GREENGUARD urges consumers to fight greenwashing by demanding credible, third-party certification of products
ATLANTA, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to a new report on environmental claims made in the North American consumer market, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute urges consumers to demand independent, third-party certification of products to validate those products' claims about sustainability.
The Sins of Greenwashing, Home and Family Edition, released today by TerraChoice, finds that while greenwashing is declining overall, false eco-labeling is increasing dramatically—up 30.9 percent from 23.3 percent in 2009. False eco-labeling, the report says, "is committed by a product that, through either words or images, gives the impression of third-party endorsement where no such endorsement exists; fake labels, in other words."
In fact, the report found that access to phony "certification" labels and other meaningless "green" labels can be purchased and downloaded online at very little cost—what the report calls "an almost comical" commentary on the state of greenwashing in the current market.
"Not only is the use of fake labels terribly unfair to consumers (who are already more confused than ever about what 'green' really means), but it also hinders progress in the retail space to both market and sell genuinely 'greener' products," reads a recent GREENGUARD blog post about the findings of the report. "When nearly every product bears what appears to be a 'green' badge or certification mark, how is a consumer to protect himself or herself from bogus and potentially harmful claims?"
In light of this growing problem, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute continues to urge consumers to be diligent about the products they purchase and to be wary of sustainability claims that are not backed up by an independent, third-party certifier.
"The more that consumers demand third-party verification of a product's claims—and, by third-party, we mean verification beyond self-reported information provided by the manufacturer—the more positive change they'll be able to effect in the marketplace," says Henning Bloech, executive director of the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. "Companies will start to realize that consumers are a lot smarter than they give them credit for, and that phony marketing tactics just don't cut it."
The TerraChoice report names GREENGUARD Certification as one of the most credible, reputable third-party certifications in North America. GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification and GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification ensure that products have been independently, scientifically tested to measure their chemical off-gassing and objectively proven to be low-emitting. To find certified low-emitting products, visit www.greenguard.org and click on the 'Quick Product Search' button. To read The Sins of Greenwashing report in its entirety, visit www.terrachoice.com.
About GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI)
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute aims to protect human health and improve quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people's exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. As an ISO-IEC Guide 65:1996 accredited, third-party organization, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and provides a resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments. All certified products must meet stringent chemical emissions standards based on established criteria from key public health agencies. GREENGUARD Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by sustainable building programs and building codes worldwide. For more information and a complete listing of certified products, visit www.greenguard.org.
SOURCE GREENGUARD Environmental Institute