What is ―Whitewashing‖?  It‘s defined as ―a coordinated attempt to hide unpleasant facts, especially in a political context.‖  What is ―Greenwashing‖?  It‘s Greenwashing when a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be ―green‖ through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact. It‘s whitewashing, but with a green brush.


Greenwashing is the unjustified appropriation of environmental virtue by a company, an industry, a government, a politician or even a non-government organization to create a pro-environmental image, sell a product or a policy, or to try and rehabilitate their standing with the public and decision makers after being embroiled in controversy. Use of PR in a deceptive way.

The term was coined by New York environmentalist Jay Westervelt in a 1986 essay regarding the hotel industry‘s practice.  The term is used when significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being green, rather than spending resources on environmentally sound practices.  Portrayed by changing the name or label of the product E.g.: Earth Hour, Comcast ("PaperLESSisMORE" ), Poland Spring (ecoshape bottle), AirbusA380


Greenwashing is misleading

advertising legitimately labeled as "greenwashing" is dishonest, and that's a problem.
creation of the illusion of environmental sustainability has dire social consequences

Can result in consumer and regulator complacency

May also engender cynicism

which leave gritty materials in the wash water that can be harsh to hands. most Indian consumers settle for the lowest priced powders. which can irritate hands during and after washing. Tide Naturals balances cleaning and mildness at a price 30% lower than regular Tide. And its unique scent containing natural oils offers an attractive benefit to Indian consumers that other low-cost detergents don‘t. With unique ingredients developed at our Beijing Technical Center (this is where their detergent based chemical formulas are decided). It also dissolves in water—unlike most competitive products in the low price range. With their extremely limited laundry detergent budgets.TIDE NATURALS – MISLEADING???  According to P&G‘s Annual Report: About 80% of consumers in India—200 million households— wash their laundry by hand.  P&G launched Tide Naturals in India in December 2009.  .

P&G said that its entry-level detergent brand contains only fragrances of lemon and chandan and no natural ingredients as suggested by its name.TIME TO UNFOLD SOME SECRETS????     Procter & Gamble (P&G) admitted that its low-priced detergent brand Tide Naturals contains no "natural" ingredients (no natural oils). It also confirmed that it adds synthetic compounds to bring out the fresh smell of lime and sandal The Madras High Court on March 1 issued an order to P&G to modify its advertising (T. In an affidavit submitted to the Madras High Court. . commercials) for Tide Naturals to clarify prominently to consumers that the detergent does not contain anything natural as its name suggests.V.

‖ . making the green claim sound better than it is      Goal: To educate consumers how to ―read‖ an ad and encourage them to decide ―what they are seeing is greenwashing.GREENWASHING INDEX     It is promoted by EnviroMedia Social Marketing with the help of University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. High scores are undesirable (for the advertiser). Consumers rate the ad!!! It generates a score based on consumer‘s response based on certain statements. The ad misleads with: Words Visuals and/or graphics A green claim that is vague and cannot be proved Overstates or exaggerates how green the product/company/service actually is  Leaves out or masks important information.

―DON‘T BE FOOLED‖  This is a report  A joint effort by and Earth Day Resources which accuses corporations of deceiving consumers with false claims of environmental responsibility and all-natural wholesomeness.  The accused:      Kraft's Post Selects Cereals The Council for Biotechnology Information Comanche Trace Clairol General Motors .

such as non-government organisations. Why are organisations attracted to engage in greenwashing?      Attempting to divert the attention of regulators and deflating pressure for regulatory change Seeking to persuade critics. that they are both well-intentioned and have changed their ways Seeking to expand market share at the expense of those rivals not involved in greenwashing Reducing staff turnover and making it easier to attract staff in the first place Making the company seem attractive for potential investors .TERRACHOICE   Conducted a study: Almost all of environmental claims made for consumer products are false or misleading.

THE SINS OF GREENWASHING Scrutiny of environmental claims will be positive only as long as it manages to discourage greenwashing while simultaneously encouraging more and more green product innovation and commercialization.  Consumers are creating a gradually greener retail world.  Since 2009.  Consumers are offering companies both a carrot and a stick. the number of ―greener‖ products has gone up by 73%  .

FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT  Consumers are changing the world for the better.  Proportion of sin-free products appears to have doubled in each of the last two years (2007-2010) Categories that have more experience with ―greening‖ have 5 times more ―sin-free‖ products Consumers can trust big box stores  Companies improve with practice. and sometimes part of the problem  Fake labels has increased dramatically BPA (577%) & phthalate (2550%)  BPA + phthalate-related claims are skyrocketing  .    Big Box stores are gentle green giants  Eco-labeling is an important solution.


