Just as the F.T.C gathered last week to revisit new guidelines surrounding green marketing claims, Austin's own EnviroMedia has launched the Greenwashing Index (GWI). In a partnership with University of Oregon, consumers can post, review, and assess the credibility of new ads claiming the green word. Volkswagon, BP, and Lexus are among some of the first ads posted.
"We've been witnessing a tidal wave of green advertising over the past year," said EnviroMedia President Kevin Tuerff. "It's our hope the Greenwashing Index will help eradicate bad environmental marketing claims and, at the same time, shed a positive light on companies making measurable reductions in carbon emissions related to climate change."
The GWI scoring index is based on five factors that will guide consumers in the rating process. These range from using ads or graphics in a misleading way to exaggerating greenness.
Bringing transparency to a new level, the GWI is a user-friendly tool that empowers skeptics of greenwashing to take action, create better informed consumers, and bring a new level of accountability to corporations claiming green good. The GWI and the F.T.C's scrutiny of carbon offset programs are two critical steps that help make sure individuals and corporations are putting their "green" where it counts.