Cleaning Up ‘Greenwashing’

By Deirdre Carroll: Senior Editor

The truth remains (or at least the perception does) that environmentally friendly practices are a bit more expensive to adhere to and implement than regular practices. Understandably, with the cost-cutting typically seen during a recession they are also some of the first things to go.

However, patronizing businesses with eco-conscious practices and green messages remained important to consumers despite the lagging economy (See Frontlines/Numbers on page 24) and it gave rise to a troubling trend known as “greenwashing.”

The National Retail Federation’s Sustainable Retailing Consortium defines “greenwashing” as a company’s “deceptive use of environmentally friendly claims to generate a pro-environmental image with customers and stakeholders.”

Thankfully, more aware consumers are getting wise to these companies’ tricks and are becoming even more savvy when selecting the companies and brands they choose to support.

Many companies have truly taken up the charge to decrease their impact on the environment and this issue of Vision Monday is full of them. Like Washington, D.C. retailer, Metropolitan Optical, on page 20, who incorporated green building practices into their new location. Or our Newsmaker, Modo, on page 12, which is leading the way and setting the ‘eco’ standard for the industry. And of course you can’t miss our cover feature, “Seeing Green” which begins on page 33 and looks at companies in the eyecare industry who have stayed true to, or even expanded, their green initiatives.

Vision Monday
salutes these eyecare and vision care companies, and others, who stayed true to their green practices through the recession and, with this issue, we hope to inspire everyone in the industry to re-invest in making eco-friendly programs and sustainability an integral part of their businesses.