THE BLOG
02/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Greenwashing: Don't Be Mislead by "Green" Claims

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More than ever before the population wants green! Practices, products, organic food, recyclable packaging -- the list is never ending, and more than ever, business are giving it to them. Businesses far and wide are claiming to go green, to the point where society needs a term to describe consumers being misled by a company regarding their environmental practices. The term 'greenwashing' was claimed to have originated from a NY suburban environmentalist named Jay Westerveld in 1986, although the actual practice originated somewhere in the 60s alongside the emerging environmentalist movement.

It's no wonder that greening your business has become so marketable when over half of the baby boomer population -- some 40 million -- are environmentally cautious consumers. Therefore greening your business can be an all around profitable endeavor from a marketing standpoint as well as a cost savings standpoint. The danger is when it comes to advertising a practice or an approach as green which isn't reflected in the day to day operations. It's simply fraudulent or better known as... greenwashing.

The Think Green Alliance aims to provide a safeguard against "greenwashing," which is common in the marketplace today when so few standards and regulations exist for determining whether a company is truly environmentally friendly and if so, just how environmentally friendly they are. The criteria for membership, established by Cybernomics, are simple but telling.

Think Green Alliance members (1) must show tangibly that they have incorporated green principles into their business plan, (2) must have a concrete, measurable, and step-by-step approach to integration of these principles, and (3) must be committed to a continuous cycle of improvement.

Think Green Alliance members span multiple industry verticals and therefore lend a multidisciplinary approach to companies looking to start adopting green principles into their business plan and operations, as well as provide a benchmark to companies who have already embarked upon a green plan.

For more information on the Think Green Alliance, or to apply for membership for your company, please visit www.thinkgreenalliance.com

Jean Jerome Baudry founded Cybernomics in 1993 as a Professional IT Consulting, Management, and Support firm. Today, Cybernomics is a leader in Green IT and financially and environmentally sustainable solutions. Mr. Baudry is also the founder of the Think Green Alliance, a green business community dedicated to the promotion, development, and awareness of fiscally sound green business practices. For more information on Mr. Baudry or on Cybernomics, please visit www.cybernomics.net.