As my friend Mary Clare Hunt preaches it will be Wall Street, not government, that will turn the tides when it comes to impacting "eco friendly" behavior. Business, including venture capital firms, are beginning to put a lot of green lettuce, and we're not talking salad stuff, in support of environmental initiatives. WSJ reports that VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is devoting about one-third of its $700 million investment portfolio to green technology e.g., alternative fuels, fuel-efficient devices.
Mike Italiano, MTS CEO, in a detailed post on MTS' Smart Solutions For Sustainable Business blog, tells us that Green Building Investment Underwriting Standards are expected to add an estimated $1 trillion/year to the global economy after five years.
Mike's post includes a comprehensive list of companies that are involved in the Capital Markets Partnership program. Major cities such as Chicago, New York and Dallas are working along side of high profiled financial institutions JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase CitiGroup Smith Barney. Bloggy disclaimer: I've worked with MTS on the blog.
In the direct to consumer side, grocery stores like Publix and Whole Foods Market are getting into the act with extensive green initiatives. Dell's regeneration goes a step further and incorporates social media involving customers by giving them a platform to express their vision and ideas of how to "clean it up." These type of programs can't help but influence purchase behavior.
Social media is making an impact too. According to research from Nielsen Online protecting the environment has become increasingly important to consumers, with online buzz around sustainability growing 50 percent in 2007. "...consumers are becoming increasingly vocal online about the issue of sustainability... Blogger attention to... issues like pollution, toxins and sustainable agriculture reveal an important intersection between personal health and environmental wellness." Jessica Hogue, research director, Nielsen Online.
As we're seeing "Green" has morphed into a cool marketing strategy. However, Nielsen's research cautions businesses to be careful how products/ are positioned and promoted. "Consumers expect consistency in action and authentic and transparent messaging."
That's not to say that if your organization is doing good why not let your customers know and reap a few atta girl sales. It's not easy being clean .. opps .. green. Thank you to the companies that are working to keep our earth green and our skies blue.