Greenwashing a Real Definition
A company may put on a veneer of green in order to appeal to eco-friendly consumers. So it pays to do your research into the business practices of any company that claims to be green. Some examples of this common tactic and ways to detect it are discussed below.
Who Engages in Greenwashing?
Generally, hotels, travel agencies, food producers, land developers, and retail stores are just some of the businesses likely to engage in distasteful practice. But they are not the only ones. It always pays to do your homework.
What Kind of Claims Do Companies Make?
The claims that legitimately green companies make and those that are faking it make are essentially the same. It’s how those ideals play out in the business’s practice that makes the difference. Generally, companies engaged in greenwashing make vague claims. Here are some examples.
* Hotels may claim to be in support of eco-tourism. But they may make this claim just because they put low-flow faucets in their bathrooms. Such a claim says nothing about their overall business practices. In fact, they may engage in environmentally destructive business practices.
* “Natural ingredients” or “all natural” is a claim that all kinds of food manufacturers make. But what constitutes “natural”? Does that mean they engage in green practices elsewhere? How are the workers who harvest the food treated, for example? Does the farming and production of the food support local or indigenous communities? Such a claim says nothing about how the farm animals are treated, for instance, if it’s a meat or dairy product.
* Commercial developers may claim to support, preserve, or even create healthy habitats with their developments, but this is a vague claim as well. What kind of developments does the company do? Are they making a green claim about a development that is often destructive to the environment, such as golf courses?
* Non-food products can claim the “organic” label without having all organic or even natural ingredients.
So How Can You Tell When It’s Real?
Check into a company’s true business practices. Find out what lobbies or organizations that company supports. And find out what organizations support the company. A corporation’s annual report can be very telling, and should be viewed. It will show where the corporation has put its money, which may include some not-so-green programs.
We hope that Greenwashing A Real Definition helps you to see through the spin of some unscrupulous companies and see the real truth!