Greenwashing/Canada

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In recent years, a number of Canadian environmental NGOs have come under scrutiny after receiving funding from Pew Family Charitable Trusts, set up by the same family who own Suncor, an oil company. The work done by the NGOs receiving Pew funding is thought to be comprimised. These NGOs include the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), and the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI).

Greenwashing Case studies

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BC Citizens for Green Energy (BCCGE) was created in British Columbia to promote 'green energy.' While the group asserts they are a grassroots organization, spokespersons are current and former BC Liberal Party activists as well as some of the volunteer board. The group promotes the Liberal government's electricity privatization policy under the guise of being a 'grassroots' organization. In press releases and letters to the editors went to many papers around the province the group attacks proponents of public power and argues that private power generation is cheaper than public. http://thetyee.ca/News/2008/12/18/GreenEnergy/

This is despite the fact that publicly delivered electricity from BC Hydro is among the cheapest in North America.

However, a 2010 study found that Canadians are getting cynical about companies that make false environmental claims, which may potentially drive them toward leading less eco-friendly lives. The Greendex, an annual survey of consumer habits in 17 countries by the National Geographic Society and the polling company GlobScan Incorporated, found that although Canadians professed deep concern over environmental issues, they were less likely than people in most other countries to make green consumer choices. When asked for their reasons for not living more environmentally friendly lives, 46 percent of Canadians cited their belief that companies are greenwashing. This cynicism beat out inconvenience and cost as reasons for not living more greenly [1].