Greenwashing

Greenwashing is a term merging the concepts of “green” (environmentally sound) and “whitewashing” (to conceal or gloss over wrongdoing). Greenwashing is any form of marketing or public relations that links a corporate, political, religious or nonprofit organization to a positive association with environmental issues for an unsustainable product, service, or practice.

In some cases, an organization may truly offer a “green” product, service or practice. However, through marketing and public relations, one is wrongly led to believe this “green” value system is ubiquitous throughout the entire organization.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 11.18.09 PM

Three Phases of Sustainability: Where is Your Organization?

There are three phases organizations go through when implementing sustainability as a business strategy. Is your organization poised to move up?
Compost

4 Ways to Tell If a Company Is Really ‘Green’

Walk down the aisle of any grocery store, and it’ll be easy to see that there’s a growing trend toward eco-friendly practices and…
Image Credit: MSC / Photo by J Simpson

5 Truths About Credible Labels

How does a company know the right questions to ask when developing an ethical label or claim? Companies need to dig deeply into…
Norway fossil fuel divestment

Norway’s Huge Coal Divestment: From Climate Hero to Greenwash and Back Again

Norway's huge coal divestment announcement attracted accolades, but a look behind the statistics shows a careful balance between progress and greenwash.
5205375640_797eed91cc_z

How Green Businesses Can Avoid Misleading Consumers

When companies make claims about their environmentally friendly practices that aren’t backed by facts or that are downright false, their credibility takes a…
coal-fired power plant_emilian robert vicol

U.K. Standards Group Calls Out Peabody Energy for Misleading ‘Clean Coal’ Claim

The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority ruled, in a case brought by the World Wildlife Fund, that Peabody Energy should not use the term…
Conference Room - Green building

How to Fight Greenwashing: The Value of Third-Party Certification in Green Building

Greenwashing, or vague environmental claims, are rampant in the marketplace, especially in green building. Third-party certification of claims can add credibility to claims,…
mcdonalds logo

Is There a Sustainable Big Mac in Your Future?

Giant corporations like McDonald's and Walmart cast a long shadow across the planet with the enormous amount of resources that they utilize, process,…
green_marketing_cover

FTC Green Guides Report Helps Marketers Avoid the Pitfalls of Greenwashing

"Greenwashing" sows distrust among consumers and keeps green products from reaching their full potential. A new report helps marketers avoid those pitfalls.
tightrope

Walking the Tightrope: How to Avoid Green Marketing Nightmares

Promoting the environmental or sustainability improvements of a product or service can be a tricky high-wire act that can give marketing professionals nightmares.…
sustainable forest initiative, sfi, paper certification program, forest stewardship council, FSC, forestethics, greenwashing, Office Depot, Southwest Airlines, HP, Cricket Communications, todd paglia, supply chain, cease and desist letter, leon kaye, pulp and paper, paper certification

More Brands Dump Sustainable Forest Initiative’s Paper Certification Program

On Wednesday, ForestEthics announced more major brands have moved away from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) paper products certification program.
ko_zero

Behind Coca-Cola’s New Anti-Obesity Campaign

Coca-Cola's new campaign to fight obesity rings hollow. The company tries to promote the idea that all calories are the same, so drinking…
dole

Bitter Fruit: Dole Sued for Greenwashing Guatemalan Banana Operations

A Seattle-based law firm has filed suit against Dole Food Company for making proclamations about corporate responsibility while sourcing bananas from an environmentally…
nature_valley_granola

How Should a Responsible Company Use the “Natural” Label?

What does “natural” mean? The nature of this notoriously vague label is once again reaching the courts, this time in a lawsuit filed…
paperless_x

A New Campaign Claims Paperless Billing is Not That Green

While a new campaign initiated by Two Sides, an organization representing members of the "graphic communications value chain," wants to educate companies in…