Greenwash Action supports progress toward a healthy, biodiverse and climatically-stable world by defending programs that represent true environmental leadership and challenging special interests that are using greenwash to confuse the marketplace.
Greenwash Action is a project of Earth Island Institute that is supported by the Sierra Club Forest Certification and Green Building Team.
Your clearinghouse for timely, truthful information on the key issues shaping the future of green building
Environmental leadership programs, standards, and tools have grown dramatically in prominence over the last decade. Those with the most integrity and success are changing the marketplace and supporting significant investment in more environmentally sustainable practices. Notable examples include LEED and Living Building Challenge in the building sector and Forest Stewardship Council in the forest sector.
However, special interests in the timber, plastics and chemical industries have sought to slow the progress driven by the leadership programs by introducing competing standards that label products or practices as "green" but in reality have limited environmental benefit, and then marketing them as cheaper and more business-friendly alternatives.
These industry sponsored knock offs mimic the language, structure, and governance of the leadership programs, but at their core they protect the industries that fund them instead of challenging them to improve. From the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, a program created by major forest products companies and industry trade associations, to Green Globes, a “green” building rating system supported by the timber, vinyl and chemical industries, the special interests' playbook is consistent, well-funded and all too effective. Read our position on Leadership vs. Greenwash Standards >
With climate change denial being the most dangerous example, this is all part of the Big Lie - the manipulation of "science," media and politics -- that obstructs progress toward the change we so urgently need, and puts the narrow interests of the few over the collective interest of all people, of all life.
The Industry Playbook
When it comes to confusing the marketplace, the special interests have a playbook: It's Greenwash 1-2-3