Greenwash me with design!!

Recently, I had an opportunity to hear the CEO of a major consumer packaged company talk about design & innovation. He went on & on about how he somehow realized that their company needed design to be competitive & serve as a differentiator versus other products.

Everything sounded really impressive, till he started talking about their baby diaper business in the emerging markets.

We are not competing against Kimberly Clark, he said. We are competing against cloth in India & China. Our bottom of the pyramid strategy is developing products that are targeted for these markets.

Someone asked what about sustainability (since disposable diapers do not exactly biodegrade). His response was something to this effect....Yes, we are very concerned about sustainability & realize that we need to pay attention to it.

What is it that we in the west do not understand? Is it too hard to fathom that we cannot fight nature? Why is design & innovation only expected to serve the ROI interest (in a myopic sense)? Doesn't Katrina tells us anything about the power of nature?

Wouldn't a CEO stand in front of an audience & say that he decided to do the right thing (even if it meant that he sacrificed some profits)? & I do believe that sustainability is a profitable endeavor, if one thought through it.

Companies like Patagonia inspire me for they want to do the right thing. Check them out, if you have not. Meanwhile the rest of the world is only interested in making more money, even if it is at the cost of something that is invaluable.

Have a good weekend!!