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Greenwashing, Controversy Regarding Eco Friendly Products

598 words - 3 pages

Greenwashing Essay

Companies are becoming more competitive and consumers are concerned on the environmental problems. The organisations are attracting consumers with promotions of Green technology and services and companies claiming it to be green. In the last several years, there are companies issuing Green claims and accused of Greenwashing. The green products and Greenwash products are labeled to be eco-friendly while they are not and overstatement of high ratings of environmental claims. This also causes confusion and difficult to determine genuine eco-friendly products from a Greenwashing product. Many labels such as organic, earth-friendly or biodegradable are tools of marketing to attract consumers. Many consumers ask “ are they genuine green product and how much does it impact to the environment?”.

Greenwashing is defined as misleading claims of environmental benefits of a service, ...view middle of the document...

To determine the claims of greenwashing in corporations are valid, there must be reasons and evidence of the organisations doings. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) are the enforcers of the issues of Greenwashing and set guidelines on green marketing and carbon offset.
An example of ACCC enforcement action is the issue of GM Holden claiming their range of Saab vehicles are “Grrrrrreen” in magazine advertisements and newspapers. GM Holden claim that every Saab “the CO2 emissions from any Saab motor vehicle would be neutral over the life of that motor vehicle.” The federal court declared them that they mislead conduct on sections 52 and 53 trading practices acts. (Matthew Rimmer, p29) In meaning that they mislead the public about how unclear about the length of time to offset the car emissions.(Nicholas Tebbey, p556). This commits the first sin of greenwashing; the sin of trade of, claiming a product is green and not attentive to other important environmental issues. Unethical behaviour is present due to harmful effect to the wide community with misleading and affects the global climate leading to global warming. It is also disrespect to business ethics code.

Coca Cola Company is caught greenwashing in India. The company is well known for its beverages and the largest manufacturers ad distributors in the world. The Coca Cola Plant in India shut down one of the bottling plants in March 2004 by villagers due to water shortage and water pollution. Other communities near the plant suffer the same issue, and thousands of people and families that are poor are affected. The pollution of groundwater is claimed to be unfit for humans to drink due to the companies waste in nearby fields, due to its cause of water pollution, researchers from the British Broadcasting Corporation have found high levels of Cadmium and Lead making it a toxic waste, and caused the shut down of the plant and its practices. This is another example of a Sin of Hidden Trade off, the water shortage of using so much water that is needed for production and water pollution from waste and caused environmental issues.

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