A History of Greenwashing: How Dirty Towels Impacted the Green Movement. At some point in the mid-1980s, a pony-tailed upstate New York environmental activist named Jay Westerveld picked up a card in a South Pacific hotel room and read the following: "Save Our Planet: Every day, millions of gallons of water are used to wash towels that have only been used once.
You make the choice: A towel on the rack means, 'I will use again.' A towel on the floor means, 'Please replace.' Thank your for helping us conserve the Earth's vital resources. " The card was decorated with the three green arrows that make up the recycling symbol. Westerveld saw irony in the "save the towel" movement, because hotels waste resources in many different ways -- and not washing as many linens saves the corporation money. The word 'greenwashing' just came to me," he said. Although he says he's a big believer in energy efficiency, Westerveld decries the hijacking of "green" by corporations to apply to even minor advances in efficiency.
By any other name, it's still greenwashing. Greenwashing. While greenwashing is not new, its use has increased over recent years to meet consumer demand for environmentally friendly goods and services.
The problem is compounded by lax enforcement by regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission in the United States, the Competition Bureau in Canada, and the Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice in the United Kingdom. Critics of the practice suggest that the rise of greenwashing, paired with ineffective regulation, contributes to consumer skepticism of all green claims, and diminishes the power of the consumer in driving companies toward greener solutions for manufacturing processes and business operations. Usage Misleading Marketing: Beware of Greenwashing! By Candice Marie Litchfield Good news!
The environmental marketing firm TerraChoice reports that products labeled “green” increased by 73% from 2009 to 2010, and that big box/mega stores offered a higher percentage (22.8%) of products with “green” labels than specialty retailers (11.5%) and green boutique stores (12.8%). Clearly, people are demanding that what they buy is kinder to the planet. Sadly, there is bad news to match this–most ‘green’ products on the market are not actually eco-friendly at all. As a result of high consumer demand for earth-friendly products, many manufacturers have simply used marketing and packaging to mislead customers into thinking their goods are ecological. A greener sign doesn´t mean a greener business Greenwashing can be hard to spot, but it’s all around us. But never fear! Report: Hotel ‘Greenwashing’ is Off-Putting to Customers. Greenwashing practices, combined with claims of corporate social responsibility, have reduced the trust of U.S. consumers who are increasingly recognizing hotels’ green claims may be self-serving, according to a new study in the Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, as reported by Eco-Business.
All of this could cause hotels to lose valuable repeat customers. The paper, Consequences of Greenwashing: Consumers’ Reactions to Hotels’ Green Initiatives, conducted by hospitality researchers at Washington State University, investigates the consequences of greenwashing in the lodging industry and suggests ways hotels can establish credibility in consumers’ minds. As many as 79 percent of travelers worldwide agree that implementing eco-friendly practices is important to their choice of lodging, but research shows a majority are willing to boycott a company if misled. Est-ce utile de réutiliser sa serviette d'hôtel ? Dans la série des écogestes quotidiens, il y en a un que je m’efforce de faire sans vraiment savoir s’il change quelque chose : je ne change pas ma serviette d’hôtel chaque jour, mais je la réutilise pendant tout mon séjour.
Mais est-ce vraiment utile ? Des chercheurs universitaires américains ont même mesuré l’efficacité de ces messages incitatifs (1). Ils ont comparé les messages axés sur l’argument environnemental d’un côté (je suis voyageur responsable et je récompense l’action d’entreprises qui le sont également) et de l’autre ceux qui sont basés sur des arguments psychologiques, avançant une norme sociale (tout le monde le fait, donc moi aussi !).
Exemple d’argument environnemental : « Aidez à sauvegarder l’environnement. Vous pouvez démontrer votre respect pour la nature et aider à sauvegarder l’environnement en réutilisant vos serviettes de toilette pendant votre séjour. ». Hotel ‘greenwashing’ dirties eco-friendly reputation - WSU News WSU News. By Sue McMurray, Carson College of Business PULLMAN, Wash. – Hotels across the globe are increasingly encouraging guests to embrace green practices.
Yet while guests think they are supporting the environment by shutting off lights and reusing towels, they may in fact be victims of “greenwashing,” a corporation’s deceitful practice of promoting environmentally friendly programs while hiding ulterior motives. Greenwashing practices, such as a sign that reads “save the planet: re-use towels,” coupled with claims of corporate social responsibility, have soiled the trust of American consumers who are increasingly recognizing hotels’ green claims may be self-serving. This could cause hotels to lose valuable repeat customers.