Greenwashing Info from GREENPEACE

"Every day, Americans are bombarded with advertising about environmentally friendly goods and services, but how many really are green, and how many are just pretending?"

Green•wash (grēn'wŏsh', -wôsh')

Used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.

How to Stop GreenWash

Corporations must play a central role in helping solve the world's environmental challenges. They must do this by making real changes to their policies and practices. At the same time, consumers, policy makers and journalists must be able to look beneath the green veneer and hold corporations accountable for the impacts their core business decisions and investments are having on our planet. The Greenpeace Greenwash Criteria can help consumers and journalists distinguish between green and greenwash.

Greenpeace Greenwash Criteria

  1. Dirty Business - Touting an environmental program or product, while the corporation's product or core business is inherently polluting or unsustainable. For example, if a company brags about its boutique green R&D projects but the majority of spending and investment reinforces old, unsustainable, polluting practices.
  2. Ad Bluster - Using targeted advertising and public relations campaigns to exaggerate an environmental achievement in order to divert attention away from environmental problems or if it spends more money advertising an environmental achievement than actually doing it. For example, if a company were to do a million dollar ad campaign about a clean up that cost less.
  3. Political Spin - Advertising or speaking about corporate "green" commitments while lobbying against pending or current environmental laws and regulations. For example, if advertising or public statements are used to emphasize corporate environmental responsibility in the midst of legislative pressure or legal action.
  4. It's the Law, Stupid! - Advertising or branding a product with environmental achievements that are already required or mandated by existing laws. For example, if an industry or company has been forced to change a product, clean up its pollution or protect an endangered species, then uses PR campaigns to make such action look proactive or voluntary.

Visit GREENPEACE website ( and learned more useful information.

*3 Greenwash Ads about Automobiles:

About: Hummer ad is insulting vegetarians' intelligence?

About: GM is calling this their VEGETARIAN MODEL?? What do you think???

About: This is General Motors' television commercial for the Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid vehicle that won't be produced until three years from now.

More greenwash ads are available at:

Posted by YiChen Chen