In a recent Field Study Project conducted by a team of students of the MBA International Program for a major international household equipment brand, a broad range of concrete activities for the substantial greening of consumer goods products were analyzed and proposed.
It is true that the impact of environmentally preserving actions in this sector can have great impacts, due to the large volume of goods produced, distributed, and used. Especially, technical advances in terms of reducing the electricity consumption in general, the use of water in dishwashers and washing machines, or the use of toxic chemicals in cooling products are of utmost importance. Technical aspects also include designing the products for maximum recyclability and using less toxic materials and cleaner production processes. Greenpeace proposes to this end a guide to greener electronics, including a regular green ranking of manufacturers.
It is also essential to ensure recycling of machines, which requires collaboration with the retailers so that the old equipment is taken back when the new is delivered. An example of such an initiative in Greece by the retail chain Kotsovolos can be seen on Youtube.
As the students also emphasize, one must pay attention to ‘greenwashing’ of brands, i.e., the use of marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that products or processes are environmentally friendly. Companies must pay attention so as not to commit any of the seven sins of greenwashing.