Companys’ “Green” Ads Not to Be Trusted

24 03 2009

In an  era when everyone seems to be jumping on the green bandwagon,  companies and organizations are no exception.

But are these companies being truthful in their advertisements? That’s another matter entirely.

Many companies have fudged facts in their advertising campaigns, making themselves seem more environmentally responsible than they  actually are.  According to a post on the blog “WebEcoist”, this practice is called “greenwashing“. Here are the top five worst offenders:

  1. BP– The company’s  ad campaign, with the slogan “Beyond Petroleum”, misled the public to think the company  was striving to using cleaner, renewable fuels.  In reality, BP spent $3 billion on oil from the Alberta Tar Sands. According to the post, each barrel of oil from the tar sands generates about two tons of carbon dioxide a day.

2. American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity- This organization sends propoganda through their ad campaign, trying to convince the public that coal can be used in a way that isn’t harmful to the public. This isn’t true.

General Motors- GM has mislead the public to think of them as an eco-friendly company. In actuality, GM is still the leading producer of vehicles requiring petroleum fuel.

4. Exxon Mobil- This company has supported many organizations in denial about global warming, such as the Heartland Institute,  but finally ended funding  to them a few years ago.  Still, the company fails to live up to its promises. According to Treehugger, the company will spend about $300 million over the next 10 years to research renewable energy sources. Compared to the $47 billion they spent between 2003 and 2006 developing oil and gas, that isn’t a lot of money.

5. Monsanto– The world’s largest seed and pesticide company is trying to project itself it as a supporter of sustainable agriculture, however, they are the creators of rGBH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), given to cows to increase production. RGBH often ends up polluting our water supply.

The following is a documentary about Monsanto’s practices:

The facts are astonishing. Some of the most famous companies in the world are guilty of greenwashing, a form of false advertising. If we can’t trust even the most famous companies for truthful advertising, how can we allow ourselves to trust advertising at all?




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