Are you guilty of Greenwashing?

December 1st, 2009

As regards e-procurement, just what is green washing?

Basically, to greenwash is to pay lip service to something to make it seem like you are involved without actually conducting any practice or process that supports said lip service.

On June 18th of 2008 post the Doctor at Sourcing Innovation described green washing as a practice used by a company to mislead consumers about the environmental benefits of a product or service. This can apply to any person or company in the sourcing cycle of life which includes retailers, suppliers, manufacturers, brokers, and vendors that provide the tools that bind this circle.

By way of example, at SafeSourcing we have a corporate social responsibility program we call R5. The first three of the five R’s refer to the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle terms that all green focused organizations are familiar with. Additionally, we have added Reward and Renew. By reward we mean that we will contribute annually to the safety and environmentally focused organizations that our customers support through their initiatives’. This reward will be based in part on the vote of our customers. By renew we mean that we will continue this cycle annually and support it in all of our products, programs and practices.

Greenwashing can take a variety of forms such as linking to green websites or using green terminology without any practical application associated with it. If you are a retailer, ask your supplier’s, vendors and business partners what their green programs are. Compare their programs with yours and then learn from each other. Pay this support forward by rewarding suppliers, vendors and business partners that share and support your social consciousness.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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