Print this page

Published: 15 October 2012

Academic reveals big brands’ greenwash scams

A new study reveals that the ‘green revolution’ advertised by the world’s biggest brands and corporations is misleading consumers.

Going green is the ‘new black’ for business, according to a new book by a University of Queensland academic.
Going green is the ‘new black’ for business, according to a new book by a University of Queensland academic.
Credit: © Cristian Baitg/istock

In a wide-reaching study, Dr Guy Pearse from the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute looked at the truth behind thousands of claims from businesses on their green credentials – in print, online and TV advertisements.

‘Going green is the “new black” for big business, yet there is a big divide between the climate-friendly revolution that’s being advertised and what’s required to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,’ Dr Pearse said.

‘The “green revolution” is not happening in the way the world’s corporations would have us believe.’

Dr Pearse has published his findings in a book, Greenwash: Big Brands and Carbon Scams.

Director of the Global Change Institute, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, said the research concluded that the necessary transition to a low-carbon economy was not happening fast enough to have much effect on the problem of rapid anthropogenic global climate change.

‘While one has to admire the attempt by many of our top corporations to deal with the problem of rapidly rising emissions of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels, Greenwash challenges the notion that the private sector will lead us into a low-carbon future,’ Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said.

‘This is an extremely urgent problem that needs more than a token effort. Citizens need to strongly articulate the future they want for themselves and their children.

‘Thankfully, some companies are “walking the talk” and, in doing so, they are meeting the challenge of climate change. What’s alarming is that there are few global brands among them.

‘The outcome from this study serves as an important wake-up call for corporations to re-examine their efforts to deal with the planet-threatening problem of climate change.’

Source: University of Queensland

ECOS Archive

Welcome to the ECOS Archive site which brings together 40 years of sustainability articles from 1974-2014.

For more recent ECOS articles visit the blog. You can also sign up to the email alert or RSS feed