THE 7 SINS OF GREENWASHING 1) Sin of the Hidden Trade-off 2) Sin of No Proof 3) Sin of Vagueness 4) Sin of Irrelevance 5) Sin of Lesser of Two Evils 6) Sin of Fibbing 7) Sin of Worshiping False .

PERCENTAGES (7 SINS) FINDINGS 1) Greenwashing is still a significant problem (95% of greener products commit one or more of the 7 sins ) 2) But. greenwashing is declining (the number of sin-free products appears to have doubled in each of the last two years) 3) And. greenwashing is changing (trends in sins) .

Tissue products are an outliers in mature .8% in mature categories while only 13.1% sin-free products in mature categories and 0.3% in immature categories.8% in immature categories) 3) Greenwashing declines with experience (5.COMPANIES IMPROVE WITH PRACTICE FINDINGS 1) Growth continues in the longterm (greener product offerings in the mature categories increased by an average of 104.3%) 2) Use of legitimate certification increases with maturity (average frequency of 28.

8% Advantage: Combination of the scrutiny they receive and their power over their supply chains .8% Specialty stores: 11.GENTLE GREEN GIANTS FINDINGS Big box stores: 22.5% Green Boutiques: 12.

ECO-LABELING (PROBLEM + SOLUTION) FINDINGS 1) Legitimate green standards help fight greenwashing (good eco-labeling helps prevent (but doesn’t eliminate) greenwashing) 2) False Eco-labeling is increasing (32% greener products carried fake labels compared to 26.8% in 2009) 3) False labels are a dime a dozen Environmental standards and certification will be essential to continuing progress in “greener” .

BPA + PHTHALATE SKYROCKETING CLAIMS 1) BPA-free 577% & Phthalate-free 2550% 2) Two-thirds of these claims appear on toys and baby products (44% BPA-free claim. 10% Phthalate-free claim) WHAT’S A GREEN MOM TO DO? 1) Support ―green‖ products whenever you can 2) Choose the green product that offers the best proof .

8% sin-free green baby products) 3) Lack of evidence (89% of greener baby toys and products commit this sin) 4) BPA and Phthalates .FINDINGS 1) Very high rates of growth of ―greener‖ product offerings (greener toy offerings 150% and green baby products 194% 2) More greenwashing (less than 1% are sin-free: no single sin-free green toy & only 0.

Pet Food 11. Meat 23. Breakfast Cereals 20. Dairy 18. Personal Care and Beauty 22. Air Travel . Clothes 3. Fur 17. Paper Products 12. Soft Drinks 5. Home Appliances 21. Mattresses 9. Coal 2. Cars 7. Bottled Water 4. Hotels 16. Household Cleaning Products            15. Software 24. Disposable Diapers 13.THE TOP 25 GREEN WASHED PRODUCTS IN AMERICA               1. Laundry Detergents 10. Toys 25. Snacks 14. Gas 6. Tampons and Sanitary pads 19. Biofuel 8.

HOUSE-HOLD CLEANING PRODUCTS FINDINGS 1) Different rates of growth 2) Greenwashing varies 3) Vagueness is the most common problem 4) Good use of legitimate certification .

DIY BUILDING/ CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS FINDINGS 1) Very strong ―green‖ growth 2) Less greenwashing 3) ―Hidden trade-offs‖ are unusually common 4) Improved use of legitimate standards .

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS FINDINGS 1) Still relatively slow green growth 2) High rate of greenwashing 3)False labels a particular problem .

 Fact is. solar. there‘s nothing clean or ―new‖ about coal.  . and hydrogen power methods.  Continuing to promote coal as a clean energy source is contemptible when you compare it with wind. The burning of coal emits millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.  Coal is not sustainable. water.COAL The term ―clean coal‖ is more of a collective guilt assuager than an environmental fact.

They also made suspicious claims about manufacturing their clothing ―using an environmentally friendly process that retains the natural antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant and (being) biodegradable. It is bamboo fiber‘s drugaddled step-cousin). denying smart ecominded shoppers who brought their own. The manufacturers advertised their rayon clothing as ―bamboo fiber‖ clothing (rayon consists of fibers processed with toxic carbon disulfide. .‖ according to the FTC. Banana Republic launched an ―It‘s Easy Being Green‖ promotion that requires using their reusable bag to get 10 percent off your purchases.      Also in 2009. BR also required consumers to buy a new bag to be part of the promotion. Not always so. and especially not when Banana Republic is manufacturing thousands of bags made from conventional cotton that takes tons of pesticides to produce.CLOTHES  The FTC charged bamboo clothing manufacturers with making false green claims.

