News Release: April 4, 2012

For Immediate Release | April 4, 2012
Not all that Glitters is Green: Crowd-sourced Report Identifies Top Greenwashers

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View slideshow of greenwashed ads
Download “Don’t Be Fooled” report (pdf)

CONTACT: Jeff Gang, 617-747-4352, jeff@thegreenlifeonline.org

Boston, MA — These days, it seems like everyone is going green. But look a little closer: some companies and products are using slick PR and advertising strategies to look green, when in truth they don’t share the public’s concern for the planet. According to a crowd-sourced report from The Green Life Online, these companies are guilty of greenwashing – trying to fool the public into thinking they are earth-friendly, when just below the surface they really aren’t.

This week, in honor of April Fool’s Day, The Green Life Online released their annual “Don’t Be Fooled” report. This year, they’ve asked the public to help pick the worst examples, and more than 1000 people have voted online.

And America’s Natural Gas Alliance is winning their voting competition for top greenwasher.

“When you see these ads, something strikes you as just out of place. And our natural reaction is to be skeptical. That’s why we’ve investigated the truth behind the ads,” said Jeff Gang, coordinator at The Green Life Online.
According to Gang, greenwashing isn’t just dishonest. “When companies get away with misleading ads, it undercuts the companies that ARE doing good to help the planet. And it leaves us confused about which ads we can trust.”

The Green Life Online is calling for these groups to stop making misleading claims, so that consumers can make informed choices and support genuinely green businesses and products.

“Greenwashing has got to stop. No company should be able to mislead the public and take advantage of our concern for the planet,” said Gang.

According to the online voters, here are the top greenwashers of the past year:
1. America’s Natural Gas Alliance claims to protect air, water, and land, while actually lobbying against common-sense safeguards
2. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which uses odd food analogies and meaningless claims
3. Walmart, which used a much-hyped going-green campaign to hide its core unsustainable business
4. Fiji Water was found guilty of greenwashing for calling its water “carbon-negative.”
5. CBS’s EcoAd program, which puts a leafy green logo on any company’s ad for a fee
6. The Malaysian Palm Oil Council, which causes rainforests to be cut down, yet sells itself as sustainable.
7. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which too often promotes just the opposite through a deceptive label
8. Mazda, for partnering with The Lorax to sell an SUV
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Founded in 1990, the Green Life Online is a non-profit organization that helps environmentally-aware and health-conscious citizens make effective decisions about the way they consume and the companies they support. http://www.thegreenlifeonline.org

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