Carrots: the new weapon of choice for eco-conscious consumers. The new weapon of choice for eco-conscious consumers

What’s one to do in the fight against the Big Bad Corporation? According to Carrotmob, the answer is not in more boycotts, petitions, or even legislation, but rather to create incentives (“carrots” – get it?) for corporations to be more eco-friendly. And that’s by hitting ’em where it hurts – right in the pocket.

According to their site, “Carrotmob organizes consumers to make purchases that give financial rewards to those companies who agree to make environmentally friendly choices.” So how does it work? Step 1: Carrotmob identifies an “opportunity for improving corporate behavior” (from a harmful chemical commonly used by soap companies to an energy-wasteful means of production); Step 2. Carrotmob approaches several competing companies (all of whom are guilty of committing an environmental no-no) with a proposal: in a “bidding war” for the support of Carrotmob consumers ensues, Carrotmob will award its stamp of eco-friendly consumer approval to the company most willing to go that extra mile in making environmentally-sustainable business choices. Step 3: Carrotmob encourages its networks to purchase products/services from the winning company.

In a nutshell, Carrotmob makes it in the company’s best interest to not merely be just environmentally responsible for PR reasons, but because doing so is the most profitable course of action: the company that wins the Carrotmob seal of approval wins the support of its network and the consumer power it represents. Corporations who do not currently practice sustainability face the threat of declining profits as Carrotmob consumers eschew the guilty corporation’s products/services in favor of the more environmentally-friendly choice. Sounds good theoretically, but Carrotmob’s impact will only be as great as the size of the network it creates: the more people who jump on board, the greater its consumer clout/influence. Only then will its support have a very real impact on market sales – and therefore, a real impact on corporate business practices. Check out their website and get involved in a Carrotmob campaign near you!

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