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Posts Tagged ‘Prius’

Is a Prius the best environmental choice?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Why is Toyota, a company that can make a car that gets 55 miles per gallon today, fighting a 35 mpg standard? In a pointed entry in The Huffington Post, blogger and Prius owner Laurie David writes about her disappointment with Toyota’s decision to lobby hard for reducing CAFE standards for automakers. She writes:
“Over the years I watched the Prius go from a weird nerdy car everyone thought you had to plug in to THE car to drive. Friends traded in their SUVs and Jaguars and soon the Prius was everywhere. We all reaped the benefits — customers enjoyed the gas savings, the earth enjoyed the lower carbon emissions, and Toyota enjoyed the limelight. The company deserved all the rewards it garnered for its vision and leadership. Yet now here comes Toyota, fighting to derail a sorely needed increase in fuel economy standards. Toyota’s current actions are unacceptable, depressing, and just plain morally wrong.”

The Natural resources Defense Council (www.nrdc.org) explains the situation this way:
For several years the Toyota Prius has been the car of choice among environmentally conscious consumers, and has helped add more than a touch of green to the company’s reputation. Toyota was miles ahead of other car companies when it introduced the Prius hybrid, which combines outstanding gas mileage with style and comfort — a feat that Big Auto insisted couldn’t be achieved. So Prius fans might be surprised to learn that Toyota is trying to move America backward on fuel economy.

Congress is negotiating an energy bill that could raise the fuel economy standard to 35 miles per gallon, a move that would save America 1.2 million barrels of oil each day by 2020 — more than we import from Saudi Arabia. But Toyota has joined forces with General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and other automakers in an attempt to derail what would be the first improvement in fuel economy standards in nearly 20 years.

Read more and follow the links to send a message to Toyota’s management at: http://beyondoil.nrdc.org/news/toyota.php

Greenpeace publishes site about green-washing

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Under the heading “Green Lies” in the latest bulletin from Greenpeace, the organization states: “These days, green is the new black. Corporations are falling all over themselves to demonstrate to current and potential customers that they are not only ecologically conscious, but also environmentally correct…” The article continues: “As companies increasingly seek to go green, or at least be seen as green, consumers, policymakers and journalists must be able to look beneath this green veneer, and hold corporations accountable for the impacts their core business decisions and investments are having on our planet.”

Green peace defines the term “green-wash” as “Used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.” It lists four ways that companies can employ green-washing techniques:

1. Dirty Business
Touting an environmental program or product, while the corporation’s product or core business is inherently polluting or unsustainable.
2. Ad Bluster
Using targeted advertising and public relations campaigns to exaggerate an environmental achievement in order to divert attention away from environmental problems or if it spends more money advertising an environmental achievement than actually doing it.
3. Political Spin
Advertising or speaking about corporate “green” commitments while lobbying against pending or current environmental laws and regulations.
4. It’s the Law, Stupid!
Advertising or branding a product with environmental achievements that are already required or mandated by existing laws.

At www.stopgreenwash.org Greenpeace lists a few organizations it believes are marketing green without being green. We can think of more, including Toyota, which lobbies behind the scenes to reduce legislation for improved fuel economy in vehicles at the same time it enjoys huge success with the eco-friendly Prius (Source: Click Here).

Greenpeace encourages site visitors to report green-washing offenders. For more on this environmental non-profit, visit their main website at www.greenpeace.org.

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