How To Avoid Greeenwashing

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Info on greenwashing, what it is, how to avoid it.

Info on greenwashing, what it is, how to avoid it.

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  • Good afternoon, thank you for joining me in this presentation on how to avoid greenwashing your customers—a guide to marketing your restaurants “eco-nomically” The term eco-nomically is actually two-fold. The first side of that term is economic benefit from “going green”---the cost-savings from reducing energy usage and managing waste. Examples include investing in energy star equipment and/orswitching incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescents. Typically, this is the first step restaurants take since it deals with the relatively “low-hanging” fruit” that show an immediate impact on the restaurant’s bottomline--which is beneficial in this troubling economy. However, the other term is the long-term economic preservation of your customers by being credible in your “green” claims. Because “sustainability” is becoming more prevalent, “green” jargon in advertising has confused consumers on what is or isn’t green. So, today I'll be focusing on the other side of that term, which is how to avoid greenwashing your customers
  • What exactly is this term “greenwashing”? Well, Terra Choice, an environmental marketing firm, defined the term as the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.Companies are trying to figure alternative solutions to improving their “carbon footprint” and findng out ways to market their businesses to the eco-conscious—but there is a fine line between greenvertising and greenwashing.
  • Today I will be focusing more on the other side of the green coin:The call for action in the restaurant industry—why restaurants are being called upon to step up its sustainable initiatives and how they are currently doing itThe consumer effects from “greenwashing” claims—with sustainability as a whole becoming more prevalent in an undefined market, consumers are bombarded with “green” jargon and consumers actually either reward or punish companies that are or are not credible.The Path to sustaining long-term value—how restaurants can market their sustainable initiatives credibly and responsibly.
  • Restaurants are the retail world's largest energy user,consuming almost five times more energy per square foot than any other type of commercial buildingThe average restaurant annually consumes roughly 500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, 20,000 therms of natural gas and 800,000 gallons of water. Using the latest EPA carbon equivalents, that amounts to 490 tons of carbon dioxide produced per year per restaurant, PG&E estimatesRestaurants produce far more garbage on a daily basis than most other retail businesses. A typical restaurant generates 100,000 pounds of garbage per location per yearRestaurants about 2,000,000 gallons of water a yearIf the restaurant industry can dial down the enormous environmental damage it does daily even slightly, it would be huge
  • Retailers can deliver chain-wide energy reductions of 20 percent or more, and easily reduce their carbon footprint by more than 17 percent. For companies making investments in purchasing alternative energy, energy management can have a greater impact on emission reduction, he added.In a challenging economy with rising food and energy costs, every dollar saved.Reducing energy consumption, water use and waste will directly and indirectly impact your bottom line:Lower your utility bills by reducing or streamlining your energy and water use. Spur customer loyalty and attract new customers when you market your efforts. Be on the forefront of any federal or state legislation that is created to protect the environment by reducing energy use now. Waste management through recycling and composting programsPackaging alternatives for plastic and Styrofoam containers such as containers/utensils that are made out of PLA, polylactic acid, which derives from corn, or products made from potatoesOrganic and Local food purchasing is probably the most evident in restaurants right now as more than 1,200 chefs show organics, local produce and sustainable seafood are among the hottest menu trends right now.Interior design and construction is using materials that are made from recyclable materials
  • As restaurants increase their sustainability efforts, so do their “green” claims. Greenvertising as a whole has increased about 7% since 2005, when greenvertising started gain footing
  • Consumers are trying to decipher what “green” really is.
  • Show quick examples/excerpts on the screen about common "terms"--but what do they mean exactly? The troubling aspect about the green movement is that it's new and still needs to be defined, especially for the restaurant industry. http://www.rimag.com/contents/images/archived-images/2007/09/green-chart1.jpg
  • The BBMG Conscious Consumer Report: “Redefining Value in a New Economy,” conducted in conjunction with research partners Global Strategy Group and Bagatto, also finds that 77 percent of Americans agree that they “can make a positive difference by purchasing products from socially or environmentally responsible companies,” and they are actively seeking information to verify green claims.Nearly 30 percent of respondents turn to consumer reports, followed by 28 percent who look for certification seals or labels and 27 percent who read the list of ingredients on products. Consumers are least likely to look to statements on product packaging (11 percent) and company advertising (5 percent), according to the study.Another finding reveals that consumers will reward or punish companies based on their corporate practices. Seven in ten consumers (71 percent) agree that they “avoid purchasing from companies whose practices they disagree with”; and approximately half tell others to shop (55 percent) or drop (48 percent) products based on a company’s social and environmental practices.
  • If more greenwashing means that marketers are increasingly responding to the demand for sustainable products, this could be a positive trend. If left unchecked, greenwashing creates significant risks:• Well-intentioned consumers will be misled into purchases that do not deliver on their environmental promise. When this happens, the consumer’s trust is misplaced and the potential environmental benefit of his or her purchase is wasted.• Competitive pressure from illegitimate environmental claims will take market share away from products that offer legitimate benefits, thereby slowing the spread of real environmental innovation in the marketplace.• Greenwashing will lead to cynicism and doubt about all environmental claims. Consumers will give up on marketers and manufacturers, and give up on the hope that their spending might be put to good use. • The sustainability movement will lose the power of the market to accelerate progress towards sustainability.The challenge and call-to-action of the Seven Sins of Greenwashing is to discourage greenwashing by putting practical tools in the hands of consumers and companies, while still encouraging and rewarding genuine efforts towards sustainable innovation. Will lead to bad PR for your company and you will lose customers and business, which is economically unsound.71 percent) agree that they “avoid purchasing from companies whose practices they disagree with”; and approximately half tell others to shop (55 percent) or drop (48 percent) products based on a company’s social and environmental practices.
  • Gain credibility through certificationsIdentify and supply those green specialty products that mean something special to customers searching to buy green. Make sustainability the core element in your product design, cost management and branding to increase your margins and gain competitive distinction. Make sure you are transparent in your environmental mission and know how your restaurant impacts the environmentDoing green (vs. going green) creates binding customer loyalties generating sustainable revenuesInvest in technologies that reduce costs and emissions to gain sustainable cost control and reduce exposure to higher fossil fuel and water prices. Actions speak louder than words
  • 62 percent of customers choose a restaurant based on their commitment to the environment, so how can you attract and keep those customers?Green Restaurant Association (GRA)US Green Building Council—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (USGBC—LEED)Also, for your products, make sure that your products are certified as wellEnergystar for commercial restaurant equipmentGreen Seal for paper and plastic productsUSDA Organic for organic food

