Sunday, August 24, 2008

green washing again!

ACCC to probe green beer claims
Julian Lee
August 25, 2008

A LEADING brewer's attempts to cash in on demand for green products has landed it in hot water after marketing claims that its beer is better for the environment were challenged.
The competition watchdog has been asked to investigate ads calling Cooper's Australia's greenest beer and encouraging drinkers to walk to the pub to save greenhouse gas emissions.
The company's failure to back the claims with hard evidence has prompted consumer organisation Choice to complain to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that the ads — which use the line "big beer, tiny footprint" — are false and misleading.

The move comes as advertisers and environmentalists release guidelines to stem a flow of greenwash, the term used to describe marketing that overstates a product's benefits to the environment.

In the past year, Woolworths, Saab, LG, Goodyear tyres and Origin Energy have all been accused of greenwashing.

Last week the environmental organisation Total Environment Centre issued a 10-point checklist for marketers.

Among other things, it asks companies to back claims with proof and to resist overstating environmental claims in order to gain a commercial advantage. This week the advertisers' association will release a draft of its self-regulatory code for public consultation. It is not expected to go as far as the centre's checklist in stripping hyperbole from ads for green products.

Both these join the ACCC's own guidelines as well as those issued by Choice.
Environmentalists acknowledge that the rise in greenwash allegations could stymie demand for green or ethical products.

Coopers did not return calls.
From The Age

You can find out more about efforts to thwart greenwashing by the Total Environment Centre here

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