Green Marketing is the activity of marketing products or services that are presumed to be environmentally friendly by promoting their environmental benefits. These products of services may be friendly in it or produced and/or packaged in an environmentally friendly way. At first mention, Green Marketing looks to be all positive, but the public tends to be skeptical of green claims and companies can seriously damage their brands and their sales if a green claim is discovered to be false or contradicted by a company's other products of practices.
Let face it, green marketing is everywhere and we are constantly being bombarded by advertising urging us to “go green” when really they just want us to purchase their product. In the process of researching and writing and rewriting this paper, I discovered something very valuable about green marketing. It is vexing. It is very annoying and it is boring. It is constantly thrown in your face at company’s every opportunity. I think we all have a very good grasp on the green marketing trend, so now, let’s take a look at the dirty side of green marketing: Greenwashing!
Greenwashing is green marketing’s evil twin. It is a term used to describe a company’s disingenuously spinning their products and policies as environmentally friendly, but when they are not. Greenwashing comes from the words green and whitewash and can be used interchangeably with green sheen. These companies are lying through their PR or green marketing that they are adopting practices that are beneficial to the environment. The companies see the benefits of labeling their products as being green, but do not want to invest their money in making their products green.
“The Six Sins of Greenwashing” are: Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off, Sin of No-Proof, Sin of Vagueness, Sin of Irrelevance, Sin of Fibbing, and Sin of Lesser of Two Evils. These sins were formulated after an environmental group conducted a research of random consumer products to test their environmental claims, over 99% failed the test and thus patterns were determined and groupings were made.
Greenwashing will be prevalent as long as consumers see “green” as being an important determining factor in the purchase of products. Unless you pledge to research every environmental claim made by a product before you buy, you take the risk of becoming a victim of greenwashing.