Transcript

  • 1. How to avoid
    Greenwashing
    Your Customers
    A Guide to Marketing Your Restaurants “ECO-NOMICALLY”
    By Jaimee Estreller
    April 27, 2009
  • 2. What is
    GREENWASHING?
    Green-wash—verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service
  • 3. The Birth of GREEN JARGON
    ORGANIC|FAIR-TRADE|
    VEGAN|COMPOSTABLE|
    RECYCLABLE|BIODEGRADABLE|
    LOCAL|ECO-FRIENDLY|
    SUSTAINABLE|NATURAL|
    ECOLOGICAL|PLANET-FRIENDLY
  • 4. Agenda
    The Call for Action in the Restaurant Industry
    The Effects from “Greenwashing” Claims
    The Steps to Marketing “Eco-nomically”
  • 5. A Typical Restaurant’s Carbon Footprint
    490 tons of carbon dioxide per year
    2,000,000 gallons of water a year
    NEWMAN’S RESTAURANT
    100,000 pounds of garbage per year
    Call for Action |“Greenwashing” Effects| “Eco-nomic” Strategies
  • 6. What Restaurants Are Doing
    Target Areas of Improvement in Marketing
    Energy Reduction
    Waste Management
    Packaging Alternatives
    Organic and Local Food Purchasing
    Sustainable Interior Design and Construction
    Call for Action |“Greenwashing” Effects| “Eco-nomic” Strategies
  • 7. “Greenvertising” on the rise
    Call for Action | “Greenwashing” Effects| “Eco-nomic” Strategies
  • 8. PREVALENCE of “Greenwashing”
    “The Seven Sins of ‘Greenwashing’ Report” by Terra Choice illustrates that:
    98% of green claims are "greenwashed“’
    77 % of Americans are actively seeking information to verify green claims
    Call for Action | “Greenwashing” Effects| “Eco-nomic” Strategies
  • 9. Call for Action | “Greenwashing” Effects| “Eco-nomic” Strategies
  • 10. Verification of green Claims By Consumers
    Call for Action | “Greenwashing” Effects| “Eco-nomic” Strategies
  • 11. Risks of “greenwashing”
    LOST CONSUMERS= ECO-NOMICALLY UNSOUND
    Call for Action | “Greenwashing” Effects| “Eco-nomic” Strategies
  • 12. “ECO-NOMIC” Strategies To SUSTAIN Long-term Value
    Call for Action |“Greenwashing” Effects| “Eco-nomic” Strategies
  • 13. GREEN-CERTIFIED
    NEWMAN’S RESTAURANT
    Current “Green” Restaurant Certifications
    Call for Action |“Greenwashing” Effects| “Eco-nomic” Strategies
  • 14. What we Have Learned from “Greenwashing”
    Green marketers and consumers are learning about “greenwashing” together
    The best way to avoid “greenwashing” is to be honest and transparent
    “Going green” provides beneficial cost-savings strategy, but must also be credible if used as a marketing point
    Call for Action |“Greenwashing” Effects| “Eco-nomic” Strategies
  • 15. AN Opportunity FOR A GreenER Future
    “Sustainability in restaurants is huge to me professionally and personally. We can do more, and we will. The restaurant industry needs to lead—restaurants need to hop on board more than the marketing.”
    - Ms. Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association, President (May 2008)
  • 16. QUESTIONS?
  • 17. Sources
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/environment/2008-05-15-green-restaurants-eco-friendly_N.htm
    http://www.greenrestaurants.org/documents/GoingGreenerGuide.pdf
    http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/04/03/study-consumers-lack-trust-in-green-claims
    http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/02/05/82-percent-of-consumers-buy-green-despite-economy/
    http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/03/06/consumer-survey-growth-of-green-consumption-flounders/
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/04/98-of-green-labeled-products-are-actually-greenwashed.php