Amid competition for green coverage, you need to prove you’re really eco-friendly
Slap a few fluorescent bulbs into some light fixtures, tell your employees to start recycling their soda cans and keep the thermostat turned down a few notches. Voila, you’re a green business, ready to tell the media how eco-friendly you are!
Or are you? Now that journalists are getting swamped by pitches from organizations heralding their green credentials, the bar has been raised in terms of proving your greenness. As the media becomes more skeptical about claims of being green, journalists will look a lot harder for proof—and they’ll be quick to accuse you of “greenwashing” if they think you’re hoisting the green standard prematurely.
“Reporters don’t want to hear you just say that you’re green,” says Patricia Thorp, principal of Thorp & Company in Coral Gables, Fla. “You can’t just say that you recycle—you need third-party credibility.”