There's a certain amount of deception about how green a company might be. In the past 15 years the Federal Trade Commission has brought a dozen actions against firms, for deceptive eco-friendly claims.
Gray with the Green
There are also a lot of gray areas with green companies. For example, the auto industry is happy to publicize its hybrids, but not the millions they spent in 2007 lobbying Congress against stricter fuel emissions standards!!!
"Sure, we'll go green - as long as we make money at it."
Companies "go green" not just out of altruism but because it's profitable. The fact is that green initiatives, like energy efficiency, can save companies a lot of money. Not a bad thing but something to be aware of - the good old bottom line still rules.
Looks can be deceiving
Surprisingly, real eco-benefits often come more from concentrating ingredients than the ingredients themselves i.e. smaller containers, concentrated ingredients allow more goods to be shipped at once, saving fuel. Further, it's the Wal-Marts of the world, not the Seventh Generations, who, because of their size and reach, make more of an impact, as they struggle to improve their environmental record and reduce energy costs and waste. Wal-Mart, for example, only sells concentrated liquid laundry detergent which saves more than 400 million gallons of water, 95 million pounds of plastic resin and 125 million pounds of cardboard over 3 years. Who knew?
OK, let's face it, there's no such thing as 100 percent green. Any action, green or otherwise, creates waste and no company can claim a spotless record. That doesn't mean you shouldn't consider green companies for investment - unless they represent something that strictly goes against your personal values. Green food for thought for the next time you're looking at your investments!