Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Shame those green claims - your chance to rate the greenwash in those advertisements

Came across a great web site, the EnviroMedia Greenwashing Index which encourages consumers to submit examples of advertisements by companies making dubious environmental claims about their products.

The site defines "greenwashing" as:

It’s Whitewashing, But With a Green Brush.
Everyone’s heard the expression “whitewashing” — it’s defined as “a coordinated attempt to hide unpleasant facts, especially in a political context.”

“Greenwashing” is the same premise, but in an environmental context.

It’s greenwashing when a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact. It’s whitewashing, but with a green brush.

A classic example might be an energy company that runs an advertising campaign touting a “green” technology they’re working on — but that “green” technology represents only a sliver of the company’s otherwise not-so-green business, or may be marketed on the heels of an oil spill or plant explosion.

The Greenwashing Index is well worth a browse, and if you are out and about and see a dodgy claim on a billboard, why not take a picture, upload to the site and rate it accordingly for its degree of greenwashing?
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