environment sustainability

Durban greenwashing?

I recently wrote about greenwashing versus actual change related to companies in South Africa. Here is an interesting and hard-hitting and worthwhile article by Patrick Bond on municipal greenwashing before COP17, just after I praised the municipality for a great landfill methane production initiative.


environment recycling soil sustainability

Greenwashing versus actual change

This is an amalgamation of various emails that have been sent in by Tuffy, Nedbank, Woolworths and Caturra Coffee. – mol-d

Many product manufacturers are guilty of ‘greenwashing’ with their claims of green, eco-friendly or organic; misleading consumers into believing they are purchasing green products, when in fact they are buying into marketing claims. This is according to Rory Murray, Marketing Director of Tuffy Brands, who says that the direct dictionary definition of ‘greenwash’ is the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service. According to TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, in 2009, 98% of all ‘green’ claims made by companies and brands were guilty of one or more of the ‘seven sins of green washing’, which include hidden trade-offs, no proof, vagueness, false labels, irrelevance, lesser of two evils, and fibbing.

“Greenwashing is not a new concept, as consumers have been mislead about the environmental benefits of products and services for years, there is an ever increasing list of dubious marketing practices,” he says. “Green is no longer just a colour but has become a movement to make money. There is no regulation in South Africa to combat these claims and we firmly believe that a regulatory body is needed to monitor claims. Currently the only