Businesses, study debate ethics of going green

By Jennifer Solley

The new craze in the business world is to think green, but many environmentalists believe this trend, called “green washing”, is just another way for corporate America to bring in the money.

Espresso Royale Cafe has been one of the most publicized conversions to an environmentally friendly business in Champaign. Employee Rick Shaddix said Espresso Royale tries to use as many “green” products as possible.

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“Our lids, cups, a lot of the stirrers, a lot of things (are eco-friendly),” Shaddix said. “If they make eco-friendly products then we try to use them.”

But according to a 2007 Terra Choice Marketing study, just under one in 1,000 products claiming to be green were marketed without false or misleading claims.

Terra Choice Marketing claims many businesses fall victim to inproper marketing of their eco-friendly products.

They think most companies only go green to increase sales. Shaddix, however, disagrees.

I think that people come for the coffees and not the cup,” Shaddix said. “And I don’t believe it’s a ploy to make money or to jump on a wagon, you know, just to be environmentally conscious.”

Shaddix supports the company and said there has been no increase in sales since the conversion.