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Big Tobacco, Big Food, Big tech?

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Traditional corporate PR agencies have profited handsomely representing companies, organsiations and governments that have a harmful and morally repugnant element to the business. Now Greenpeace have upped the ante to try and turn the spotlight on waste from electronics goods.It would make sense if we learned from our colleagues working on oil, gas, tobacco and processed food companies now before Greenpeace gets up to full speed with its mix of well-spun half-truths, bravado and photo stunts.


here from Greenpeace.Clients in the technology sector are likely to be not all that well prepared: with the exception of some server companies like Sun Microsystems who are looking at building more energy efficient boxes and Dell who has done a modicum of work on recycling the industry hasn’t addressed the issue all that well.

The semiconductor sector has been reasonably sensitive to this following class action suits from employees with various type of cancer. In addition, technology marketers are increasingly focused on transactional marketing including pay-per-click advertisements and looking to get ‘payment-by-results’ PR campaigns at the expense of building brands and corporate reputation in preparation for the onslaught that Greenpeace and the like will bring to bear.

Whilst brand and corporate reputation work won’t look as pretty on a PowerPoint slide as the pivot tables of key word data from Google, its value has never been higher.

One reply on “Big Tobacco, Big Food, Big tech?”

Apologies this is such a delayed response to your post about the Greenpeace report – I thought you had some interesting points.

I did want to raise something about Dell though (and by full disclosure I work for Dell on environment issues). On recycling we’ve done a bit more than a modicum – we’ve been offering “free with purchase” recycling to consumers for two years and before the end of the year will have free recycling for any Dell-branded product available to consumers worldwide – no other company in our industry has done this. Also, our commitment to environment responsiblity doesn’t stop there – we have been very agressive in our chemical use policies, recognizing the precautionary principle, commiting to the elimination of all bromines by 2009, meeting the standards of the EU’s ROHS directive worldwide, etc. And we do realize there is more we can do on product energy efficiency but did outline a strategy a few weeks ago, and post some customer tools (mostly business focused for the time but we’ll expand) to help customers minimize their energy used by IT operations.

Not a rant at all but did want to raise that Dell is absolutely committed to environmental responsiblity in all aspects of our operations and products and we’re doing quite a bit of work to get there.

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