Over the past decade consumers have become much more environmentally conscious and are making many of their purchasing choices, including online choices, based on companies with good green reputations. That is making it increasingly important for companies to firstly make wise business choices when it comes to the environment and secondly to manage their green reputations -- especially online. While small companies and brands are less likely to have independent environmental watch organizations conduct investigations on them, bigger companies and brands have to manage their green reputation carefully or else they could end up with a reputation crisis like Apple is currently finding itself in.
Last week, the powerful NGO Greenpeace published a report about the top internet companies and their green reputations. The 35 page report details how much energy data companies like Yahoo, Google and Apple use to create the massive internet cloud. According to Greenpeace, the internet is consuming nearly 2% of the worlds power. After looking at a number of influential companies, Yahoo was ranked the cleanest -- improving its reputation with eco-savvy surfers -- and Apple was ranked the dirtiest. For Apple, who has a reputation of being a progressive organization, this is a blow to its reputation and in order to curb the bad public relations that this report will produce, Apple should change its policies and find ways to save more energy. Additionally, the company should send out a press release acknowledging their lack of eco-consciousness and perhaps even launch a campaign to reduce their energy consumption.
Today, in an ever increasingly environmentally conscious consumer driven world, being green isn't just about being trendy. NGOs and other civil society organizations are keeping a close watch on private companies and using the net to share with the world whose really green and whose just green washing. Thus, it's important that you truly know your companies green record and find a effective way to share it with the world and keep your online reputation as clean as possible.