Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Greenwashing has come to mean making false or deceptive representations about environmentally friendly aspects of products, services or practices.
The vast majority of greenwashing legal actions target product or service providers touting their wares in such a way that misleads consumers about (more…)
Friday, June 17th, 2011
Small reusable bag company ChicoBag is under fire from three of the country’s largest plastic bag manufacturers for “false and/or misleading description of fact in interstate commercial advertising”, according to the complaint filed jointly by Hilex Poly, Superbag Operating Ltd. and Advance Polybag.
Billion Dollar Plastic is asking ChicoBag to correct the (more…)
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
EcoMedia, a division of CBS, owns six pending trademark applications for the marks ECOAD and ECOAD (and Design) (shown above), for various services including fundraising for environmental protection and media and advertising services (see, e.g., ECOADS_85089838_App, ECOADS_85184033_App, and ECOADS_85184040_App). (more…)
Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
It seems just about every company is making environmental claims about their products these days. “Going green” offers an increasingly powerful advertising angle and a million ways to capitalize (and make a positive difference). But with more eco-labels than you can shake a stick at, how can you be sure product claims are spurring a sea change that runs (more…)
Friday, April 1st, 2011
In a previous post, I discussed a greenwashing case against California LED lamp maker Lights of America (LOA).
In that case, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused LOA of making false or misleading statements about its products. The disputed statements allegedly misled consumers about the (more…)
Saturday, October 30th, 2010
Greenwash (verb, \ˈgrēn-wȯsh\) - to market a product or service by promoting a deceptive or misleading perception of environmental responsibility.
Companies are launching major ad campaigns to tout their green credentials, but many of their claims are misleading. (more…)
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
There are plenty of companies and individuals that are cashing in on the green building market proliferation, but how is a designer, contractor, or home buyer supposed to decipher the information and separate greenwashing from legitimacy? Unquestionably, there is no shortage of information on the subject – right or wrong. Unfortunately, there are very few adequate resources that have mainstream appeal and effectively represent the sustainability movement from the various perspectives of all of the individuals that need to be involved.
I came up with this long list of rhetorical questions. My intention is to illustrate the disconnect that seems to be prevalent among industry professionals, design clients, the media, and the general public regarding sustainable building.
Thursday, October 1st, 2009
A couple of years after former Sierra Club President Adam Werbach founded ActNow, a sustainable business consultancy, he signed up Walmart as a client. This brought Werbach considerable notoriety in eco-activist circles. Walmart’s record of environmental responsibility had previously been spotty, to put it mildly. Werbach retorted to his critics that Walmart, with almost two million employees and 127 million customer visits per week, had the potential to do far more to save the world than the Sierra Club ever had.
I had the opportunity to visit Werbach’s company (now named Saatchi S) in San Francisco and attend a staff meeting. The participants sat on the floor and passed around a plate of organic banana bread. Yet despite the trappings of informality, the conversation had a focus, drive and ingenuity about it that I had rarely experienced in the non-profit world. The Saatchi staff certainly looked like the young, idealistic types whom I knew from environmental NGOs. But dropping a profit incentive into the motivational mix seemed to release a different level of creative zing.