The Greenwashing Index and You!

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 12:56 AM

The Greenwashing Index and You!

We have all heard of The Six Sins of Greenwashing , and now we have an Index to see if businesses are really Greenwashing or whitewashing with a green brush. Companies and organizations make their products look really healthy for the environment. We are lured in with the idea that we will be helping the environment. NOT SO FAST!! The Greenwashing Index provides us with a way to decide if a business ad is good for the environment. The goal of the site is to keep us educated about reading ads and being able to decide if what we are seeing is Greenwashing.
Enviromedia Social Marketing promotes the Greenwashing Index with the help of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.
Here is the Greenwashing Index:
1. THE AD MISLEADS WITH WORDS
Do you believe the ad misleads the viewer/reader about the company’s/product’s environmental impact through the things it says? Does it seem the words are trying to make you believe there is a green claim when there isn’t? Focus on the words only — what do you think the ad is saying?
2. THE AD MISLEADS WITH VISUALS AND/OR GRAPHICS
Do you think the advertiser has used green or natural images in a way designed to make you think the product/company is more environmentally friendly than it really is?
3. THE AD MAKES A GREEN CLAIM THAT IS VAGUE OR SEEMINGLY UNPROVABLE
Does the ad claim environmental benefits without sufficiently identifying for you what they are? Has the advertiser provided a source for claims or for more information? Are the claims related to the company/product?
4. THE AD OVERSTATES OR EXAGGERATES HOW GREEN THE PRODUCT/COMPANY/SERVICE ACTUALLY IS
Do you believe the advertiser is overstating how green the product/company actually is? Are the green claims made by the ad believable? Do you think it's possible for the product/company to do the things depicted/stated?
5. THE AD LEAVES OUT OR MASKS IMPORTANT INFORMATION, MAKING THE GREEN CLAIM SOUND BETTER THAN IT IS
Do you think the ad exists to divert attention from something else the company does? Do you believe the relevant collateral consequences of the product/service are considered in the ad? Does it seem to you something is missing from the ad?
This site is available to make sure the environment isn’t sacrificed by our lack of information. They hope that businesses will start to regulate themselves by having a sustainable and be accountable for the sustainable practices they claim to have. Greenwashing can end.
Submitted By Kathy Sprick

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