When Newsweek magazine announced the top green companies, I think many of us were scratching our heads when we saw names such as Apple, HP, IBM and Dell. It appears that Newsweek did not do their homework, because all four of these companies fall into the ‘class B’ category of green companies (as described by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics). Class B relates only to job where the duties of the workers involve making the production process of the establishment more environmentally friendly or they use fewer natural resources. By far, this is not what the term ‘green company’ is all about.

We don’t want to lessen the efforts of the above mentioned companies in their goal to create a more green environment within their corporate culture, but by elevating the smaller efforts of the big name giants, we are demeaning those companies that have made incredible strides in really accomplishing the green effort. The well-known names may generate additional readership for Newsweek because the smaller names are mostly unknown. The truly green companies that have made strides of excellence include: SunEdison, First Solar, Locus Technologies and Vestas. These companies have over a fifty percent employment of their employees and/or get a fifty percent or more of the revenues from products that are involved in goods or services that benefit the environment or are involved in the conservation of natural resources.

Exposure of this attempt at green washing should make Newsweek a bit ashamed. Not only should the journalist have accomplished the in-depth research needed, but the editors should have been a bit suspicious when so many big-named companies appeared on the list. This is a typical battle between true journalism and the need to have higher readership that has gone on since the first paper went to print.

So, to assist Newsweek, we might want to define what a truly ‘green’ company might be. These are companies involved in all areas of renewable energy including producers of those products. They can be manufacturers of renewable and sustainable energy equipment such as wind turbines and solar panels as well as companies that are involved in battery technologies and vehicle manufacturers of all electric vehicles. Other ‘green’ companies can fall into the category of the corporations that are following and adopting over fifty percent of their electrical needs, as well as recycling and product generation through avenues that are sustainable and renewable energy use; and that are heavily involved in conserving natural resources. The list is pretty extensive when it comes to the truly green and encompasses all lines of business that we may not have thought of, including green building and construction as well as transportation. There is a database of around six hundred green companies listed in The Green Job Bank which not only lists the companies themselves but the top green employers.

Thanks to the myriad of complete information that is available online, we, the consumers will not allow the misrepresentation of green washing any longer and it will take a lot more than a front page article to prove that a corporation is really a green company.


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