Tools And Measurement

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  • 1. Towards Sustainable Practice Communication without ‘Greenwash’ - Verification, Measurement and Reporting
  • 2. Communicating without ‘greenwash’ Verification and verification standards Measurement and measurement tools Reporting tools
  • 3.  
  • 4.
    • Communicating without ‘Greenwash’
    • What is ‘greenwash’ and why don’t we want to go there?
  • 5.
    • 1. Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off: e.g. “Energy-efficient” electronics that contain hazardous materials. 998 products or 57% of all environmental claims committed this Sin.
    • 2. Sin of No Proof: e.g. Shampoos claiming to be “certified organic,” but with no verifiable certification. 454 products and 26% of environmental claims committed this Sin.
    • 3. Sin of Vagueness: e.g. Products claiming to be 100% natural when many naturally-occurring substances are hazardous, like arsenic and formaldehyde. Seen in 196 products or 11% of environmental claims.
    Source: TerraCoice
  • 6.
    • 4. Sin of Irrelevance: e.g. Products claiming to be CFC-free, even though CFCs were banned 20 years ago. This Sin was seen in 78 products and 4% of environmental claims.
    • 5. Sin of Fibbing: e.g. Products falsely claiming to be certified by an internationally recognized environmental standard like EcoLogo, Energy Star or Green Seal. Found in 10 products or less than 1% of environmental claims.
    • 6. Sin of Lesser of Two Evils: e.g. Organic cigarettes or “environmentally friendly” pesticides, This occurred in 17 products or 1% of environmental claims.
    Source: TerraCoice
  • 7. Carbon Off-Setting
    • A “carbon offset” is an emission reduction credit from another organisation’s project that results in less carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than would otherwise occur.
    • Many types of activities can generate carbon offsets.
  • 8.
  • 9.
    • Verification and
    • Verification Standards
    • Don’t BS, get verified!
  • 10. Verification
    • A formal assertion of validity given when an organisation or product can be shown to comply with rules and guidelines.
    • Confirmation of compliance with standards is best provided by an independent third party.
    • The evidence for such confirmation is often shown by a label or endorsement.
    • Verification of organisations and products allows an organisation or producer to communicate to stakeholders their move toward sustainable practice.
  • 11.  
  • 12. Activity
    • Using the internet, go to Health
    • http://
    • If you were looking for a supplier of ‘sustainable’ products for your organisation, would you be convinced by their products?
    • Focus on:
      • Labels – well known? Verified?
      • Comprehensive information?
      • Transparency?
  • 13.
    • Measurement and Measurement Tools
    • “ If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there…
    • If you are not keeping track of the mileage you don’t know how far you have gone”
  • 14. Why Measure?
    • Measuring helps to evaluate, control, budget, motivate, promote, celebrate, learn, and improve.
    • In order to attain and keep your verification standard you are often required to show improvement in your environmental or sustainability standard, e.g. QualMark and CarbonZero.
    • Measurement is also often a legislative requirement, e.g. water resource consents, emissions.
  • 15. Indicators
    • Indicators are often a great tool for clearly communicating data.
    • They help to amalgamate different sets of data to give a picture of whether the business is heading in the right direction.
    • There are numerous tools that can be used to indicate if your business is making progress.
    • Warning: unless numerous indicators are used in collaboration to show all parts of a business, you will be missing a whole systems perspctive.
  • 16.
    • Reporting Tools
    • Where do they help, and what are their limitations?
  • 17. Reporting Tools available
    • GRI
    • Corporate Social Responsibility
    • Environmental Management Systems (for example ISO 14001)
  • 18. Summary
    • The best way to avoid ‘greenwash’ is to talk about what your business is doing after you have finished doing it!
    • Ensure sound monitoring and reporting on all areas of your business – create transparency.
    • Use verification wisely. Ensure it is a reliable brand.
    • Just get on with it! The more you DO to move towards sustainability, the more people will take notice and congratulate you for it.