(4) advocacy — willingness to recommend the company to the economy picks up soon, this drop in carbon prices
others. Nine companies stood out from the consumers’ could also adversely affect the next Regional Greenhouse
points of view: Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Earthbound Gas Initiative (RGGI) carbon offset auction in the north-
Farms, Burt’s Bees, Google, Tom’s of Maine, Kashi, Fresh eastern United States, set for 18 March 2009 (see
and Easy (a division of UK-based Tesco), and Yahoo! Whole www.rggi.org).
Foods and Trader Joe’s scored among the top 10 across all
four metrics. More than 50% of consumers surveyed also For additional information about the EU ETS, see http://
reported either boycotting or ‘‘boycotting’’ (consciously ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/emission/index_en.htm.
buying products) based on companies’ environmental rep-
utations. Source: BUSINESS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, Vol. XX, No.3,
March 2009, published by CCH Inc., a Wolters Kluwer bus-
The research found that companies not currently iness. This article is reproduced with permission.
addressing the consumer point of view in their corporate
reports cite skepticism of consumers’ interest in, or under-
standing of, their environmental efforts; fear of green- Business Task Force To Feed Practical
washing complaints; and a lack of metrics to describe con- Climate Policy Proposals Into UN
sumer perceptions. But based on the results of Earthsense’s
research, these concerns are unfounded. A majority of Responding to an invitation made at the World Eco-
consumers are not only interested, but put their money on nomic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos by Gordon Brown,
products and companies they perceive as sustainable. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 52 companies have
Companies need not fear the negative connotations of joined forces with 34 experts and organizations to create a
greenwashing, unless that is, in fact, the organization’s envi- low-carbon prosperity Task Force.
ronmental strategy. Earthsense’s EBI metrics can be used to
assess and report consumer perceptions. The Task Force, launched at a press conference in
London and timed to coincide with the G20 economic
Earthsense recommends that businesses should not summit in London, will work with government and UN
only tell consumers what they are doing environmentally, officials to develop a set of practical projects and policy
but actively assess current market perceptions, and trends proposals around the world, which will significantly stimu-
in perception over time, to capitalize on consumer interest. late the low-carbon economy from 2010 onwards.
Source: BUSINESS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, Vol. XX, No.4, April An open letter signed by The Climate Group was sent
2009, published by CCH Inc., a Wolters Kluwer business. t