Greenwashing/United Kingdom

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Some examples of greenwashing from the United Kingdom include:

A magazine ad for the Lexus RX400h was headlined High performance. Low emissions. Zero Guilt. The world's first high-performance hybrid SUV. Category-leading low CO2 emissions. The ASA upheld the complaints it received about the ad's misleading claims.

UK Shell Ad Declared Greenwashing

In August 2008, Shell was found guilty of misleading the public over its tar sands operations. The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the company should not have used the word "sustainable" when describing its Canadian tar sands operations. The ASA ruled that the Shell ad had breached rules on substantiation, truthfulness and environmental claims.

The Shell was was from a February 2008 issue of Financial Times and accompanied Shell's financial results. The oil giant claimed that: “We invest today’s profits in tomorrow’s solutions.” Shell explained it was harnessing its technical expertise “to unlock the potential of the vast Canadian oil sands deposits”, but then added: “Continued investment in technology is one of the key ways we are able to address this challenge, and continue to secure a profitable and sustainable future.”

Shell was challenged by environmental organisation WWF. David Norman, the WWF’s director of campaigns, said: “The ASA’s decision to uphold WWF’s complaint sends a strong signal to business and industry that greenwash is unacceptable.” To celebrate its victory, WWF launched an ad campaign outside London’s Waterloo station stating “Shell can’t hide the environmental impact of their oil sand projects.” [1]

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  1. Martin Hickman Shell rebuked for 'greenwash' over ad for polluting oil project, The Independent, August 13, 2008.

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