Stop the presses! Al Gore, the Sierra Club, and environmentalists everywhere are going to need to find a new hobby because global warming has just been stopped. Limousine Eighteen, the international “ground transportation company,” has purchased one hybrid SUV for their fleet of ground vehicles. This was revealed to the world in the form of a mass distributed press release titled, “Boston-Area Limousine Eighteen Joins the Green Movement with Addition of Hybrid SUV to Its Fleet.”
Sure, buying a hybrid vehicle is a small step toward preserving the environment, but the company’s motivation for doing so is a tad suspect. Adding a single new hybrid SUV to a fleet of cars is not enough to justify a press release bragging about how “green” your company is.
A quote from the release:
“Going green in our business seemed like the logical way to move with our fleet, given that the decision is based on ecologically sound data,” said Marc Shpilner, president and CEO, Limousine Eighteen. “If we are going to start the movement as consumers, then we owe it to the environment to think of more ways to make a difference at the work place. Recycling paper, soda cans, more efficient light bulbs, etc. are a great start, but we wanted to go farther. This year, we started discussing getting a hybrid SUV for our fleet.”
They spent a year discussing the pros and cons of buying one hybrid SUV before deciding?
Unfortunately Limousine Eighteen isn’t alone; green-washing is becoming more and more common as consumers really do consider environmental issues when choosing where to spend their money. While it’s laudable (and increasingly profitable) for businesses to take a bigger role in curbing carbon emissions and upping their eco-friendliness, it’s counterproductive to try and grab publicity from relatively insignificant claims.
Today the bar has been raised by companies that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on everything from becoming carbon neutral to cracking down on suppliers for their wasteful habits. If Limousine Eighteen developed a plan to replace their entire fleet with hybrid equivalents by 2012, or discovered a way to run their vehicles on nothing but leftover chicken fat, then that would be something to brag about. These days, making a whole lot of noise about nothing just isn’t going to cut it.