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Naren Sanghrajka / Droga5

I find the whole phrase ‘Greenwashing’ particularly entertaining.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a passionate Greeny, I love the beautiful creatures, flora and fauna that we need to protect. But what I struggle to get is why people think that any business, any where will do something out the goodness of their own hearts.

The fact is that they won’t, and nor should they be expected to. Businesses sole objective is to make money – whether we like it or not. Hence the whole concept of ‘Greenwashing’ – well isn’t it actually a misnoma, an oxymoron, a contradiction? The idea that businesses use environmental & social causes for their own un-adulterered benefit, is a simple and honest fact.

Businesses do good, to look good. Simple. They don’t do it to help the world. That just happens to be a nice by-product. Let’s face it, people are the same – we do good, to feel good.. (the only exceptions might be Mother Teresa or Gandhi).

This isn’t a bad thing, it’s an opportunity. Making businesses more successful & profitable; all whilst making the world a better place. To name a few projects that have reaped global acclaim: Orange Rockcorps, Woolworths Fresh Food kids, Pepsi Refresh, the X-Prize, Carbon Trading Schemes, micro financing in the developing world, Red, Gorillas in Uganda generating tourist revenue, Council recycling schemes… (oh, and they all did some good for someone who needed help, but didn’t shy away from the real commercial business benefit).

My point is that we need to be realistic and seek practical solutions to global problems. Greenwashing is a dirty word. But using environmental and social credentials to promote yourself, doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

It’s only bad, if no good comes out it for the causes they’re claiming to help.

Naren Sanghrajka, Droga5 Sydney