Fiji Water Greenwashing Case Study

Unformatted text preview: Case Study FIJI Water Question 1 hat factors contributed to the marketing success of FIJI Wate Analyse the 4 Ps and the positioning of the FIJI Water brand. FIJI´s 4 P´s FIJI´s success factors Innovative packaging Premium product pricing Effective distribution Image-creating publicity Good market environment Highly skillfull marketers Change in customer preferences “promise of good health, refinement, status, and exclusivity“ Question 2 What is the ethical and socially responsible marketing? Why should marketers increasingly be concerned about CSR issues and sustainability? Ethical and Social CSR is promoted as a business model to help companies regulate themselves (because of the impact on general public) as well as establishing a strong relationship with the customer. What is ethics? Not only profit-driven Reinforce social and ethical values for citizen benefit CSR Issues and Sustainabilities Ethics as a selling point Component of brand image Image of the organization Easier access to information (customer awareness) Green movement Differentiation from competitors Attract and retain talent Question 3 What does it mean for FIJI Water to go carbon negative? What do think about it? How does one measure and report carbon footprints of products? Is the carbon footprint of FIJI Water big compared to other products? What does it mean to go carbon negative? Save more CO2 emissions than produced More investments (costly) FIJI Water is obligated to do it More research and development (innovations) Restructuring Improve transparency / consumers Our Thoughts Pros Cons Ambitious goal (company Overpromising Public pressure vision) Could lead to competitive advantage Right concept, but poor implementation and therefore a risky strategy Measurement of Footprint Systematic aquistion of CO2 emissions along the complete product lifecycle Could be measured by special studies of institutions Part of annual report (voluntary sustainability report) Carbon Accounting Comparison FIJI´s emissions: 85,400 metric tons CO2 in 2007 Hard to compare due to: Different products categories Lack of international standards Lack of information Not possible to compare to others companies but important because of marketing reasons! Question 4 What is greenwashing? How can it be identified? Do you think FIJI Water is engaged in greenwashing? From your point of view, what could the company do to gain environmental credibility? What is Greenwashing? “Disinformation disseminated by an organisation so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.“ “Conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.“ How to identify Greenwashing? Specific parts of a product / project are communicated and the rest is not mentioned Transparent verification of marketing claims Contradiction between marketing and reality If the natural part is overstressed Greenwashing at FIJI Water? Pros Cons No detailed description of the Carbon negative goal Concrete actions to calculation of the footprint Hard facts of Greenwash Brigade Exploits a naturally occuring product reduce CO2-emissions Company´s vision and reality do not fit Question 5 Apply (a) Porter´s 5 Forces Analysis and (b) a SWOT Analysis on FIJI Water. Describe the company´s competitive situation. Based on the results, what strategic moves would you suggest? Porter´s 5 Forces Supplier power: relatively low because easily replaceable Buyer power: middle to high because water is an everyday consumption good Potential entrants: high threat of other bottled water producers Potential substitutes: high variety of potential substitutes (other bottled water, tap water) Industry rivalry: very tense rivalry among companies Competitive Situation Other premium bottled waters Low cost waters Due to environmental movement: tap water Tense market environment due to numerous competitors as well as substitution goods SWOT Analysis Strengths: - Image - Broad distribution Weaknesses: - Relatively expensive - Environmental issue Opportunities: - Niche marketing - Increasing Market Threats: - Ongoing environmental movement - Shrinking market Strategic Moves Further observation of the market and therefore the amount of bottled water consumption Further research and reduction of CO2 emissions to achieve the goal of being carbon negative and building up a competitive advantage and extension to other markets Continue to educate the consumer about the differences between FIJI Water and other bottled waters and tap water Question 6 In your opinion, are the concerns of the government of Fiji about the “negative” contribution of the FIJI Water to the local economy justified? Does the company do enough to improve its relations with the government and the local community? What else should it do to improve those relations? Negative contribution of FIJI Water to the local economy? Pros Cons FIJI Water employs Heavy fading of local infrastructure mostly uneducated locals and trains them FIJI Water paid no on the job taxes till 2008 Fiji´s government FIJI Water exploits a profits from exports scarce resource and taxes (water is the second most important export product) FIJI Water brought lots of benefits to the local economy Does the company do enough to improve its relations with the government and the local community? Relations with the local community FIJI Water has a strong CSR program Uses local providers for services and supply Supports children education Fund to support projects in the village Alliance with local companies by outsourcing departments Donates money to local aid FIJI Water takes strong efforts to be a good corporate citizen Does the company do enough to improve its relations with the government and the local community? Relations with the local government Water companies try to outplay the government by relations with the media Aggressive lobbying against government Blackmailed the government with production stop Alliance with local newspapers to boycott the government Insufficient agreements between government and FIJI Water Need for productive dialogue What else should FIJI Water do to improve the relations with the government and society? Find an adequate tax system Restructure the production process to make it more sustainable Launch a forum where representatives of government, society and water industry can exchange ideas Help to stabilize the government Question 7 Taking a look at FIJI Water’s current situation and customers as well as trends in consumer needs & behavior, what are the main future challenges regarding marketing the product? What are your recommendations to respond to them? Main future challenges regarding the marketing of the product Proof that FIJI Water does not do greenwashing Achieve the „Carbon Negative“ goal, More detailed sustainability report Improve the image of bottled water Recommendations to respond to these challenges Restructure production and distribution processes to save energy and ressources Usage of renewable energies Create a more transparent insight into the company´s sustainability efforts Concentrate on metropolitain areas and regions with poor tap water quality (Establish a border between FIJI Water and other waters) Sources Case FIJI Water footprint.jpg Thank you for your attention!! ...
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The Newport Trial Group filed a class action lawsuit against the Fiji Water Company in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, CA on behalf of Desiree Worthington and other individuals to seek restitution for “the false claims from which [Fiji Water Company has] richly profited.” The lawsuit alleges that the company made money from its claims that its water products are carbon negative.

According to the complaint:

“This case is very simple: Defendants convince consumers to buy their “FIJI” brand of bottled water – and to pay more for FIJI than for competing brands –by advertising and labeling FIJI as “The World’s Only CARBON NEGATIVE bottled water”. In other words, Defendants claim that they remove more carbon pollution from our atmosphere than they release into it. In reality, however, FIJI water is not “Carbon Negative.” Instead, Defendants justify this claim by employing a discredited carbon accounting method known as “forward crediting.” Thus, Defendants do not remove more carbon pollution than they create; they simply claim credit for carbon removal that may or may not take place – up to several decades in the future.”

A 2007 press release claimed that Fiji will offset 120 percent of its carbon emissions, and the “production and sale of each bottle of FIJI Water will actually result in a net reduction of carbon in the atmosphere.” The press release stated that Fiji would “account for the carbon footprint throughout the entire lifecycle of its products,” and the company would offset its emissions “through a combination of meaningful reductions and carbon-reducing land use and renewable energy projects.”

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is derived from crude oil, is used to make plastic water bottles. According to the Earth Policy Institute, making bottles to meet the U.S. demand for bottled water in 2006 required over 17 million barrels of oil a year, enough to fuel over one million cars for a year, and produced over 2.5 million tons of carbon. About 75 percent of the plastic water bottles are not recycled, according to Food & Water Watch. Plastic water bottles never completely decompose.

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by


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