After reading “The ‘six sins of greenwashing’: A study of environmental claims in North American markets (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.,” discuss the tension between business’s interests in maximizing profits and the public’s interest in receiving complete, truthful, and non-misleading information about products that they purchase. From a business perspective, what are the dangers of greenwashing? If you were a marketing executive, would you have a policy against greenwashing? Why or why not?
Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ posts in a substantive manner.
Agree or disagree with your classmate’s position concerning having a policy against greenwashing. Defend your position by using information from the week’s readings or the readings related to governmental regulation.
Companies that are green washing are only using one “environmental attribute (the recycled content of paper, for example) or an unreasonably narrow set of attributes (recycled content and chlorine free bleaching) without attention to other important, environmental issues (such as energy, global warming, water, and forestry impacts of paper)” (“The six sins of greenwashing”, n.d.). These companies are only trying to maximize profit while ripping off customers that are concerned with the environment and taking away from true companies that are selling legit products that are protecting our surroundings and the conditions we live in. Companies selling accurate environmental products are probably more expensive than the misleading ones which is why they are losing value. Companies that do get caught greenwashing can face fines and penalties from the United States environmental protection agency.
The more negative effects of greenwashing deals with harming the environment which will happen if customers get tired of being bamboozled. All companies that sell green products such as paper towels, dish and washing detergents will not be able to sell because the reputation for green products will be diminished. As a marketing executive, I would have a green seal mark on my products to ensure customers I have high quality green effects that are certified. By doing that, it shows customers I am honest, which will attract more customers and make my products superior to others. Furthermore, with green seal products, I will be “reducing toxic pollution and waste, conserving resources and habitats, and minimizing global warming and ozone depletion” (greenseal.org).
(2017). Green business. Why certification? Retrieved from http://www.greenseal.org/GreenBusiness/Certification/WhyCertification.aspx
(n.d.). The ‘six sins of greenwashing’: A study of environmental claims in North American markets. TerraChoice Environmental Marketing Inc. The Six Sins of Greenwashing. Retrieved from http://sinsofgreenwashing.org/index6b90.pdf (Links to an external site.)
YOU MUST REPLY TO SARAH:
Today, I believe more and more people are looking and wanting to be more environmental. Recycling has grown and people looking for more safe products for themselves and the environment. I personally, will not buy items tested on animals, therefore I know anything sold in China is not cruelty free, as China requires testing on animals to sell products such as makeup or shampoo there. Bands today are moving more and more towards becoming cruelty free as they see the rise of people wanting it. It is really exciting to me when I see past favorite makeup companies come back from the dark side!! Reading this article was upsetting to me, as I did not know “greenwashing” was a thing. When I see labels like recyclable or chlorine free I am happy, but now I know there is so much research I need to start making. Companies want to appeal to people’s needs and labeling their products as “safe” is a way just the first step for them. The six sins of greenwashing, (n.d.), states that Consumers – particularly those who care most about real environmental progress – may give up on marketers and manufacturers, and give up on the hope that their spending might be put to good use. This is me at this moment. From a business perspective, I can understand that creating more labels or additional testing of products means time and money, which results in greenwashing. But doing this is not only dangerous to our environment but to the company as they might be cited and fined. The six sins of greenwashing, (n.d.), states that In North America, both the US Federal Trade Commission6 and the Canadian Consumer Affairs office7 have issued guidelines for proper use of environmental claims. Unfortunately, it seems that at this time, it is really up to the consumer to make sure they are verifying the accuracy of the products they are buying.
If I were a marketing executive I would no doubt have a policy against greenwashing, not only to protect the company, its products, the consumer and the environment. I feel that accurate marketing build trust and legitimacy for the company. The six sins of greenwashing, (n.d.), states that Avoiding greenwashing does not require waiting for a perfect product. It does mean that sound science, honesty, and transparency are paramount. Adding additional resources or websites to products to allow consumers to review products claims alone is a huge step for the company and consumers to learn more.
TerraChoice Environmental Marketing Inc. (n.d.). The ‘six sins of greenwashing’: A study of environmental claims in North American markets (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. The Six Sins of Greenwashing. Retrieved from http://sinsofgreenwashing.org/index6b90.pdf U.S. Small Business Administration. (n.d.).
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