TAG: Greenwashing

Endorsing Green Products

Endorsing products to be green

Consumer protection law, simply explained, is a field charged with the responsibility of protecting the general public from any form of undue exploitation by retailers and service providers. With the dawn of “going green” trends globally, the consumer is being lobbied and bombarded with campaigns to migrate to green living. These rigorous campaigns have opened opportunity for false and misleading advertising. Many consumers are heeding the call to go green. Consequently, many people concern themselves with the environmental effects of the products they purchase for domestic use. This in turn has prompted many manufacturers to endorse their products with environmental… read more

The Greenwash Guide


Greenwash is alive and well across the globe. Today’s consumers are swamped with “eco-friendly” advertising and marketing messages that simply don’t come clean in the wash. Greenwash occurs when marketers seek to entice customers through unsubstantiated, fabricated or exaggerated environmental claims. In a market economy where the “green dollar” is a powerful force, we are swimming in products and services supposedly rich with environmental or sustainability benefits. But amid all the noise of organisations “going green”, why should we even care whether a few fibs are told along the way? As Futerra say in The Greenwash Guide: “Greenwash isn’t simply… read more

Can Product Labeling Alter Taste?

Can Product Labeling Alter Taste?

Food and beverage packaging are scrutinized and marketing tactics are fully employed long before the products hit the shelves. It is not a secret that product packaging can impact sales decisions, but can it make a difference in the way your cup of coffee tastes? According to a study investigating the subject, it may actually be a possibility. Published in PLOS ONE, results from the article titled Who Needs Cream and Sugar When There Is Eco-Labeling? Taste and Willingness to Pay for “Eco-Friendly” Coffee showed some interesting consumer behavior. The study looked into whether or not coffee that was labeled as “ecofriendly”… read more

How Green Are They Really?


Greenwashing is a means by which companies make their products or services seem more eco-friendly and sustainable than they actually are. TerraChoice (2010) has identified seven common types of greenwashing: Hidden trade-off: Focusing on one eco-friendly aspect of a product while neglecting all the other negative impacts associated with its production Lack of proof: Making claims of environmental friendliness that are impossible to substantiate (for example, percentage of recycled content in a tissue paper product) Vagueness: Using misleading claims such as “all-natural,” which don’t necessarily mean that products are eco-friendly or even healthy (arsenic is all-natural) Irrelevance: Making true assertions… read more

Green Gone Wrong

Green Gone Wrong

Reeling in customers with false representation or misleading claims are techniques some companies use to market their products. Trying to make labeling appear greener may fool some, but smart buyers are capable of being label aware. Some organizations have attempted to uncover the tendency to use greenwashing to sell merchandise, and it may be surprising how prevalently used one study found it to be. TerraChoice conducted an initial study in 2007 to uncover whether or not merchandise that was marketed as green was in fact an ecological choice, and that the products reviewed met their claims. What they found was… read more

Combating Greenwashing

Corporate dishonesty

In an era where corporations find themselves under immense pressure to conform to environmental expectations, dishonesty and manipulation are bound to appeal to unscrupulous manufacturers. Greenwashing is one deceptive practice that some corporations have resorted to. Greenwashing is a term used to describe corporate dishonesty where the corporation concerned attempts to conceal the negative impact their products have on the environment by making what can be described as misleading claims pertaining to the environmental benefits of the product or service it offers. Greenwashing is more a claim geared at deceiving than it is a marketing strategy. Thus for instance, a… read more

Telling Green from Dirty

The language of 'green'

How can consumers recognize fact from fiction amongst the plethora of environmental claims that soak the market? Adapted from The Greenwash Guide produced by Futerra Sustainability Communications, here are the top ten signs to watch out for when considering the purchase of “green” products or services: Puffery: If the language is vague, chances are the environmental benefits are light on the ground as well. “Eco-friendly”…what on earth does that mean? Silly symbolism: Using suggestive pictures is all well and good, but cute and irrelevant images don’t cut it.  Cartoon flowers floating skyward from a car’s exhaust? C’mon, give us a… read more