Some companies think they can jump on the green bandwagon (thereby sharing in the dramatically increasing sales in the green market) without really trying. We wrote about steps to greenwash your product here. But some companies don’t even read our guide and trying half-assed, half-witted attempts at greening their products. Cracked did a lovely job of calling out 6 half-assed attempts at greenwashing here.
Seriously? The Fur Council of Canada has the nerve to call the sale of fur an “ecological choice in harmony with nature”. Last time we checked, the processing of fur requires the death of an animal. There is no amount of carbon credit or offset you can purchase to make fur an environmentally friendly clothing option.
Among their claims: “If we don’t use part of what nature produces, we will use petroleum-based synthetics or other materials that may damage the environment…”
Read more about this afront to the environmental movement.
Here is a bit more greenwashing from Coca-Cola. Although they are encouraging consumers to recyle, which is a good thing, they imply a bit more eco-friendliness than is accurate. See this post to learn more about what Coke does to “be green”.
This is a good time to mention that just because a company is discussed on our blog, doesn’t mean we think all of their efforts are a sham. Coke is doing a big thing by spending advertising dollars to help people remember to recycle. Greenwashing or not.
Petroleum companies have some of the deepest pockets and therefore can rebrand themselves on a whim. Well, when their V.P. of Marketing tells them they should. So why haven’t they all started calling themselves “green”? They have! In fact, the biggest three have all started marketing campaigns indicating how environmentally friendly they are:
Nomatter how you brand it, or how “green” you paint your product, it is still black, polluting, caustic, volatile, limited, foreign-made and fatal.
If these companies want to impress us, they should indicate how much of their immense profits they are pouring into renewable energy (No, “Clean Coal” doesn’t count).
One of the perennial themes of the greenwashing movement is the lack of governmental oversight. The green movement is a recent development in our culture and Government often takes years (or decades!) to catch up.
Because of this lack of oversight, companies can throw out false claims about their environmental friendliness virtually unchecked. The UK has seen a lot of greenwashing lately and a new steering committee has been formed to develop tighter guidelines to supervise environmental claims made by companies.
The committee will include the Advertising Standards Association. The ASA fields complaints about greenwashing in advertising so they are suitably placed to head up this effort.