A:

The term "greenwashing" was added to the Oxford English dictionary in 1999, where it is defined as "disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image." The word, a combination of green and whitewashing, was coined by suburban New York environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986 in an essay about the hotel industry.

The term greenwashing is generally used when an organization spends more time and money on advertising that they are "green" or environmentally-friendly than on actually putting into place practices that are environmentally-friendly. Some organizations may do this simply as a matter of public relations.

Tools used in greenwashing could include press releases by a company which may tout various initiatives such as task forces, re-branding of products, energy or pollution reductions, etc. In reality, the company may actually be doing very little that is environmentally-friendly.

The term greenwashing can also include the practice of misleading customers about the environmental benefits of a specific product through misleading advertising and unsubstantiated claims. An example of this would be a company changing the name of their harsh detergent product from Product X to Product Green, yet the product is still the exact same harsh detergent.

For more on this, read The Green Marketing Machine.

This question was answered by Ken Clark.

RELATED FAQS

  1. What's the biggest sports endorsement deal ever signed?

    The largest athlete endorsement deal exceeds $180 million over the course of 13 years and belongs to famous Chicago Bull ...
  2. What level of return on assets should an investor look for in the insurance sector?

    Learn why marketing is important to a company in the utilities sector, despite the fact it sells products and services in ...
  3. How does the always be closing (ABC) strategy benefit a salesperson's sales funnel?

    Understand what it means for a salesperson to always be closing, and learn why a salesperson should want to always be closing ...
  4. What factors should a company consider when creating a marketing budget?

    Understand the process of creating a marketing budget, and learn the specific factors that should be considered for any company ...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Quick Response (QR) Code

    A type of bar code which can be read by a digital device, and ...
  2. Click Fraud

    Click fraud is the act of illegally clicking on pay-per-click ...
  3. Paid Syndication

    Web syndication is the promotion or inclusion of content on a ...
  4. Second Screen Advertising

    Second screen advertising drives customers to their second screens ...
  5. Digital Marketing

    Digital marketing is a subcategory of marketing which uses digital ...
  6. Monthly Active User (MAU)

    Monthly Active User (MAU) is a key performance indicator (KPI) ...

You May Also Like

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    The Top 6 Companies Owned By Google

  2. Investing

    A Look Into The Digital Advertising ...

  3. Personal Finance

    The Top 11 Companies Owned By Facebook

  4. Investing

    Do's & Don'ts Of Digital Marketing

  5. Investing

    Trends And Growth In The Digital Advertising ...

Trading Center