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Examples of Greenwashing Practices

Along with the term green sheen, greenwashing is the insincere promotion of green business practices that are advertised as reducing carbon emissions or limiting the use of scarce resources, for example, when the actual objective is to increase profits by implementing some easy, cost-saving measures. The environmental marketing firm TerraChoice discovered these greenwashing examples…

  • hotel that used “energy efficient” light bulbs that contained hazardous materials
  • hotel restaurant that advertised the use of “locally-sourced ingredients” that were purchased at a local supermarket
  • tour operator that used “fuel-efficient” SUVs when the vehicle itself is not an efficient mode of transportation
  • airline company that claimed the use of its planes are “better for the environment” than driving a hybrid car to your destination
  • airline company that maintained a “carbon-offsetting program” that only made up for a small fraction of the company’s overall energy use
  • hotel hair product claiming to be “CFC-free”, even though CFCs were banned 20 years ago
  • company that falsely claimed to be “certified” by an internationally recognized environmental standard like EcoLogo, Energy Star or Green Seal

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