“Greenwash” describes the perception of consumers that they are being misled by a company regarding the environmental practices of the company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.
Many responsible companies go to exhaustive steps to be environmentally responsible by changing their products and operations to use less energy, reduce pollution and to reduce waste. However, some marketers deceive consumers by exaggerating the environmental benefits of a product or service. Often these claims are made without, or despite, sound scientific evidence or good common sense. This is greenwashing.
At its heart, we believe greenwashing is an abuse of public trust, the modern-day equivalent of selling snake-oil at the medicine show. In fact, certain state governments and the Federal Trade Commission agree and have established standards for responsible green marketing claims. You can find these at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/grnrule/guides980427.htm
This blog is sponsored by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) to provide examples of companies that make environment claims about biodegradable or compostable products. We will highlight those claims that are well supported with scientific data and those that are not. The latter are forms of greenwashing.
By focusing attention to these examples of greenwashing we seek to educate then motivate concerned consumers to support products that are involved fair and accurate marketing practices.
Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the BPI
The BPI is a not-for-profit professional association which promotes the use, and recycling of biodegradable polymeric materials (via composting). The BPI is open to any materials and products that demonstrate (via scientifically proven techniques) that their products are completely biodegradable in approved composting facilities.
For more information, visit www.bpiworld.org.