30 Jul 2017

NZ rife with 'greenwashing', says eco-labelling brand

4:39 pm on 30 July 2017

The head of the government's own eco-labelling brand, Environmental Choice, says New Zealand is rife with greenwashing.

A stamp from Environmental Choice means a company can substantiate claims it makes to being sustainable, says the organisation.

A stamp from Environmental Choice means a company can substantiate claims it makes to being sustainable, says the organisation. Photo: 123RF

The not-for-profit trust is owned by the Ministry for the Environment and was set up to label products and services that have met certain best-practice environmental criteria.

Products include commercial cleaning items, building materials and toiletries.

Environmental Choice general manager Francesca Lipscombe said a stamp from the organisation meant a company could substantiate claims it made to being sustainable.

She said greenwashing was everywhere.

"It's rife, to be honest, greenwashing can mean all manner of things.

"You know there are products that claim to be free of ingredients that in fact never applied to that type of product, and that's a type of greenwash, you can put a picture of a dolphin on your packet which implies that the product is friendly to the environment, which is not necessarily the case."

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