 . the Polaris Institute and Ecojustice. are lining up for a fresh coat of green to stay in the eco-minded dollar game.  FIJI water.BOTTLED WATER Industry giants like Nestlé and Fiji.  Nestlé‘s repeated claims that ―bottled water is the most environmentally responsible consumer product in the world‖ have garnered complaints filed under the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards by the Friends of the Earth Canada. the most-imported brand in America. deserves a Shady Water Company award.

thanks to FIJI‘s habit of exporting it.  Typhoid outbreaks are common on the island. the island of Fiji‘s military junta protects the brand at the expense of Fijian citizens.  Most people in Fiji don‘t have safe drinking water.  The company uses plastic made in Chinese dieselpowered plants to produce its thick rectangular bottles.For one. thanks in part to pretty packaging and a $5 million ―Fiji Green‖ marketing campaign.  Yet Americans–including celebrities and Barack Obama–continue to guzzle the stuff.  .

GAS Energy companies are some of the worst offenders in the green sheen game.  BP‘s redesigned logo is one notorious example. even their own previous investments in renewable energy.  Even as they claim to be concerned about emissions—they speak frequently about their efforts to develop ―clean energy‖ sources–they continue to pull out of renewable research.  . The green stylized flower suggests that BP is a company that is both environmentally friendly and responsible.

since the U.‖  Chemical-free mattresses might be a pipe dream.MATTRESSES The mattress industry is filled with confusing terms like ―eco-friendly. though some use rayon-based fiber pads as a flame barrier. Consumer Product Safety Commission instituted the national open-flame mattress flammability standard that went into effect in 2007. you ―sleep closer to nature. you have to sleep on something flame retardant.‖ One company even claims that on their mattresses.  .‖ ―natural‖ and ―organic.  By law. Most companies accomplish this with chemicals.S.

soy and bamboobased faoms in their ―green‖ mattress lines. It also requires heavy irrigation. while created from renewable resources.  Textiles such as rayon and bamboo. taxing local water supplies.MATTRESSES Some companies use cotton. not to mention the workers exposed to those substances.  The process impacts the sensitive regions where these trees and grasses are harvested. is the world‘s most pesticide-intensive crop. however. Cotton. are pulped and imbued with hazardous chemicals that include caustic soda and sulphuric acid.  .

the actual organic content remains a mystery. .‖ But parents may be too sleep-deprived to see what‘s lurking beyond the leaves and smiling baby on the package.DISPOSABLE DIAPERS    Huggies‘ Pure and Natural line goes invites consumers to discover the ―pure bliss of a diaper that includes gentle. natural materials. Although organic cotton is ―included‖ in the outer cover.

DISPOSABLE DIAPERS the diapers also don‘t include organic cotton on the inside surface of the diaper. Huggies also does not sell a single biodegradable diaper.  . which actually touches the baby‘s skin.  True eco-companies are going big by using 100% and using unbleached cotton in their baby products.

genetically modified crud for feed. Those ―natural‖ products may not contain pesticides.  Dean downgraded several well-established Horizon products from organic to ―natural. the country‘s largest dairy company.‖ an unregulated. but the cows behind them may well dine on pesticide-laden. relatively meaningless term.  One of the most famous cases of dairy greenwashing involves Dean Foods.DAIRY Dairy products fall victim to the ―all-natural‖ curse. It pulled green bait-andswitch its Silk and Horizon-brand products.  .

like a GREEN NINJA. Instead.  . to mislabel nonorganic dairy products as organic. prompting national retailers like Target. they stealthily removed the word ―organic‖ from the packaging without making any other changes.DAIRY Dean didn‘t inform major retailers of the switch.  Habituated consumers continued to pay extra for products that used to be organic.

as well as milk products from rBGH (growth hormone)-treated cows. produces a Natural Advantage line of cereal that includes ―antioxidants‖ and ―natural fiber. for example. and soy in its morning treats.‖  Yet the company uses genetically modified corn. But those Vitamin C-packed berries may also contain pesticide residue. potatoes. antioxidants and fiber.  .CEREALS Cereal boxes are tattooed with claims of vitamins.  Cereal maker Kraft.

that tree isn‘t saying if GE‘s manufacturing operations are helping to deliver a carbon-neutralized appliance to your home. GE claimed that they can reduce a family‘s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through GE technologies and household appliances.  For some reason.  And while the image of a tree hugging a house in their commercial plays into a consumer‘s ecoconscience.  . GE didn‘t share how much their appliances contribute to reducing monthly energy costs per home. or how many of their appliances are needed to see a measurable reduction.HOME APPLIANCES In a recent campaign.

propylene glycol and D&C red no.PERSONAL CARE AND BEAUTY  Take Clairol‘s Herbal Essences. But lauryl sulfate. 33 aren‘t really that organic. It has claimed a ―truly organic experience‖ in the past. .

