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Greenwashing: Cleaning up by ‘saving the world’ | Marketing Magazine

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http://www.marketingmag.ca/news/marketer-news/greenwashing-cleanin...

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Marketing Magazine.

April 25, 2013 | Rebecca Harris | Comments

Greenwashing: Cleaning up by ‘saving the world’
Here’s an excerpt from our April 22 issue

Skepticism is on the rise, but marketers continue to play dirty

05/05/2013 4:19 PM

Greenwashing: Cleaning up by ‘saving the world’ | Marketing Magazine

2 of 4

http://www.marketingmag.ca/news/marketer-news/greenwashing-cleanin...

While every product has some impact on the environment, people have become more interested in purchases that cause as little harm as possible. Consumer packaged goods companies, seeing green themselves (cha-ching!), have responded to the trend with a fast-to-market fervor not seen since the discovery that Aqua Net was burning a hole in the ozone and everyone turned to hairspray pumps.
But ever since we’ve had green products, we’ve had greenwashing, and little is being done to combat it. To start, there are no laws specifically governing green claims. Federally, the Competition Bureau and the Canadian Standards Association developed green guidelines titled “Environmental Claims: A Guide for Industry and Advertisers” in 2008. While the guidelines are ultimately helpful, if not a little unwieldy, compliance is voluntary.
The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, Textile Labelling Act and Competition Act—which cover false or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices—can be applied to green marketing, but enforcement on this front is lax. Marketing lawyers say budgetary constraints are to blame and the Competition Bureau hasn’t made this an enforcement priority. The result is a Wild West of green marketing, where companies are getting away with unsubstantiated, vague, misleading or outright false green claims.

05/05/2013 4:19 PM

Greenwashing:

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