"The Six Sins of Greenwashing"

If you get a chance, read Two Steps Forward: The Six Sins of Greenwashing by Joel Makower. It is the other side of my recent post on the rights of consumers.

These are two sides of the same discussion for the following reason: most of these eco product claims are failing because they are trying to give consumers the answer, instead of the data. Instead of saying “Here’s the data on the impact of this product”, they want to jump to the conclusion, saying “This product is green. Believe us, if you could see the data you’d agree.”

Programs like Energy Star have been successful and effective in trying to simplify complex stories in order to help customers make better decisions. These types of summaries, when done right, can be useful and effective. We can’t stop there and think that that’s enough, though. Only when we provide open, accurate data on all of environmental aspects of products will we get the kind of green procurement and consumer behavior that we really need.