Big companies like Microsoft and Oracle are releasing products to help oil. At the same time. Microsoft added some minor powersaving features to its new Windows 7. gas.SOFTWARE IT spending isn‘t what it was 10 years ago. and utilities companies cut power usage and estimate emissions. including a low-light setting for your monitor. the company pushed users to buy a new computer to run Windows 7  No wonder Windows 7 didn‘t win Microsoft any green awards. As a result.  . many software vendors are trying on a coat of green to bolster their reputations.  Last year.

S. or further damage the planet. . They invited customers to buy Toys ‗R‘ Usbranded reusable shopping bags. Widespread toy recalls in Europe and the U. have also pushed toymakers into greening their operations. harm the workers making them. Toy giant Toys ‗R‘ Us recently tried to cash in on increased awareness thing without actually detoxing their toys. They also changed their signature ―R‖ to include a recycle symbol a store-branded reusable bag isn‘t what parents are looking for. They want toys that won‘t poison their kids.TOYS    Parents are willing to spend more on items that they feel will keep lead paint and cadmium out of their child‘s toy box.


We are sitting on maybe 1.000 Bhopals .


 Innovation  CII-ITC Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Development . it may be good PR  Once they see savings. they are quite resistant.  Sustainability has moved from being a regulatory issue to a management issue to a business issue (opportunities) to a core strategic issue. GREENER PROCESSES? Large industries more or less quite understand it makes business sense  At first. then they say.ARE COMPANIES RESISTANT TO ADOPTING CLEANER. they are in.

it‘s a long process  sustainability mark. which aware consumers will buy  CII-ITC Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Development .CAN SUSTAINABILITY BE A BARGAINING CHIP FOR HIGHER PRICES. where they have these organic sections  consumer awareness has to grow. consumption has to change. you know. We only see it in some of the retail shops. over a period of time. ARE THERE TAKERS? the market in India‘s not so mature right now. a label. one which companies can apply for voluntarily.

It was like an on-off switch. It tried an Ecomark scheme 15-16 years ago. GREENER PROCESSES?  Government endorsement will be very important here. it didn‘t succeed. it wasn‘t like a company could go up after being at grade 1 or 2 for a period of time CII-ITC Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Development . it must enable all this to happen.ARE COMPANIES RESISTANT TO ADOPTING CLEANER. no grading. an administratively cumbersome scheme.

market cap and such. sustainable stakeholder value. Ads are a good beginning but shouldn‘t be all PR. debt equity ratio.  over a period of time is as a company how am I generating social value.ADVERTISING FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY-CONSCIOUS PRODUCTS. where there‘s the PE ratio. We have to make sure any kind of statements from the company should be backed by credible data.  CII-ITC Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Development . unlike financial value. There are no metrics to measure how.

BENEFITS OF SUSTAINABILITY New markets .such as the ones for Godrej Chotukool  ITC‘s farm forestry initiative. e-choupal.  .

These toxins can cause severe health problems  What must HCL do? . Stop using hazardous chemicals in its products Company‘s claim on its website: ―striving to phase out PVC and BFRs. lead and BFRs.WHAT ABOUT GREENWASHING IN INDIA?? CASE 1: HCL (2007)      ―Shame HCL‖ protest by Greenpeace activists at the company‘s headquarters in Noida Demand: Company make clear and binding commitments to green its operations. ―once economically viable technical solutions‖ exist This is a clear case of one of the 7 sins of greenwashing Desktop sales of HCL lead to distribution of several million kilos of plastic and electronic components that contained PVC.

But does it really mean ―green‖ to the environment? .CASE 2: COCA COLA (2007)      Company‘s claim: To protect rivers on four continents Charges by India Resource Center: Release of untreated wastewater into surrounding agricultural fields and a canal that feeds into the Ganges River in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh In 2003 Central Pollution Board of India found that sludge at Coca Cola factories contained high level of toxic heavy metals like lead. cadmium and chromium Coca cola pledged to spend $20 million to conserve seven of the world‘s most critical river basins.

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