There has been quite a buzz surrounding the release of the Dr. Seuss movie “The Lorax,” one of the biggest mass-consumer movies with a clear message of stopping the destruction of our forests and saving the environment. To help consumers identify resources to stay green even after they leave the theatre, Universal Pictures partnered with a list of “Lorax Approved” organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and popular eco-friendly brands like Seventh Generation. However, the choice of certain collaborators, like the non-hybrid Mazda vehicle, has led to many to accuse the studio of greenwashing. Other critics believe the film focuses too much on green living and is “brainwashing” children into becoming “eco warriors.” So who is right? Let’s take a look at how some of these partnerships rate on GoodGuide:
Hewlett Packard (7.2): With above average scores, HP has been very transparent about their environmental and social practices. They recently launched a campaign encouraging consumers to “Print Like The Lorax” by making eco-conscious choices when printing.
Mazda (6): In conjunction with the release of the movie, Mazda is promoting their new “SKYACTIV” technology that improves fuel efficiency. Scoring comparably to other car companies, many of Mazda’s cars have average environmental scores but the vehicles still are not as high as hybrid or electric choices.
Seventh Generation (7.5): One of the highest scoring household and personal care companies on GoodGuide, Seventh Generation has a 9.4 for environmental management. They are encouraging consumers to purchase their “Lorax-Approved” products, which are highlighted by cartoon images on the packaging.
Stonyfield Farm (6.2): Despite scoring lower in areas such as resource use, Stonyfield Farm is still above average compared to most food companies. They will also be promoting their “Lorax-Approved” products with large in-store displays.
Whole Foods (5.5): Although it has an average overall score, the company is not very transparent in its environmental and social practices. This is their first-ever partnership with a major film, which they will be promoting in-store and through social media.
It appears that no brands with the “Truffula Seal of Approval” received poor GoodGuide scores, but how many are actually trailblazers? Is Universal really concerned with promoting a green message and empowering consumers, or are they more interested in the earnings potential that comes from appearing to care about the environment? And can we really equate this fictional character to a trusted third party certifier?