Climate Change in the Private Sector

A problem that has been plaguing our planet for over 30 years, is our ever changing climate. One of the main causers of this is the private sector, and only 15% of all businesses in the US are actually changing their practices to accommodate the new needs of our planet. Consumers have also begun to take into account which corporations are downsizing their carbon footprint, and are choosing to take their business there. This leads to what  the corporate world calls “greenwashing.” Greenwashing is the term used to describe companies that put on a front of caring for the environment, creating sustainability plans, and producing one product made from biodegradable materials, screaming eco-friendly. The thing with these greenwashing companies is that sometimes their promises made to the public are never followed through on, but they still gain a new millennial target market through false advertising. The big question , however, is how much good will this one product actually do? In order to find answers, two household brands, Walmart and Lush, will be closely examined through a case study to uncover the truth about these brands and their promises.

Walmart was founded on the phrase “save money, live better” and offers affordable goods to the working class. However, when it comes to manufacturing these goods and selling them as cheap as possible, it’s difficult to execute it in the most environmentally friendly way. How does Walmart rectify this problem? By creating their sustainability plan in 2005. In this plan Walmart made many promises and stated how they would help save our environment, but little has actually been done since then. They have begun to cut down on their packaging and producing less plastic, but this was only intended to save money for production. However consumers began to pick up that this was going on and praised Walmart for their environmentall friendly products which started the greenwashing. Greenwashing is the term used to describe companies that put on a front of caring for the environment, creating sustainability plans, and producing one product made from biodegradable materials, screaming eco-friendly.

In the midst of these greenwashing companies, there are a small percentage of corporations that were founded purely for the reason of saving our climate through consumers, one of these being Lush Cosmetics. Founded by Mark Constantine and Liz Weir in a small beauty salon in Poole, England, these all natural products became a staple in any beauty gurus daily routine. They also fight angainst animal testing for beauty products, contaminating our oceans, and putting harmful chemicals into essential beauty products. Lush reported in 2018 that they are currently working towards refitting all their lights in their stores across America with what is called Light Emitting Diodes. LED’s use only a fraction of what regular light bulbs use and last just as long, which is an added bonus. Containing no mercury as well, these light fixtures are estimated to reduce a carbon footprint by almost 6 tons a year.

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