The Dirty Truth of Greenwashing

Greenwashing is a topic of concern for consumers, but those who espouse the danger of companies claiming to have green products are themselves guilty of the practice of greenwashing, with results that are far more costly than the purchase of a bottle of environmentally friendly shampoo. For a definition of greenwashing, look at this link. In a weird twist of the kettle calling the pot black, Corporate Environmentalists are now embracing greenwashing. The Sierra Club, Greenpeace and the Earth Island Institute formed a joint initiative in April called Greenwash Action to promote LEED standards for building energy efficiency and to attack Green Globes, which offers an alternative assessment program. For insight into the whos who of the sustainable forestry players, including Denis Hayes, CEO of the Bullitt Foundation and chairman of Earth Day Network, and how the game is played read this The Daily Signal piece ‘Big Green’ Lobby Wants to Cut 2 of 3 Forestry Oversight Branches. Look at the practice of Certified Forest Products. Environmentalists devised forest certification to fight forest depletion in developing countries. The process, they say, assures consumers that wood products originate in “sustainably managed” forests. This non binding and "independent" process has far exceeded its stated goals, and has spread into a scheme to control the forest industry and land use. This practice threatens the timber industries of the Western and Southern United States, With Oregon and Arkansas current targets. There is now a power struggle among Corporate Environmentalists as to who should have the biggest piece of the green building industry pie. While in-fighting among these environmental corporations may at first seem amusing, it is an indicator of what is at stake...control and money. Also at stake are the jobs of many related to the timber industry, along with the very real risk of further harm to the economy of counties, towns, and states that rely on this important industry. Read this report by ECONOSTATS at George Mason University: It would be hard for these competing Corporate Environmentalists to deny the conclusion of the Daily Signal article, "Greenwash Action’s supporters spread misleading information about sustainable forestry practices, work to block competition in building markets and have direct financial ties to the causes they support. But the more people become aware of these facts, the better the chances of an informed debate about developing policies that benefit more than just those in positions of authority who possess a vested financial stake in the green cause they advocate." Indeed, sustainability is costly and unsustainable. The picking and choosing, and undeserved discrediting of good companies that this practice promotes is not a benefit to the free market, thus raising costs to all consumers, while harming companies that provide good products to Americans. For just a few examples of this read these cases:

August 20, 2014