While reporting on the latest green trends around the world, we are always on the lookout for greenwash. After all, it seems everyone these days is either going green or claiming to achieve carbon neutrality.
Now we hear that Ferrari, a company that produces cars no one needs and that go faster than anyone should, is going to "reduce its fuel consumption by 40% over the next five years." Why anyone with enough money to buy a Ferrari would worry about fuel efficiency isn't entirely clear, but the move might have something to do with forthcoming emissions standards in Europe that will force all vehicle manufacturers to reduce their emissions. We hope concern about climate change factored into the decision as well. While we applaud any effort to reduce emissions, we just can't seem to get overly excited about this bit of news. For one thing, Ferrari only makes 6,000 cars a year, and people aren't exactly buying them for the daily commute. But another point of concern is the tendency to justify rampant consumption with green claims, a trend some have called 'green conspicuous consumption.' For instance, we've pointed out that just because a large home has solar panels does not make it a green home.
We are no fans of sanctimonious finger pointing at our consumer culture, but with climate change disproportionately impacting poorer countries, it is becoming increasingly hard to justify the 'bigger is better' approach to homes, cars and food portions.
At the same time, this is not to say consumption is inherently bad. As Treehugger hero William McDonough likes to point out, in nature growth is good. The real question for our economy is, 'What do we want to grow?' Mr. McDonough has gone so far as to imagine a future in which we create products that nurture people and the planet, and therefore we are able to celebrate consumption.
That said, It's doubtful an efficient Ferrari is a step in the direction of that future.
See Also: ::Survey: Is Green Consumerism a Pox on the Planet?, ::Who Cares if it is Green, Is It Ethical?
, ::Greenwash Watch: The Six Sins, ::Low Carbon Consumerism: A New Ethical Choice, ::Buy Into The Green Movement, ::Ethical Shopping Shows How Rich You Are, and ::Bill McDonough's Tower of Tomorrow