Thursday, August 18, 2011
"A Greener Way to Shop" proclaims the new product's promotional page, providing no substantiation for the claim.
"With Google Catalogs, you can subscribe to paperless versions of all your favorite catalogs," the page states.
Oh, so switching to information that's stored in energy-sucking data centers and then transmitted over the coal-fired Internet to devices containing a variety of toxic materials is environmentally sustainable simply because it involves no paper -- a recyclable product made mostly from renewable materials? C'mon, Google, a sophisticated company that has put so much effort into real sustainability initiatives should know better than that.
"Environmental marketing claims that include a comparative statement should be presented in a manner that makes the basis for the comparison sufficiently clear to avoid consumer deception," states the Federal Trade Commission's voluntary anti-greenwash guidelines. "In addition, the advertiser should be able to substantiate the comparison."