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Is it really "environmentally friendly"? Maryland state agency warns consumers about "greenwashing"

Supporting the environment
Posted at 4:45 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 17:41:33-04

BALTIMORE — With Earth Day coming up soon, a state agency is warning the public about a practice called "greenwashing."

Greenwashing is "a form of marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization's products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly."

The Maryland Office of People's Counsel urged people to report greenwashing. The agency represents Maryland's residential consumers of electric, natural gas, telecommunications, private water and certain transportation matters before the Public Service Commission, federal regulatory agencies and the courts.

A new anonymous survey by the Harris Poll for Google Cloud showed that 68 percent of company leaders admitted their businesses were guilty of greenwashing, reported Fast Company.

Recent allegations of greenwashing have targeted the Washington Gas Light Company's environmental claims about its gas, the BRESCO Wheelabrator incinerator in Baltimore, and the use of biogas in Maryland.

The Maryland Office of People's Counsel says: "When a company makes claims that their service or product is eco-friendly, those claims must be clear and backed by facts. When a company makes false claims about their services or products, it confuses consumers and distracts from actual eco-friendly initiatives."

The agency says anyone who spots greenwashing on marketing materials from their utility should file a complaint at