Friday, April 17, 2009

The 7 Sins of Cosmetic Greenwashing

All too often cosmetics firms are guilty of committing one or more of the seven sins of greenwashing. Greenwashing here is defined as the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.

The seven sins of greenwashing identified from common to least common are:

*The Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off occurs when one environmental issue is emphasized at the expense of potentially more serious concerns.

*The Sin of No Proof happens when environmental assertions are not backed up by evidence or third-party certification.

*The Sin of Vagueness occurs when a marketing claim is so lacking in specifics as to be meaningless.

*The (new) Sin of Worshiping False Labels is when marketers create a false suggestion or certification-like image to mislead consumers into thinking that a product has been through a legitimate green certification process.

*The Sin of Irrelevance arises when an environmental issue unrelated to the product is emphasized such as claiming a product is 'CFC-free' when CFCs are banned by law.

*The Sin of Lesser of Two Evils occurs when an environmental claim makes consumers feel 'green' about a product category that is itself lacking in environmental benefits.

*The Sin of Fibbing is when environmental claims are outright false.

No comments:

Post a Comment