Greenwashing is…

Greenwashingthe act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service

Bandwagons are for jumping on.

And Green is playing loudly everywhere, especially in the facility services arena.

Greenwashing was inevitable. There’s always a population of businesses and individuals trying to capitalize on deception and misinformation.

Why? SourceWatch lists a number of reasons why companies greenwash, but the one they list I believe is the main driver is:

“…seeking to expand market share at the expense of those rivals not involved in greenwashing; this is especially attractive if little or no additional expenditure is required to change performance; alternatively, a company can engage in greenwashing in an attempt to narrow the perceived ‘green’ advantage of a rival…”

Not all green marketing claims are false. But add a healthy dose of cynicism and some investigation to the claims.

And it’s never black and white for those who are, and who aren’t greenwashing. There’s always a location on a sliding scale that gives a rationale for claiming Green.

Is it using a few Green Seal products? Or is it being certified ISO 14001:2004 at all a companies locations?

Who’s to say?

In the very near future Green will be a requirement, like following OSHA. Really, who markets their contract business is OSHA compliant. It’s a given, an expectation. So it will be with Green, evenutally.

But for now, here’s an excellent guide to greenwashing (it’s a large file, 2.82 mb) from Futerra Sustainability Communications. Though written for the U.K. it gives a great window into greenwashing.

Where have you seen greenwashing lately?

~~~~~~
Chris Arlen
President, Service Performance

Technorati: environmental marketing, Green, Green cleaning, Greenwashing

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