Już niedługo opublikujemy najnowszy numer naszego anglojęzycznego magazynu  AimHigh. Zanim to nastąpi zapoznajmy się z jeszcze jednym bardzo ciekawym artykułem, który pojawi się w najnowszym numerze. Autorką tekstu o nieuczciwych praktykach korporacji w dziedzinie ekologii jest Milena Cygal (klasa 3e Liceum). Zapraszamy do lektury! 


Fabricated ecology

We can more and more often hear about ecological actions taken by companies to provide our mother planet’s safety – we are able to buy products with containers made of recyclable plastic and corporations assure us that choosing specific products we are decreasing our planet’s degradation. Producers are trying to convince us that they’re on the good side of the barricade and doing their best in being eco – friendly…

But is it all true? Are we actually helping the environment in any way? Some time ago I got to gain more knowledge in this topic and explore it deeper. In fact, most of the products advertised as eco-friendly and recyclable are just a part of a phenomenon known as „Greenwashing„. Greenwashing is simply marketing communication of the company, based on false or misleading declarations about the product’s ecological aspects. The whole procedure is based on people’s naivety and taking advantage of their good will. In the times we live in, more and more people try to do at least the smallest gestures to save the environment, and through many factors they’re  more likely to choose products meant to affect the planet less negatively. It is an area with a really big profit potential.

There is still some research going on in this case, and one of the tests done gave us at least shocking results. A Canadian consulting agency, TerraChoice, has discovered that out of 1000 products advertised as eco-friendly inspected by them, only ONE was actually free from greenwashing and fulfilled mentioned criteria. TerraChoice’s analysis has developed the so-called “Greenwashing sins”:

  • Sin of the hidden trade-off – a claim suggesting that a product is green based on a narrow set of attributes without attention to other important environmental issues.
  • Sin of no proof – An environmental claim not substantiated by easily accessible supporting information or by a reliable third-party certification.
  • Sin of vagueness*A claim that is so poorly defined or broad that its real meaning is likely to be misunderstood by the consumer.
  • Sin of worshipping false labels – A product that, through either words or images, gives the impression of third-party endorsement where no such endorsement exists; fake labels, in other words.
  • Sin of irrelevance – An environmental claim that may be truthful but is unimportant or unhelpful for consumers seeking environmentally preferable products.
  • Sin of lesser of two evils**A claim that may be true within the product category but that risks distracting the consumer from the greater environmental impacts of the category as a whole.
  • Sin of fibbing***Environmental claims that are simply false.

An agency named Futerra Sustainability Communication marks even more problems with Greenwashing, like using scientific terms not commonly understood by society in promoting products, or producing them in containers coloured green or “earth colours” associated with ecology to make them more appealing.

The difficulty we have to face dealing with Greenwashing is the fact that we can’t really verify if products aren’t tested on animals or they’re made of recycled plastic if the producer says so. It leaves us helpless in our choice which is really sad, because we don’t really have a free will in what we’re doing.

Despite this, I believe that we still should independently do our best to provide  safety to enviroment and choose wisely in everyday situations basing our personal “green” knowledge and still expanding it.


“Sins of greenwashing” and their explanations are taken from the “ul.com” site.