Greenwashing May Actually Be Having An Impact

Critics have decried green labeling and certification programs as 'greenwashing' - offering the sheen of environmental responsibility without having a significant impact on sustainability. But Tensie Whelan argues such programs are having an impact.

"The idea that we can consume our way to sustainability as long as the label says it's 'green' has deservedly been lampooned for years," points out Whelan, president of the nonprofit Rainforest Alliance. "More recently, the questioning is getting more serious and soul-searching, because environmentalists themselves are often the ones doing the asking."

"To conclude from these critiques, however, that sustainable consumerism is 'weak' or doesn’t work would be a colossal mistake," she argues. "Independent, accredited certification programs are scaling up sustainable practices worldwide and demonstrating huge benefits for the environment, workers, and communities."

"[T]here’s abundant evidence that despite some bad actors or self-serving programs, consumers who choose certified products and services are making a huge difference," she continues. "They’re the reason smallholding farmers worldwide are rapidly adopting sustainable practices, and why industry giants are eliminating deforestation and other harms from their global supply chains."

Full Story: Can Sustainable Consumerism Work?

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
$24.00

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00