Green Leaders vs. Greenwashers

December 2, 2009
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Are you a good green leader or a greenwasher? Here’s more from Jonathan M. Estes in book, Smart Green: How to Implement Sustainable Business Practices in Any Industry—and Make Money (John Wiley & Sons, 2009), which should be required reading for anyone looking to market green and green tech services.

Today, if you are not working to improve the environment and social equity, you are potentially out of business,” says Eric Friedwald-Fishman, president and creative director of the Metropolitan Group, in the book.

As Estes concludes, leaders deciding to implement their vision of a sustainable organization have to realize their role as a servant to the community and a steward of the environment.

Here are the characteristics Estes gives to both effective green leaders and greenwashers:

Good green leaders

  • Aware of social, environmental, and economic indicators of their community.
  • Planning for sustainability based on their ability to implement and maintain.
  • Seeks insights from mentors and sector experts, as well as from no-profit, policy and government sectors.
  • Measures success on profit and expanded footprint of company, employees products manufacturing, delivery, extraction and waste.

Greenwashing leaders

  • Aware of specific indicators for industry and customers only.
  • Planning based on immediate competitive advantage.
  • Seeks insights from trade periodicals, sector experts and internal team members only.
  • Measures success from profit and expended footprint of company only.
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One Response to Green Leaders vs. Greenwashers

  1. Robert Hefkey on June 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    The washers win because they can. There is no one to stop them from doing such and there are no measures or penalties. … No EPD’s.

    I do not want to seem jaded and I refuse to be BUT if this is not able to be controlled then the consummate sales person will tell you want they want you to hear. usually price wins. … There is a phrase, “The Race to the Bottom”. … As long as the economy is in this state then that is what will take precedence.

    Sorry to be real, Cheers and Good Luck!

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