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Can “Going Green” Improve Business?

April 22, 2011

Today is Earth Day, the one day of the year when people actually stop to smell the roses. Trees are planted in local parks, kids release ladybugs into the gardens, teachers stress the importance of recycling, and businesses of all sizes go green for the day. But can going green for more than a day be profitable and improve business?


Today, Greenpeace released its first ever “green” report of tech companies, so for this Earth Day we thought we’d take a time-out from our usual marketing plans and pr strategies and consider the green alternative. While Apple and Google have seen ridiculous surges in profits over the past year, both have been rated very differently by Greenpeace.


The report from Greenpeace titled “How Dirty is Your Data?” ranks the ‘greenest’ and ‘dirtiest’ tech companies in the U.S, and Google and Apple, though competitors in the tech world, are on completely different scales in the world of green.


Yahoo comes in as the ‘cleanest’ tech company on the report, followed closely by Google and then Amazon. Apple, on the other hand, comes in dead last. Greenpeace based its report on each companies “energy footprint by examining available information about IT companies and their data centres.”


Will Apple lose enough business to affect their overall marketing strategies and profits? We’re thinking probably not. However, will Google gain a few customers from this news? It’s a definite possibility. With Google investing in wind farms, electric vehicles, and many more secret technologies that I’m sure we have yet to hear about, it could not only decrease their ‘energy’ footprint but increase their profits.


So, what does this tell us about going green for business? According to, most of today's environmental initiatives are not just well-choreographed PR campaigns intended to fool consumers. Instead, many corporations are going green because they've recognized the gigantic profit opportunities in doing so -- and the competitive danger of lagging behind.


Just a little something to think about on this Earth Day.