Greenwashing is the practice of making exaggerated or misleading claims about the environmental friendliness of a product or service. With the increasing concern about the impact of human activities on the environment, many companies are striving to be seen as environmentally responsible, even if they are not. This has led to an increase in greenwashing, which can make it difficult for consumers to identify genuinely environmentally friendly products.
Fortunately, Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are helping to combat greenwashing.
An EPD is a verified document that provides transparent and comparable information about the environmental impact of a product or service.
The rise of greenwashing
Greenwashing has become an increasingly common practice in recent years, as more and more consumers are looking for eco-friendly products. Companies are using various tactics to promote their products as environmentally friendly, including vague or misleading language, green packaging, and misleading claims about certifications.
For example, a company might market a product as “natural” or “organic” without providing any evidence to support these claims. In some cases, companies may even use fake certifications or labels to give the impression that their products are environmentally friendly. Greenwashing can be harmful to both the environment and consumers. It can make it difficult for consumers to identify genuinely environmentally friendly products, leading them to make choices that are not in line with their values. It can also give companies an unfair advantage over competitors who are genuinely committed to sustainability, and undermine the efforts of those who are making a real effort to reduce their environmental impact.
What are Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)?
An Environmental Product Declaration is a verified document that provides transparent and comparable information about the environmental impact of a product or service. It is based on a life cycle assessment (LCA), which evaluates the environmental impact of a product or service at every stage of its life cycle, from raw materials extraction to disposal.
An EPD typically includes information about the product’s environmental impact in various categories, such as greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water consumption, and waste generation. This information is presented in a standardised format, which makes it easy for consumers and businesses to compare different products and make informed decisions about their environmental impact.
EPDs are created by independent third-party organisations, which ensures their credibility and prevents companies from making misleading claims. The International EPD System, for example, is a global program for environmental declarations, which has established standards for EPDs and provides certification and verification services.
How EPDs help combat greenwashing. They play a crucial role in combating greenwashing by providing objective and transparent information about the environmental impact of products and services. Here are some of the ways in which EPDs help combat greenwashing.
Greenwashing is a growing problem, as companies seek to capitalise on consumer demand for eco-friendly products and services. Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are helping to combat greenwashing by providing objective and transparent information about the environmental impact of products and services. They provide standardised, independent, and credible information about the environmental impact of products and services, which allows consumers and businesses to make informed decisions about their environmental impact.
EPDs also encourage companies to adopt more sustainable practices and can provide a range of benefits to both consumers and businesses. Overall, they are a valuable tool in the fight against greenwashing and the promotion of sustainable practices.