Interesting artcle on Burt’s Bees which, like Tom’s of Maine, was bought out several years ago:  Can Burt’s Bees Turn Clorox Green?

“Today… [Burt’s Bees] is owned by the Clorox Company, a consumer products giant best known for making bleach, which bought it for $913 million in November. Clorox plans to turn Burt’s Bees into a mainstream American brand sold in big-box stores like Wal-Mart. Along the way, Clorox executives say, they plan to learn from unusual business practices at Burt’s Bees – many centered on environmental sustainability. Clorox, the company promises, is going green…”

“Burt’s Bees maintains its founders’ green philosophies. Employees’ bonuses are based in part on how well the company meets energy conservation goals, and there are prime parking spaces for staff members who drive hybrid cars or carpool. It buys offsets for 100 percent of its carbon emissions and is working toward a goal of sending no trash to landfills by 2020… The premise is that if companies are socially responsible, profit will follow. Burt’s Bees not only prioritizes the natural origin of its ingredients but also emphasizes animal rights, responsible trade, employee benefits and the environment…. Burt’s Bees is not perfect, Mr. Replogle acknowledges. The company obtains all of its beeswax from hives in Ethiopia, so shipping the ingredient across the Atlantic adds to carbon emissions.”

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“But Clorox says it believes that consumers will pay more for natural products. So, while they may be more expensive to produce, they will also be more profitable. Clorox research recently found that 53 percent of consumers planned to buy more eco-friendly products this year and that 47 percent were willing to pay 20 percent to 25 percent premiums for them.”

I guess my question is this: is profit the only incentive for going green?

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