Greenbusiness and Greenwashing

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Ecology and economy are not necessarily contradictory. The world market of products and services related to the environment thus already reaches 1370 billion dollars a year. This figure could go up to 2740 billion dollars by about 2020. Within the European Union, 31 million jobs are already related to the environment in one way or another.

So, one can make money by being green. This is the idea behind what is known as “green business” or alternately, the green economy. The idea is to produce and install wind turbines, energy-saving equipment, etc. as well as doing what we used to do before, differently. Within each company, an approach that considers the environment makes it possible to reduce costs through eco-conception, by reducing transport, energy and raw material needs, etc.

But beware of greenwashing. This occurs when the environmental cause is used to embellish a brand, a company or a product but the latter is not really eco-friendly. For example, between 2006 and 2007, the number of green adverts almost tripled in France. Some claimed that 4X4s that polluted slightly less were “green”. Also, one must not forget that any company’s primary aim is to make profits. It is not in the interest of some of these companies to change their practices and they will keep polluting if they are not forced to stop doing so, by the law, for example.

As there has been an industrial revolution and an information technology revolution, there could also be an environmental revolution in industry. Looms have been mechanized and typewriters have been replaced by computers. Urban 4x4s could be replaced by lighter electric motor vehicles. Some sectors of the economy might suffer because of it but others will gain. If this is the case, switching to a greener economy will create more jobs than it will suppress.


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