Lloyd Alter, a blogger at Treehugger, says he first began using the term “greenwashing” about two years ago when he was upset about a campaign that Ford Motor Company was having for a new hybrid car (the Ford Escape), CNET reports.
“Here’s a company that’s got one decent green product, and they’re putting it in all their advertising and wrapping their whole campaign around it. It’s not even that green a car,” Alter said to himself at the time. “They just put a hybrid engine into an SUV.”
While Ford and Wal-Mart might seem like natural targets for bloggers, companies with greener credentials also catch heat. Marc Alt, president of consulting firm Marc Alt & Partners, which specializes in environmentally focused corporate strategies, criticizes Toyota for continuing to produce vehicles that get low gas mileage while the Prius gives it a “green” profile.
Environmental bloggers also seem to be bothered by the fact that green initiatives are also turning into savvy business moves, according to the article, which points to Hewlett-Packard’s redesign of its print cartridge packaging earlier this year, which not only “greened” its production, but also cut shipping costs.