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Encyclopedia > Greenwash

Greenwash (a portmanteau of green and whitewash) is a term that is used to describe the actions of a company, government, or other organization which advertises positive environmental practices while acting in the opposite way. The term came into use in the early 1990s, most notably as the title of an article in the 1991 March/April issue of Mother Jones magazine. A portmanteau (IPA: ) is a word or morpheme that fuses two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded meaning. ... For other uses, see Green (disambiguation). ... This article is for the meaning of censorship. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... For other uses, see March (disambiguation). ... This article or section needs additional references or sources to improve its verifiability. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

The term is generally used when significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being green (that is, operating with consideration for the environment), rather than spending resources on environmentally sound practices. This is often portrayed by changing the name or label of a product, to give the feeling of nature, for example putting an image of a forest on a bottle of harmful chemicals. Environmentalists often use greenwashing to describe the actions of energy companies, which are traditionally the largest polluters. [1] The historic Blue Marble photograph, which helped bring environmentalism to the public eye. ...

A commonly cited example of greenwashing is the George W. Bush Clear Skies Initiative, which environmentalists have argued actually weakens air pollution laws. [2] George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the forty-third and current President of the United States of America, originally inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... The Clear Skies Initiative calls for a reduction on the limits to pollutants. ...


  1. ^ Karliner, Joshua. "A Brief History of Greenwash", CorpWatch, March 22, 2001. Accessed May 23, 2007.
  2. ^ US Senator Patrick Leahy, on the Senate Floor, "The Greenwashing of the Bush Anti-Environmental Record on the President's Earth Day Visits to Maine and Florida", April 26, 2004 http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200404/042604a.html Accessed June 29, 2007
  • Monbiot, George. Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning. Allen Lane. ISBN 0713999233. 
  • New Scientist - Aid to disaster 07/08/89, late 80's use of the term.

is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 143rd day of the year (144th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...

External links

  • Six Sins of Greenwashing - Study reviews 1,018 products and determines all but one is committing one of the Six Sins of Greenwashing. Also includes recommendations for consumers and marketers on avoiding greenwashing
  • Beware of Greenwashing: Not All Environmental Claims are Meaningful - Greenwashing has gotten more pervasive and more subtle. Article outlines the six sins of greenwashing and how to avoid being fooled
  • Questioning "corporate social responsibility" - a greenwashing article from London's Southern OnTrack magazine
  • Channel 4 Dispatches - Greenwash - documentary Presented by George Monbiot transmitted 06/03/07
  • Greenwashing Junk Food an article from lime.com
  • Turn Up The Heat - George Monbiot criticizes greenwash
  • What is Greenwashing, and Why is it a Problem?" by Chris MacDonald & Melissa Whellams
  • [http://www.hudsondredging.com/ "Current GE efforts to clean the Hudson".
  • "Rewarding genuine green companies and shaming greenwashers"
  • FOOTSIE 100 Green Winners and Green Washers Survey - results of a survey carried out by Chatsworth Communications.
  • "What is Green Washing?" by Elizabeth Weintraub an article from About.com regarding greenwashing in the real estate market.
  • Lick My Green Balls greenwash blog.
  • DuPont and Greenwash "An Examination of the Limits to DuPont's 'Sustainability' Commitments" by United Steelworkers Union 11/03/07

  Results from FactBites:
Greenwash - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (222 words)
Greenwash (a portmanteau of green and whitewash) is a term that environmentalists and other critics give to the activity of giving a positive public image to putatively environmentally unsound practices.
The term arose in the aftermath of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.
Critics, however, claim that there is little evidence transnational corporations are substantially changing their behavior despite their rhetoric; and they claim that many corporations remain the primary creators of environmentally damaging and unsustainable technologies.
Earth Summit (1450 words)
The "greenwash" tag applies to any corporations which use the media to make environmental claims about one or more of their cleaner products, while continuing "business as usual" practices which rely, for example, on large amounts of natural capital, are energy intensive or inefficient, or which involve production and release of toxic chemicals.
Here, the "greenwash" test is to what extent these budgets are allocated to developing practices which are more sustainable, or are simply reinforcing old, unsustainable practices.
In short, whatever spurious arguments which may have existed in favour of greenwash, they are becoming more transparent and a liability to their makers.
  More results at FactBites »



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