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Greenwashing gets punished

By Reuben Teague on 12 Mar 2010

This recent post on Advertising Age’s blog raises some issues that we have had to confront over the years, and which we will undoubtedly run into again. The first, and most troubling, is the tendency of unscrupulous marketers to start pushing products as “greener” without any backing to their claims. I’m glad the FTC is paying attention to these issues, as they are certain to worsen as more companies try to get into (or pretend to get into) the green space. Much of the drama, of course, comes from companies that are just being dishonest about their products, such as this case where some clothing sellers were trying to pass rayon off as bamboo. Childish stuff, really.

But a more difficult question arises when there is a legitimate claim to be greener, but no relevant metric in place. This is where consumers can quickly become frazzled and an entire market segment can suffer. How do you decide what to buy when everyone is claiming to be the “greener” option?

We’ve long been fans of attaching metrics to our work as much as possible, which is why we’re working to monetize the savings associated with our new Energy Efficiency services. Our hope is to be able to easily quantify the benefits of the work we do, both to the pocketbooks of our customers and to the planet as a whole. We know most people want to do the right thing, the challenge is getting them the right set of information to do so.

Categories: Building Green

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