Green Buyer Beware

by Brian McGraw on October 26, 2010

in Blog

TerraChoice, an environmental marketing and consulting firm, released a report recently identifying a troubling trend in the marketplace for “green” products. The green marketplace has exploded in the past few years, with their 2010 report noting a 73% increase in the availability of green products.

The executive summary of the report indicates that over 95% of products identified as green have committed at least one of the “Seven Sins of Greenwashing”. A glass-half-empty approach might report that less than 5% of products labeled “green” pass the test.

From the report, the Seven Sins of Greenwashing:

1. Sin of the Hidden Trade Off

2. Sin of No Proof

3. Sin of Vagueness

4. Sin of Irrelevance

5. Sin of Lesser of Two Evils

6. Sin of Fibbing

7. Sin of Worshipping False Labels

A hastily completed look at consumer preference for green products led me here, which indicates that a majority of consumers claim to prefer green products, but aren’t nearly as willing to cough up the extra dollars for green products.

Buying Green? The report stated that Big Box Stores (Target, Wal-Mart, etc.) are most likely to carry products that live up to their “green” labeling, though even significant improvements from a 95% failure rate aren’t very promising.

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