Green Messages Can Confuse Consumers A growing number of consumers want to show their concern for the environment by purchasing environment-friendly products. But now the question has emerged — how do you define a "green" company?
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Green Messages Can Confuse Consumers

Green Messages Can Confuse Consumers

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A growing number of consumers want to show their concern for the environment by purchasing environment-friendly products. But now the question has emerged — how do you define a "green" company?

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

YUKI NOGUCHI: Here's the problem: when a company spends millions of dollars on television ads and a green and yellow flower logo you start to think this is good for the planet, even if what you're doing is buying gasoline.

PIERRE BERTHON: They call themselves Beyond Petroleum. Well, if they were beyond petroleum then the majority of their business would be in alternative energies. But 99 percent or 95 percent of BP is still focused on petroleum.

NOGUCHI: Meanwhile, Nike gets a bad rep, even though it recycles shoes and uses organic material. It ranks ninth on Berthon's worst list. In other words, consumers are a little confused. But that's to be expected.

BERTHON: I think, as a society, we're learning the language of environmental responsibility, and the rules haven't been agreed upon as yet.

NOGUCHI: Yuki Noguchi, NPR News, Washington.

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