As the market for greener cleaning products grows, so too does the use of generic or otherwise vague claims about a cleaning product’s environmental or health characteristics. In many instances, these claims reflect honest efforts by manufacturers to promote specific product benefits that will hopefully appeal to buyers. However, the practice of “greenwashing,” that is, making misleading or unsubstantiated claims about a given product’s environmental benefits, has actually led to greater confusion in the marketplace, and increased suspicion among buyers about the value of such claims.
This white paper begins with a brief overview of the environmental and health-related issues associated with the use of cleaning products, and then discusses the various aspects of greenwashing commonly found in connection with the marketing of these products. The white paper then presents the essential aspects of a trusted certification program for sustainable cleaning products, and concludes with a look at efforts to increase environmental transparency in the positioning of cleaning products.