Greenwashing Sins, Part II: Sin of No Proof

In the second installment of our ongoing series on greenwashing sins, we discuss the second sin, or the “Sin of No Proof.”  This one is fairly self-explanatory. According to terrachoice, this sin entails “[a]n environmental claim that cannot be substantiated by easily accessible supporting information or by a reliable third-party certification. Common examples are facial tissues or toilet tissue products that claim various percentages of post-consumer recycled content without providing evidence.”


Unlike Sin #1, the Hidde Trade-Off (which has gone from a near 100% frequency in 2007 down to under 30% in the most-recent 2010 survey), occurrences of this sin are unfortunately at their all-time high.  Estimates are that more than 70% of all green advertising claims commit this sin, and as of the 2010 survey, it has become the most commonly-committed sin.  Consumers must be more careful than ever to only trust green advertising claims that come from a trusted source that is willing to back up its claims with hard evidence.  Green marketers should intensify their efforts to verify that they do not make claims that go beyond what they can support with data.





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