BP is Greenwashing

October 6, 2007 at 4:37 pm Leave a comment

We recently published a newsletter on Greenwashing, the practice of talking the green talk in your marketing and advertising but not necessarily walking the green walk. Essentially, if you’re going to execute a campaign incorporating “Green”, then your actions better be as substantive as your ads or your brand will suffer.

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Iain Conn

BP is going to suffer for they are a Greenwasher. BP has positioned itself as a green brand with their “Beyond Petroleum” campaign and positioning. Well, as reported by Jean Halliday in the August 20, 2007 Advertising Age, BP recently applied for and received a permit from the state of Indiana to dump 54% more ammonia and 35% more suspended solids into Lake Michigan from its Whiting, Ind. refinery. This doesn’t seem green to Sudhu Johnston, chief environmental officer for the city of Chicago, and it doesn’t seem green to me either.

Iain Conn (pictured here) is the chief executive, refining and marketing at BP.
In a profile interview conducted by journalist Judi Bevan and published by BP shortly after Iain replaced John Manzoni, Mr. Conn states that BP’s future success “is about moving towards a far lower carbon energy world by developing solar, wind, natural gas, hydrogen for power and biofuels.” However, in the July 24, 2007 article New BP chief’s anger as profits slip by Robert Lea of the Evening Standard that was published on thisismoney.co.uk, group chief executive Tony Hayward ordered Conn to get his US refineries back up to capacity. Obviously, this requires significantly increased dumping of toxic waste. Which is it Mr. Conn? Will you honor the brand promise you and BP have created or are you merely a greenwashing marketing executive creating and dispensing greenness while it suits the bottom line?

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Entry filed under: "Green" Marketing, Brand Marketing, Branding. Tags: , , , , , , .

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