Success Stories

So far, other countries have made more progress stopping greenwash than the U.S. There are many recent, positive examples of governments and industry groups cracking down on false environmental claims, especially in Europe.

For example, the advertising authority in the UK recently asked the Malaysian Palm Oil Council to pull misleading television ads that ran on the BBC. The ads claimed that palm oil was environmentally friendly, and used green images and statements, such as "A gift from nature, a gift for life, " "Helping the planet breathe, " and "Sustainably produced since 1917."

In reality, the palm oil industry is responsible for environmental destruction and CO2 emissions. The UK advertising authority concluded that the ads should be pulled because there is not a consensus that palm oil provides a benefit to the environment.

In another example, the Norwegian industry group that oversees advertising passed new guidelines last year that prohibit auto companies from claiming that their vehicles are "green," "clean" or "environmentally friendly." According to the group, "Cars cannot do anything good for the environment except less damage than other cars."

In France, the consumer protection agency determined that cars should no longer be portrayed in nature, as is a common practice in auto advertising. Instead, they must only be shown on roads and other routes open to traffic, where they are typically used.

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