Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Greenopia's Rebirth

Founded in 2006, Greenopia was a trail-blazer in bringing ‘green living’ to mass markets.  Its model centers on a Life-Cycle Analysis methodology, the results of which are synthesized into a 4-point ecolabel, the Green-Leaf Award.  With its focus on ‘the neighborhood business,’ Greenopia offers a 3-tier value proposition:
  • For private consumers, it creates an accessible communication system to connect consumers with local eco-friendly businesses.  
  • For private business, Greenopia is a valuable marketing platform to differentiate its eco-commitment in a highly fragmented field.  
  • For the public good, Greenopia encourages infrastructure around environmental health issues by helping private players connect on the value of their positive externalities.  
In recent years, Greenopia has waned in public interest and, after having focused energy toward a 2015 Fellow position at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative Program, Founder Gay Browne is looking to reignite the firm.

But, Greenopia faces a much more saturated and highly competitive market than in 2006.  As of June 2017, The Ecolabel Index, the largest global directory of ecolabels tracks 465 ecolabels in 199 countries across 25 industry sectors.  Additionally, it competes against other ecolabels that have now stronger histories of longevity, credibility, and robust partnerships.  However, Greenopia still distinguishes itself in a few notable ways.  First, it is a “green business” ecolabel versus a “green product” label.  It targets several types of complementary businesses across a few industries.  Finally, its mission to promote individual environmental health is a significant strategic differentiator that can help Greenopia stand out amongst a crowded field.
Relaunching a brand is no small feat, especially in the small-business space.  But Greenopia has inherent synergies in its ‘local’ environmental and business approach, which, if carefully navigated, can be the rebirth of something quite special.

We have four long-term recommendations for Greenopia centered around leveraging partnerships.  
  • First, it should partner with an existing environmental club like the Sierra Club to build a club membership model consisting of a network of regional chapters and a scheduled conference to facilitate clients and businesses interacting.  
  • Second, it should partner with Yelp! to project Greenopia’s value proposition though the now ubiquitous mobile application channel.  
  • Third, it should partner with Consumer Reports, a consumer advocacy nonprofit, to capitalize on its long-standing efficient product review publishing model as another way to project Greenopia’s value.  
  • Finally, it should seek an endorsement from the Environmental Protection Agency, the ultimate U.S. government authority on environmental regulation and initiatives.

    Andrew Norris 
    Lisa Tang

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