Archive | January, 2014

Not easy being green

20 Jan

When is green not really green? To quote Kermit the great ‘its not easy being green’. We’ve become so used to corporates claiming green, sustainable, organic that we’ve almost become immune to the messages and to whether or not they’re true.

Several years ago I was at a marketing meeting where several of the European Markets wondered aloud whether they should claim some sort of ‘green’ use. At the time green was just becoming fashionable. So if a  fossil-fuel burning engine could in the optimum circumstances get 0.5km more per litre than the competition was that a ‘green advantage’. This is green washing.

Today on the train (granted I was coming home from dropping my car off for inspection) I noticed the below piece of waste.



Plastic lid, paper with a wax coating on the inside and a holder that said ‘made of 60% post-consumer fiber’. What is post-consumer fiber?  I had to google it. Is it recycled material? Technically not actually. It could be non-inked paper that has been re-purposed.

Now I’m not faulting the company. Some of their beans are Fair Trade, they at least try to reduce resource waste. Of course, if they could have the plastic sippy top made from cornstarch and encourage people to take their cups with them and dispose of them properly it would be really great.

But do we pat ourselves on the back these days that our conglomerates are taking care of their environmentally responsibility without really checking if they are?


p.s. in no way is the author implying that Starbucks is green-washing. Wouldn’t know, haven’t checked wouldn’t think so.


Reinventing oneself in 2014?

11 Jan

2014 has dawned, the working world went back to the office this week. We are told that the end is in sight to the current economic crisis and that things will pick up. On the other hand the world has changed, economies have changed and the industrial world has changed. We’re told to celebrate the soft skills and be a knowledge based industry.  I’m hoping that someone will clue the old boys into this news sometimes soon so that the testosterone levels can start dropping at many office. But in the meantime with so many people looking for jobs is it time to reinvent oneself (within the realms of reality) in 2014? Do I need to market skills I might have undersold in 2013? Do I need ot highlight other talents?