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.

HSBC Drops Indonesian Palm Oil After Illegal Deforestation Report

HSBC, the international and emerging markets bank based in London, last week said it has sold-off its shares in the Indonesian palm oil…

A View from Britain: Greenwashing Profiteers

By Siobhán McGurrin, journalism graduate student, UCA London In recent years, Britain has established itself as a forerunner in ethical consumer consciousness due…

Safeway Pulls Plug on Mock Farmers’ Market

A Safeway store in Kirkland, Washington, decided to sell its fruits and vegetables “farmer-market” style. A huge yellow banner announced the new parking…

Kimberly-Clark Offsets its Sustainability Promises With Marketing of Disposable Hand Towels for the Home

Kimberly-Clark is pushing a new product line of disposable hand towels. Resting on its legacy of inventing the disposable tissue, which “help make…

Video Interview: Scot Case of Terrachoice – Connecting Green Customers To Credible Products

In our SB10 Video Series, I next turn to greenwashing, one of the major issues today in advertising, in my video interview series.…

Video Interview: Shelton Group’s Lee Ann Head On Green Consumer Trends

Today’s businesses are being challenged by their customers to supply price competitive products that advance individual, family and community wellness. However, companies are…

2010 Green Brands Survey: What Do Green Consumers Want?

A recent study on consumer perception and purchasing behavior shows an increasing commitment to purchasing from environmentally sustainable companies. However, green consumers are…

TetraPak + Bottled Water Still Equals Greenwashed Nonsense

Every time the Sustainable Brands conference rolls around I’m thrilled by the authenticity and openness of the conference participants. But there are always…

Measuring Sustainability for Small and Medium Businesses: Is a Single, National Standard Possible?

By Vale Jokisch at BALLE conference 2010 Product certifications are everywhere.  Walk into Whole Foods and you’ll see packages labeled Fair Trade Certified,…

BP’s Long History Of Greenwashing and Accidents

British Petroleum quit the Global Climate Coalition, the climate change denial group funded by the oil industry, in 1998, thus beginning its green…

“Sustainability as Usual” Isn’t Good Enough

The recent ecological disaster caused by the BP oil spill shortly after Earth Day is a reminder of the gap between the sustainability…

JetBlue’s Green List Raises Red Flag

More and more consumers and companies want to go “green,” so for those of us who have believed in sustainability before that word…

Rebranding BP: Bully Polluter?

Give BP some credit:  its marketing campaign for the past decade has been so effective that you would think that those initials really…

Greenwash? Time’s Up! How “Single Factor Sustainability” Will Cost You

Do you consider yourself a green company? A company trying to go green? Or trying to do as much as you need to…

The Chasing Arrows Recycling Logo – The Biggest Greenwash Label of Them All?

In recent years, after the initial honeymoon of broader consumer interest in all things green, it’s now settled squarely in the space of…