I purchased a beverage and I lamented that it was served in a standard plastic cup. “Another item in the landfill,” I thought to myself.

Later, I purchased another beverage, this time at a new coffeehouse. I was delighted to see that they used “GreenStripe Eco Products” for their drinks. I inwardly applauded their commitment to provide environmentally friendly products.

When I came home and went to recycle the cups, I learned that appearances could be deceiving. The first cup was a “5” and did recycle in our area, but the “Eco Product” cup was a “7” — meaning that not only is not recyclable in most areas, but it is of mixed origin. In other words, it’s not friendly at all.

It’s easy to give a product or brand a name that has appeal, but much harder to deliver a brand promise that has integrity. And pretending to be environmentally friendly is worse than not trying.

Take a look at the alignment between what your organization appears to value, and what it really does. Which cup are you?

beth triplett


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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