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Going Green in New Orleans March 6, 2007

Posted by Lady in allances, Business-Society Issues, environment.
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Keeping along this “going green” topic, I recently read an article titled, “Going Green in New Orleans” that displayed how many installation companies are donating solar systems to some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita. The victims were selected through a lottery pool. On my initial reading of this article, I had nothing but a positive response to the efforts of the installation companies. While many efforts have been made to restoreNew Orleans, this is by far one of the largest efforts being made. In my opinion, it’s like going beyond the call of duty.

But after I pondered this situation even more, I began to question the motives of these installation companies. Is it simply part of their “culture” to promote the use of solar energy because it is good for the Earth? Or was their act of jumping at an opportunity to help with the relief efforts simply the result of business interests?

One of the victims who had received the solar system expressed her gratitude in the article and also said that her neighbors might even be jealous of her. Might the existence of the solar systems in the Lower 9th Ward serve as a type of advertising for these installation companies? Might more residents in New Orleans create an increased demand for these solar systems? Did these installation companies think about these possibilities as they decided to get involved in the relief efforts of New Orleans? In my opinion, I don’t think that they made this move only with the motive of helping the Hurricane victims. I think they saw the direct advantage that they could gain with promoting this “going green” campaign.

I know it may seem like a stretch of the imagination but I just wanted to display how organizations may indirectly use this “going green” campaign as a competitive advantage in their industry. So my question is: Even if this was their motive, doesn’t everyone benefit from the cause? Or might this be a shameless attempt to take advantage of the victims of New Orleans. Is there anything wrong with this?

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1. Charley S - March 19, 2007

The installation of these solar panels really benefits everyone which includes of course the company. Creating positve public opinion about a company never hurts. By installing these systems in low income areas it can help stress to everyone around the company how beneficial these systems are and might even shame some people into buying solar panels. I don’t think the company is taking advantage of these people because they are benefitting without having to give anything in return except probably being intervied for magazines and TV about the project, but everybody wants to be famous.


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