An occasional blog to accompany the business news on BBC Breakfast.

Monday, July 31, 2006

How green is green?

The takeover by Unilever is still exciting comment. Some of you worry that talk of ethical business is just spin.

Anon, Brighton:
Flying ice cream all over the world is the antithesis of ethical.

The company is manufacturing ice cream locally for where it sells the product. We are engaging in a climate change initiative to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the company and individuals as well.

The viewer makes a further point - that companies like yours, which are then taken over by larger corporations, simply give the larger firms an ethical sheen. You're a form of "green wash".

Consumers need to judge companies based on their actions and not on their past accomplishments. Once a company is acquired by a larger corporation, are they still pushing forward with their own initiatives or are they simply being used to "greenwash" the activities of the larger corporate?

Well, what's your experience with Unilever?

I would say in the case of B&J we continue to ask the hard questions and continue to push Unilever to be ever more innovative. It's helpful to be sceptical both for the consumer and the company.


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