Seven Deadly Sins

Terra Choice has just released its North American summary report: The Seven Sins of Green Washing. The challenge and call to action of the report is to discourage greenwashing by putting practical tools in the hands of consumers and companies, while still encouraging and rewarding genuine efforts towards sustainable innovation.

Sin of the Hidden Tradeoff committed by suggesting a product is “green” based on an unreasonably narrow set of attributes without attention to other important environmental issues.

Sin of No Proof committed by an environmental claim that cannot be substantiated by easily accessible supporting information or by a reliable third party certification.

Sin of Vagueness committed by every claim that is so poorly defined or broad that its real meaning is likely to be misunderstood by the consumer.

Sin of Irrelevance committed by making and environmental claim that may be truthful but is unimportant or unhelpful for consumers seeking environmentally preferable products.

Sin of Lesser of Two Evils committed by claims that may be true within the product category, but that risk distracting the consumers from the greater environmental impacts of the category as a whole.

Sin of Fibbing, the least frequent sin, is committed by making environmental claims that are simply false.

Sin of Worshipping False Labels committed by creating fake labels or false suggestions of third party endorsements.

This last sin was so big they added it to the original six from last year, as it deserved it own category. To read the complete report, click here

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