While eco-embedded may make the first wave of eco-iconic products and services redundant, expect the eco-boosters trend to offer eco-iconic a new lease on life. Expect smart companies to quickly move from “merely” neutralizing and offsetting their undesirable eco-effects to actually boosting the environment by doing something extra. Just remember, if your brand wants to be uber-eco, boosting is the new neutral.
•As part of its sustainable growth initiative, FIJI Water will offset its total carbon footprint by 120%. Pity it still involves plastic bottles, of course.
•London-based Ecoigo, a “green” car service, aims to be carbon-positive, offsetting double the emissions from every trip as well as from energy used by its office.
•BMW Hydrogen 7 series may not be very eco-iconic, looking exactly like the original, “dirty” 7 series, it does apparently sport an engine that actively cleans the air, actually showing emissions that, for certain components, such as non-methane organic gases and carbon monoxides, are cleaner than the ambient air that comes into the car’s engine.
• US-based “Off The Earth” sells handmade Flower Seed Paper that produces a bloom of flowers after being used.
•“The Energy Plus” office building in Paris, designed by (again) Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, will have the largest solar roof array in the world.
It will generate all energy needed for the building, as well as providing additional energy to be fed back into the grid. Aforementioned Masdar Headquarters will also generate more energy than it consumes.
Betting on options in the eco-biz
When designing your 2009 eco product line, don’t mirror what’s already out there in the non-eco world, but make it bold, original, distinguishable, and yes, iconic. Whether it’s cars, shoes or detergents.
Prepare for much more regulation in years to come, as it is the only way to embed sustainability into mature and emerging economies. (China, anyone?) Which means new markets for anything and everything. So joining in, instead of fighting the inevitable, may be a smart move.
Count on merely being sustainable, or merely being carbonneutral to soon be the starting point, not the end goal.
So, start thinking about how your brand can actually boost the environment instead of just limiting the damage. Call it PR or responsibility or both.
As long as you’re going out of your way to do something extra, everyone wins.
Excerpted from Eco-iconic, a report by trendwatching.com
The full report can be viewed at www.trendwatching.com