Greenwashing can be a somewhat nebulous concept until you start to see the results for yourself. To help paint a picture of some of the bigger greenwashing campaigns of recent history, here are some real world examples of greenwashing you’ll enjoy:
- Huggies Pure & Natural diapers: This greenwash campaign by Huggies attempts to convince its customers that the Pure & Natural are better for the environment because they’re made with things like aloe, vitamin E, and organic cotton. While these attributes are definitely greener, disposable diapers in general are thought to be fairly environmentally wasteful by most treehuggers.
- Boeing’s Airbus380: Here Boeing is attempting to sell their aircraft as eco-friendly (A better environment inside and out”) though air travel is generally agreed to be one of the most polluting forms of transportation on the planet.
- NSW Minerals Council: In Australia, the NSW Minerals Council is selling their industry as one that employs more environmentalists than the entire environment movement,” suggesting that their activities must be eco-friendly. Far from it, coal mining is highly destructive, and burning the resultant coal for energy is one of the dirtiest ways to power our society.
BP is the Biggest Greenwasher of All
And of course, we mustn’t forget the biggest greenwash scandal of all times: British Petroleum. Here, in this video, Greenpeace activists attempt to give BP the 2008 Emerald Paintbrush award for their tremendous efforts in portraying themselves as an environmentally friendly oil company.
Fast forward to more recent times, With more than 8 million views at this time, and growing, here’s a more recent commentary on BP’s handling of the Gulf oil spill, unquestionably largest oil spill in human history.
Did we ever truly believe that an oil company can be green?
As you can see, though greenwashing campaigns may not always be blatantly easy to spot, they all have one thing in common: misrepresentation of the truth for the purposes of marketing. For a laugh, check out this YouTube video, a spoof on some of the greenwashing campaigns being run by big corporations.