2022 Boise Idaho Real Estate Blog

The Seven Sins of Greenwashing

Main Building Value into Boise Real Estate
My prediction is Green is the new Mold. What I mean is the green movement will be the legal system's next gold mine, just like the mold issues were of just a few years ago. Here are seven reasons why the green consumer marketing industry will soon find them selves in trouble unless they fully cover their rear.

A report by the Canadian firm www.TerraChoice.com pinpointed the following seven issues with most of today’s green marketing campaigns. Terra Point defines greenwashing as: “the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service”. Unless the product you are selling is certified green by a recognized organization you are probable committing one of these sins. 

 
One of the largest industries targeted will be the building industry. Those builders/remodelers touting green will soon find themselves in legal hot-water unless their green marketing claims are backed up by a third-party green certifier.
 
1. Sin of the Hidden Trade-off
A claim suggesting that a product is ‘green’ based on a narrow set of attributes without attention to other important environmental issues. Paper, for example, is not necessarily environmentally-preferable just because it comes from a sustainably-harvested forest. Other important environmental issues in the paper-making process, such as greenhouse gas emissions, or chlorine use in bleaching may be equally important.
 
2. Sin of No Proof
An environmental claim that cannot be substantiated by easily accessible supporting information or by a reliable third-party certification. Common examples are facial tissues or toilet tissue products that claim various percentages of post-consumer recycled content without providing evidence.
 
3. Sin of Vagueness
A claim that is so poorly defined or broad that its real meaning is likely to be misunderstood by the consumer. ‘All-natural’ is an example. Arsenic, uranium, mercury, and formaldehyde are all naturally occurring, and poisonous. ‘All natural’ isn’t necessarily ‘green’.
 
4. Sin of Worshiping False Labels
A product that, through either words or images, gives the impression of third-party endorsement where no such endorsement exists; fake labels, in other words.
 
5. Sin of Irrelevance
An environmental claim that may be truthful but is unimportant or unhelpful for consumers seeking environmentally preferable products. ‘CFC-free’ is a common example, since it is a frequent claim despite the fact that CFCs are banned by law.
 
6. Sin of Lesser of Two Evils
A claim that may be true within the product category, but that risks distracting the consumer from the greater environmental impacts of the category as a whole. Organic cigarettes could be an example of this Sin, as might the fuel-efficient sport-utility vehicle.
 
7. Sin of Fibbing
Environmental claims that are simply false. The most common examples were products falsely claiming to be Energy Star certified or registered.
 
For more information regarding certified green building and the NAHB National Green Building Program please feel free to call me direct at 208-867-4587 or visit us a www.flynnerhomes.com .
 
Cheers,
 
Scott Flynn, RMB, CGP
Flynner Homes
 
Posted by Scott Flynn at 8/18/2009 4:59:00 PM

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