Note to CEO’S: We Are Not Lemmings
From Wikipedia: Greenwash – a term used to describe the practice of companies disingenuously spinning their products and policies as environmentally friendly …. The term is generally used when significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being green rather than spending resources on environmentally sound practices.
From TerraChoice’s December 2007 study “The Six Sins of Greenwashing” – more than 99% of 1,018 common consumer products randomly surveyed for the study were guilty of greenwashing.
* Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off: e.g. “Energy-efficient” electronics that contain hazardous materials. 998 products and 57% of all environmental claims committed this Sin.
* Sin of No Proof: e.g. Shampoos claiming to be “certified organic,” but with no verifiable certification. 454 products and 26% of environmental claims committed this Sin.
* Sin of Vagueness: e.g. Products claiming to be 100% natural when many naturally-occurring substances are hazardous, like arsenic and formaldehyde. Seen in 196 products or 11% of environmental claims.
* Sin of Irrelevance: e.g. Products claiming to be CFC-free, even though CFCs were banned 20 years ago. This Sin was seen in 78 products and 4% of environmental claims.
* Sin of Fibbing: e.g. Products falsely claiming to be certified by an internationally recognized environmental standard like EcoLogo, Energy Star or Green Seal. Found in 10 products or less than 1% of environmental claims.
* Sin of Lesser of Two Evils: e.g. Organic cigarettes or “environmentally friendly” pesticides, This occurred in 17 products or 1% of environmental claims.
In the process of creating the following list, 24/7 Wall St. examined hundreds of state and federal documents and interviewed experts in environmental law, and officials who review data for non-profit organizations which have charters to track environmental violations.
List of the Top Ten Greenwashers in America:
1. General Electric (GE)
2. American Electric Power (AEP)
4. Du Pont
5. Archer Daniels Midland
6. Waste Management, Inc.
7. International Paper
8. British Petroleum (BP)
9. Dow Chemical
10. General Motors (GM)
The 24/7 Wall St. further reported: Every company on this list makes a substantial investment in creating a perception that they are friendlier to the environment than their peers are or that they are on the side of good or that saving the global ecosystem should be part of a corporation’s broad public responsibility-its good citizenship. These firms often spend millions of dollars on advertising to support the way that their companies are perceived in the green world. But, hidden behind these efforts, each corporation on this list is a Herculean polluter. And, that fact points to a hypocrisy which is almost completely hidden from the public.
“Green is green as in the color of money” – Brand director of General Electric, (Brandweek, July 24, 2006)
Greenwashing – the act of misleading the public regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product, service, or business line.
Pompous Bastard(s) – a person or corporation that insults our intelligents by assuming we are naive enough to actually believe their greenwashing, patronizing, propaganda.
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