Marshalls plc has called upon the hard landscaping and gardening industry, to help halt the greenwash.
The company has produced a new guide aimed at businesses and professionals in the industry. The ‘Halt the Greenwash’ guide aims to increase awareness of false eco and ethical pledges and provide information on how to spot and stop greenwashing.
“More and more we are hearing the term ‘greenwash’ when companies rush to parade their green credentials without being able to ensure their supply chain integrity and environmental performance,” Said Chris Harrop, Group Marketing Director at Marshalls.
“Over the past 12 months, greenwashing has become increasingly apparent in the landscaping industry. Greenwash undermines trust, spreads cynicism and perpetuates myths. If people are to make the right buying decisions, they must have the right information.”
In the booklet, Marshalls explores the issues of false eco claims and offers the following advice on how to avoid being greenwashed:
• Look for clear product information on sourcing and environmental impact
• Ensure rigorous and accountable standards
• Check for independently verified labelling
• Look for membership of stakeholder organisations
• Ask about compliance to codes such as PAS2050 and the ETI Base Code
An online survey carried out by Marshalls with garden designers, revealed that 97% felt that the industry does not communicate very well with designers about sustainability issues. Every one of the respondents thought that greenwashing existed and they all also said that consumers should be given more information about how products are sourced and where they come from.
The most common claims that the designers had come across included: ethical sourcing of products; low carbon footprints; no child labour and responsible supply chain management.
When asked about how they personally avoided greenwash, 60% said they only work with trusted suppliers and 40% said they do their own research into claims.
Chris Harrop continues: “It is clear that consumers are concerned about sustainability issues and they are demanding more and more information about the environmental impact of their purchases, however it is also clear that many remain sceptical of green claims. Unfortunately green claims are becoming all too common and it is tainting the good work of those companies that are truly committed to sustainability issues.”
According to Chris, Marshalls is committed to developing both its business and its products in a sustainable manner, rather than just focusing on headline grabbing environmental claims.
“True sustainability is achieved by balancing the environmental, social and economic impacts of a business,” Said Chris.
The ‘Halt the Greenwash’ booklet is available for download at www.marshalls.co.uk