• Green washing 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.
The U.S.-based watchdog group CorpWatch:
• Defines green wash as "the phenomena of socially and environmentally destructive corporations, attempting to preserve and expand their markets or power by posing as friends of the environment." This definition was shaped by by the group's focus on corporate behavior and the rise of corporate green advertising at the time. However, governments, political candidates, trade associations and non-government organizations have also been accused of greenwashing.
• In 2008 the environmental group Greenpeace launched a website Stop Greenwash to "confront deceptive greenwashing campaigns, engage companies in debate, and give consumers and activists and lawmakers the information and tools they need to ... hold corporations accountable for the impacts their core business decisions and investments are having on our planet."
The allure of green washing
Terra Choice and the Seven Sins on CBC News world:
• TerraChoice, an environmental marketing company, conducted a study which found that almost all of the environmental claims made for consumer products are false or misleading. Organizations are attracted to engage in green washing for a wide range of reasons
• Attempting to divert the attention of regulators and deflating pressure for regulatory change • Seeking to persuade critics, such as long government organizations, 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 green washing; this is especially...