According to an article from the Associated Press this week, consumers tend to buy environmentally-friendly technology products only when it saves them money. While purchasing green products is the latest craze, it hasn’t translated that well in the tech world.
A few of the major computer companies have managed to take advantage of their green image, among them IBM, Intel and AMD. The success is based largely on their fuel efficient servers that consequently cost less to operate, something that works well for businesses but doesn’t really mean much for someone looking to buy a PC.
Other tech companies have used gimmicks to advertise their eco-friendly image, which also has limited impact on the average consumer. These marketing tricks haven’t necessarily been met with the overwhelming positive response planners were hoping for. It’s not something that’s going to save a company money, so there’s not as much appeal. Moreover, it seems individual consumers’ green desires are more immediate and personal. Dell might plant some trees when people buy computers, great. But what is my Dell laptop going to do for me right now?
All this got me thinking about my own technology purchases. I can’t say the environment has played a huge factor in any of the tech products I’ve bought in the past few years. Like most consumers, I think the biggest eco-friendly factor I’d consider would be whether or not the product was energy efficient. A company’s green initiatives would probably be more of an afterthought after I’d already made my purchasing decision based on other factors, like price and performance. You want an extra $2.00 to help plant trees? Sure, why not. But in the end, I’m still going to go with a brand and product I trust, rather than which company has the most ambitious environmental plans.
Does a product or company’s green image play into your technology purchases? What green tech products do you own?