An appreciation for environmental protection has matured steadily in recent decades. With increasing concerns over the environment comes an increasing popularity of greenwashing. Consequently, companies whose actions do not match their environmentally-friendly promotions may mislead consumers in terms of the environmental benefits of a product or service. This essay explores possible reasons of the visible boom in greenwashing and claims that Nike, a sportswear and equipment supplier, deserves the accusation of greenwashing.
Ⅱ.Reasons for Greenwashing
Clearly, the widespread popularity of greenwashing arises in the pursuance of reputation and sales. A recent survey conducted by Advertising Age indicates that 78% of customers prefer eco-friendly corporations to companies that are reckless with the environmental issue (Berkeley Media Studies Group 2008, p.2). The result of this survey serves as an incentive for companies to greenwash. Moreover, greenwashing definitely yields fruitful results for these companies. In a survey conducted by Landor Associates, BP, a corporation being accused of greenwashing, is considered to be more environmentally friendly than its counterparts, with its voters surpassing that of Shell by 6 per cent (Solman 2008, p.24). Most importantly, greenwashing helps BP promote sales from 2004($192 billion) to 2006($266 billion) (Solman 2008, p.24). With such a prime example of greenwashing, no wonder other companies follow in BP's footsteps. Ⅲ.Nike’s official claims
Nike claims that it regards environmental protection and humane management as part of their corporate responsibility. Primarily, several claims are made regarding environmental content of its products. Nike claims that T-shirts it sells in the US contain 3 per cent organic cotton and 90 per cent of its shoes are free from toxic glues, cleaners and solvents (Beder 2002, p.25). On top of that, it asserts that it eliminates the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from...
References: Beder S, 2002, ‘Putting the Boot In’, The Ecologist, April, pp. 24-28.
Berkeley Media Studies Group, 2008, ‘Food Marketers Greenwash Junk Food’, Adweek, March, pp.1-3
CorpWatch, 2001, ‘Greenwash Fact Sheet’, CorpWatch, pp.1-2
Solman G, 2008, ‘Coloring Public Opinion?’, Adweek. January.14, pp22-24
Stoner C, 2006, ‘Corporate Greenings: Nike’, Peakinsight, pp. 1-13
TerraChoice Environmental Marketing Inc. 2007, ‘The Six Sins of Greenwashing’, November, pp.1-12
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