Greenwashing and Flash Mob

Do these two terms sound unfamiliar to you?

Of course they are, because if you are Malaysians that is because firstly we are less aware environmentally, let alone environmental marketing, and secondly we are yet to be on a friendly term with ‘demonstration’ and other tools of protesting like this.

So let me describe them to you, with the help of Wikipedia:

Greenwash (a portmanteau of green and whitewash) is a term used to describe the perception of consumers that they are being misled by a company regarding the environmental practices of the company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.[1] It is a deceptive use of green PR or green marketing. A flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse.

Let me tell you why out of a sudden these two terms come into my mind.

I read my email today, and received the usual, weekly announcement of events running for the week from the Communication Officer of Student Union on Greenwash Award 2008. Yes, greenwash award is like the ‘worst performance in movie’ kind of award, given to companies which have successfully green marketing their products, deceiving consumers into thinking that they are really environmental friendly.

So you need examples. Here are some of them:

This one is highly criticised by international greenwash watch. I was hurt of course, having spent 15 years of my life surrounded by palm oil trees, but I should not be biased, should I?

It is deceptive, is not it? Flowers coming out of chimneys – that looks good.

I know why these environmentalists hates greenwashers and big corporates much – they claimed to be environmental-friendly and all, but the truth is they are being, most of the time, minimalists in their approach towards protecting the earth. I will elaborate on this more in other entries later.

Adn the next one, Flash Mob, came into my mind as I saw the link given in the email – on RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), HSBC and E.On being nominated for the awards – I was like : ‘Is that some kind of typo?’ but obviously it is not, try clicking on it.

I’ve just recalled the Flash Mob they were promoting when I attended one of the events during Climate Change Week last month. Flash Mob at RBS stall at recruitment fair – everyone was given a t-shirt with some thing on it -and go flash mob. I was thinking of going – but for some reasons (which partially includes ‘if these people know I am a chemical engineer to be and soon probably work with an oil and gas company, they will probably be a little skeptical!’- not that I deny the important roles of chemical engineers in sustainable development) but later declined the invitation.

But the flashmob was a real success! I should have gone, really (that’s the rebellious me talking!).

You can see the pics here:

See the face of the E.On rep with the coals on the table?

That’s hilarious.

Well again, there is no such thing as clean coal.

And there is no point of waiting until the resources are gone to start investing on a new one, to make an effort to find one.


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