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Thread: Share examples of "greenwashing."

  1. #1

    Default Share examples of "greenwashing."

    Please share examples of companies or businesses making misleading claims to the "green" label in order to sell their products.

  2. #2
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    I'm surprised no one has responded to this yet! I can think of one really big example in the U.S....

    Corn Based Ethanol
    - Cars aren't designed for it so it causes lower gas mileage and more pollution.
    - It takes more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol from corn than it creates.
    - Diversion of mass quantities of corn to Ethanol is causing food prices to dramatically rise around the world.
    - The boom in corn ethanol in the U.S. is subsidized by tax dollars that could invested in better options.
    - I also heard someone on NPR say that if we took all of the farmland in the U.S. to grow corn for ethanol it still wouldn't produce enough gas to meet the current U.S. demand.

    The only good part of corn ethanol is that it reduces reliance on foreign oil and keeps more of the money in the country. Besides that it's a losing proposition...

    You'll notice I was sure to say "corn ethanol" because I'm not saying all ethanol is bad. Ethanol or Alcohol produced from sugar cane has been a great success in Brazil. I read somewhere, it might have been Rolling Stone that for every unit of energy that goes into producing sugar cane ethanol 13 more units of energy are produced. I think this is because it distills much easier than corn and can be grown more efficiently but I'm not sure of all the details.
    Greener People for a Greener World TM

  3. #3

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    One of the examples of greenwashing that people on several sites have mentioned is the sale of "organic," "pure," or "natural" bottled water. I thought you all might appreciate today's Doonesbury strip on the subject at Doonesbury@Slate. Today's date is 5/18/08 in case you want to check their archives for it on a later date.
    Last edited by Jay Kilby; 05-18-2008 at 12:39 PM.

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    That's great! Here's a link to the archive for anyone who is looking for it: Doonesbury@Slate - Daily Dose

    Have you ever seen that GE commercial where they are hoisting all the plastic bottles of water on to a fishing boat using a fishing net? It was one of their Eco-magination commercials. That commercial bugs me. There's nothing green about filtering water and putting it in plastic bottles!
    Greener People for a Greener World TM

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    Hi Jay,

    I just ran across an example of green washing. Shell has been ordered to remove two ad campaigns this year for misleading green statements.

    Shell rebuked for 'greenwash' over ad for polluting oil project - Green Living, Environment - The Independent
    Shell's "Tomorrow's Solutions" Ad Ruled Misleading | Sustainable Life Media
    Greener People for a Greener World TM

  6. #6

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by zach View Post
    Hi Jay,

    I just ran across an example of green washing. Shell has been ordered to remove two ad campaigns this year for misleading green statements.

    Shell rebuked for 'greenwash' over ad for polluting oil project - Green Living, Environment - The Independent
    Shell's "Tomorrow's Solutions" Ad Ruled Misleading | Sustainable Life Media
    You mean oil sands are actually not a source of "sustainable energy"

  7. #7

    Angry Greenwashing...

    I recently read a new name for the effect of greenwashing on consumers - "Green Fatigue"...

    Still on the general topic of "greenwashing" – the findings of a recent survey are very interesting.

    According to the survey: Consumers will pay for green products but are more sceptical | CorporateResponsibility.Net

    According to a green survey from Rackspace Hosting (PDF), 44 percent of respondents are willing to pay more for green products and services this year; down significantly from the 59 percent of respondents that were willing to pay more last year.

    “It’s interesting to see that customers still think green is very important, but today they may be less willing to pay more or trade performance for lower carbon emissions.
    So, assuming that the results of the survey are valid, the question remains as to the significance of the trend: consumer willingness-to-pay higher prices for “green products and services” dropping from 59% (last year) to 44% (this year).

    Does this represent a lessening of consumer concern for the major issues of environmental uncertainty (weather / climate), food prices, energy crisis, etc.? Or could the cause be related to an increased cynicism or skepticism related to other developments like all the mega-corporations that are suddenly “going green” for profit?

    That variety of corporate eco/green self-labellers are, of course, in direct contrast to organizations that sell green products and services to support environmental initiatives/activities. If the on-going proliferation companies that have made the transition from {major polluters} to {green washers} to {green profiteers} are a main contributing factor to a loss of consumer confidence that would be unfortunate, since many smaller companies with genuine motives have been actively involved in promoting and expanding the market space for green/ethical/organic products and services for many years...

    Related articles:
    > Marketing of green loses some buzz and credibility - World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

    > Corporate CSR Skepticism Fueled by ‘Greenwashing Washout’ • Environmental Leader

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    You mean oil sands are actually not a source of "sustainable energy"
    Scary thing is there are people out there that actually believe this stuff when they see it in a Shell commercial!
    Greener People for a Greener World TM

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by zach View Post
    Scary thing is there are people out there that actually believe this stuff when they see it in a Shell commercial!
    Or the water fuel ads. Those might not be greenwashing in the strictest sense, but work along similar lines. While admittedly, it may be difficult to distinguish the feasible and factual from the “scams, shams and spam”, its surprising how many people appear to (at least partially) believe the ads which suggest that cars can run using water as the only fuel (as opposed to being an energy carrier via hydrogen).

  10. Default

    On a positive note, soap nuts are a laundry detergent that can support their claim of being green. They actually grow on trees.

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