I would like to discuss the topic of “Greenwashing”. I feel there is a fine line between having an ethical intention of bettering your product for the benefit of mankind and merely trying to create a competitive advantage for your product by creating an artificial attribute to your organization. Wikipedia defines “Greenwashing”as a term describing the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that a company’s policies or products are environmentally friendly. The term green sheen has similarly been used to describe organizations that attempt to show that they are adopting practices beneficial to the environment.

Let’s use Clorox as an example; their latest acquisition is Burt’s Bees, (outstanding business story and great products) greenwash is possible if Clorox does not learn from its acquisition and strive to green the entirety of its operations. When I say entirety it would consist of marketing greener products, reducing footprint, working with suppliers, minimizing waste and so on. We would most likely not be able to obtain this information solely from their advertisements alone. We as consumers need to dig deeper and read more about the company’s larger initiatives to holistically understand their true ethical objectives on Greening. We will be hit with a flurry of “Green” advertisement, labeling, packaging and slogans as consumers become more consciously concerned about the product they are consuming. It will be up to us, the consumer, to make educated decisions around who is truly living the Green promise.
In conclusion I would like to reference a statement so eloquently made by Jeff Hollander of Seventh Generation, “We should absolutely not support green products from companies that use them to distract us from their larger negative environmental and social impacts. We need systemically green companies to address the challenges we face, not business-as-usual companies that hold up one green hand while...