19 Feb 2010 03:02:28
Consumers often mislead by green image
Analysis of two studies in the New Scientist has found that there is a serious mismatch between consumers' perceptions of what is 'green' and the actual environmental impact of a product.
In the separate studies conducted by Earthsense and Trucost, US consumers were polled on their view of the greenness of brands and companies were assessed on their global environmental impact respectively.
New Scientists' comparison of the two sets of data found that many companies were trading unfairly on their greener image based on their advertising strategies.
Conversely, Coca-Cola has the second-lowest environmental impact of all the food and drink manufacturers but was not seen as "green" because of its history.
Food companies generally got the highest "green ratings" despite coming out the third most environmentally damaging sector in the New Scientists' analysis.
Whole Foods came out on top for "greenness", yet had the same impact in terms of emissions as supermarket chain Safeway.
Amy Hebard, Earthsense co-founder, told the New Scientist that companies actively combating climate change should not be afraid of accusations of 'greenwashing': "This (the results) just screams opportunities for companies to be clear about what they are doing."http://tinyurl.com/yd7fkol