Greenwash Of The Week: New Greenwash Sin & 2009 Report.

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May 27, 2009

Last year, I posted the 6 Sins of Greenwashing…but this year’s list includes a brand new sin added to the list: the Sin of Worshiping False Labels.

Some marketers are exploiting consumers’ demand for third-party certification by creating fake labels or false suggestions of third-party endorsement. This development is serious enough to warrant its own category – hence the seventh Sin. There is also a brand-new 2009 report from Terrachoice, who sent researchers into category-leading ”˜big box’ retailers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia with instructions to record every product making an environmental claim. For each product, the researchers recorded product details, claim(s) details, any supporting information, and any explanatory detail or offers of additional information or support. Well, of the 2,219 North American products surveyed, over 98% committed at least one of the previously identified Six Sins of Greenwashing and the new Seventh Sin emerged. It’s a sad state of affairs out there in the marketplace! You can download the 26 page PDF report right here The challenge and call-to-action of the Seven Sins of Greenwashing report is to discourage greenwashing by putting practical tools in the hands of consumers and companies, while still encouraging and rewarding genuine efforts towards sustainable innovation. I highly recommend you check it out asap!


  1. Terrachoice is a for-profit company that created a bias marketing campaign to push Ecologo (the logo they manage). My wife bought some Ecologo products a while back and noticed greenwashing on the labels. What a farce; that makes Terrachoice and Ecologo sinners! This prompted me to check out Ecologo standards. I was surprised to learn that they are so old they cannot really represent environmental leadership anymore?! Others only have a single criterion statement (another sin); where is the life-cycle approach they promised on their website (another lie)?! Check out their website and download the standards and see for yourself… Shame on Terrachoice for pointing the finger at others, when they cannot deliver. Most eco-labels are not worth paying extra money, because we have no idea of the real environmental savings. All we have here is hypocrisy, marketing spin, and a very bad marketing campaign. It”™s all a scam. Beware!

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