies that are making exaggerated claims for their environmental attitudes and initiatives in order to impress their customers, shareholders, employees, etc. (it’s not just customers that will be significant in this respect).

It’s unfair to pick on any one company since many are guilty, but it just so happens that a press release from Microsoft passed our way this week which falls into this category. Microsoft seemed to be claiming some Green credibility simply through association with a client that produces environmentally friendly household and personal care products. It went on to make other claims such as the fact that the drill-down features in the reporting part of its solution to the client was more environmentally friendly because it meant fewer reports are printed. Now ask yourself, is this feature there because it’s Green?

EDS also sent round an email this week pointing out that it has added an Environmental Sustainability section to its web site (it’s here). Not greenwashing, but you could easily jump to the conclusion that it’s the sum total of EDS’ environmental awareness. In fact, as usual, the company is moving in the right direction but left behind by the mighty IBM PR and marketing machine.

© The Green IT Review

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