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.

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,…

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.

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.…

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.

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…

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…

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…

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…

Coal Industry Bribes “Activists” with T-Shirts and Lunch to Fight the EPA

a Chicago-based environmental group sent out a tweet over the rumor of a pay-to-protest ad that was posted on Craigslist by an alleged…

It’s Biodegradable! Or is it? How to Distinguish the Green from the Greenwash: Part II

One can categorize ecolabels in a number of ways: who issues them, whether they apply to the entire company or just specific products,…

How to Distinguish the Green from the Greenwash

I walked into the pet store and asked for biodegradable poop bags, and the clerk pointed me to some bags hanging in a…

10 Ways Walmart is Failing on Sustainability: Can It Improve?

To help people better evaluate Walmart’s claims of being a green leader, Food & Water Watch and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance have…

Time to Inspire

Like many emotionally-charged movements, the current focus on sustainability swelled on a wave of public outcry. In the early-to-mid 2000s, as “green” was…

Is the USDA Local Farm Program a Ruse for Big Agriculture?

Could Americans’ tax dollars be paying for greenwashing by the United States Department of Agriculture? Those who are suspicious about the KYF2 program…

Why We Should Amend “People, Planet, Profit”

Corporations, Triple Bottom Line, and how Local is the new Global