How To Stop Greenwash

Corporations must play a central role in helping solve the world's environmental challenges. They must do this by making real changes to their policies and practices.

At the same time, consumers, policy makers and journalists must be able to look beneath the green veneer and hold corporations accountable for the impacts their core business decisions and investments are having on our planet. The Greenpeace Greenwash Criteria can help consumers and journalists distinguish between green and greenwash.

Consumers can take action when they witness greenwash by contacting corporations and policymakers to voice concerns, or by drawing attention to misleading claims via blogs, websites, and other outreach. They can also contact the Federal Trade Commission or the Better Business Bureau to register complaints.

Legally, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the responsibility and authority to take action against misleading ads. Consumers can register complaints online but should be aware that the FTC has not taken action against any greenwash ads since 2000. The Commission recently began revising guidelines for green marketing, which provides some hope that the system might be more effective in the future.

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