Ist It Green? or Greenwashed?

Are you being Greenwashed?

Greenwashing, the practice by companies to make deliberate or misleading claims on products to gain confidence in the marketplace, is an incredibly serious matter. Companies positioning themselves as sustainable should walk the walk and stop muddying the competitive field just to make a profit. You know who you are: You claim your product is recycled, good for the environment and produced of sustainable materials when none of these claims are true or are, at best, dubious.

The Federal Trade Commission has proposed revisions to marketers’ guides to eliminate the problem of misleading environmental claims on products. The changes to the “Green Guides” include new guidance on marketers’ use of product certifications and seals of approval, “renewable energy” claims, “renewable materials” claims, and “carbon offset” claims.

“In recent years, businesses have increasingly used ‘green’ marketing to capture consumers’ attention and move Americans toward a more environmentally friendly future. But what companies think green claims mean and what consumers really understand are sometimes two different things,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.

The problem with consumers being duped has far reaching consequences. In a report, advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather said the use of greenwash is “an extremely serious matter…it is insidious, eroding consumer trust, contaminating the credibility of all sustainability-related marketing and hence inhibiting progress toward a sustainable economy.”

How can consumers make an educated choice when marketers are intentionally confusing them in order to get them to buy? If consumers walk away in frustration, even the credible companies lose out.

GreenDustries’ products are the real deal and we don’t mislead our customers. Our products are made from 100 percent recycled paper. We have been endorsed by the Dogwood Alliance and we use less substrate in the manufacture of our PleatPak and Magic Bag, which means our products can be made for less – and that translates directly to cost savings for customers and space savings in landfills.

As the world goes green, we all need to spread the word to make sure greenwashing doesn’t overshadow the truly green products.

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  1. December 3rd, 2011
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