Only the blink of an eye ago, it seems, you couldn’t open a paper or read a magazine without someone talking about how ‘green’ their businesses were and how environmentalism has become a top-line concern. With the economy in crisis, one thing we can predict is that green concerns are going to have to fight a lot harder to stay on top of the agenda. In fact, I was recently involved in planning session for a major corporate event in which the event organizers, who had planned a session on “Green Business”, were told in no uncertain terms that the session was now irrelevant and should be yanked from the agenda.
It will be interesting indeed to see which organizations stick to their green commitments as economic conditions continue to dominate the headlines.
What can we predict? Firstly, that a lot of smaller companies that went into business with a ‘green’ proposal are going to find things very tough, particularly if they are counting on a premium price for greener products. They will be hit not only by the economic troubles of their evironments but by a radical shift in people’s priorities: green may be nice, but if the choice is a green widget or a gallon of gas, it may not be affordable. Secondly, we’ll see companies continue with programs that are green but that genuinely save money or time; while those that are more expensive or inconvenient are likely to be phased out (quietly of course). Finally, we may see the beginning of an era in which items that are both not green and expensive or optional take a beating (bottled water, anyone?).