Green Meets Greenwash

The Greenwashing Index is inviting people to vote on whether or not Clorox advertisements for Green Works cleaning products constitutes greenwashing.

Joel Makower of Greener World Media has a new book out, titled Strategies for the Green Economy, which tells the story of many (often failed) environmental marketing campaigns. Grist magazine gives the book a mostly favorable review, but points to the "question of Makower's myriad business interests. To his credit, he discloses obvious conflicts when they arise. Case in point: When writing about Clorox's Green Works cleaning product, he informs readers that he consulted with the company on the rollout. That's helpful, but I would have preferred that Makower disclose all business dealings he's had with companies mentioned in the book." (As we've reported previously, there is also some controversy over the deal that Clorox made with the Sierra Club to promote Green Works, which was recently highlighted as a marketing case study by Advertising Age.) In a recent interview, Makower says companies are "creating fairly sophisticated score-carding systems for developing their products" to meet environmental standards. ... But in large part we're treading water. Whatever improvements we're making are being offset by the sheer growth of the economy. Yes, we're seeing things happening on a much different level than even three years ago, but it's still really tinkering at the margins."