An award-winning green technology company announced yesterday that they no longer want to be a green company.
Nanoleaf, a Toronto based startup known for their energy efficient LED bulbs and sleek design, says they will continue operations but with a different approach to the “green” label. In a protest move, the company says starting this Earth day, they will be boycotting “being green.”
“Being environmentally friendly shouldn’t be a choice. It should be the standard where all companies start when creating products. So, to continue to talk about ‘being green’ meant continuing to treat it as something special, when it shouldn’t be,” said Nanoleaf CEO and co-founder Gimmy Chu.
Chu was quoted in an open letter posted on the company’s website, stating that “being ‘green’ is an abomination.”
In light of earth week, the decision was made as an act to call out industries who participate in greenwashing. According to Chu, the oil and textile industries are the biggest in conducting those practices.
Greenwashing is when a company or organization uses marketing techniques to promote themselves as green rather than implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact.
“We’re protesting the idea that ‘greeness’ is a trophy that polluters can use to win some PR points or give their stock price a bump after a bad earnings call. It’s also creating a lot of noise around the whole green message,” said Chu.
The company has received support for their decision from both customers and investors.
Nanoleaf was given the title of having the most energy efficient lightbulb in the world last year. The first 200,000 bulbs replaced six million incandescent light bulbs, diverting about four million tonnes of atmospheric CO2 in the process, according to Chu.
But Chu aims to emphasize that aiming for sustainable product design shouldn’t be put on a pedestal, it should just be a critical business practice.
“These are things that need to be part of business as usual. I hope that [other companies] learn that instead of focusing their resources on talking about being green, their time and energy would be much better dedicated to actually doing it,” said Chu.
Despite Chu’s outspoken statement, Nanoleaf will continue with the same purpose, which they say is to continue to efficiently produce high quality products that will help reduce atmospheric CO2.
“We know that there’s still a lot of opportunity to improve the lighting industry, and we’re all in,” said Chu.