At a glance BP’s website (see http://www.bp.com) could be misconstrued with the website of an environmental activist’s against the use of BP’s product. It has hyperlinks placed throughout the page linking BP with ‘green organisations’ and methods (calculators) on “how to off-set your carbon foot print”. BP’s product is essentially an environmentally un-friendly product and as a result they are justifying the use of their product by its customers by showing the customers how they themselves can improve the environment. Practices, such as BP’s, have led to the term ‘green washing’. This is where firms distract the public from the fact that they are not environmentally friendly by bombarding them with promotions and campaigns (CorpWatch, 2001). However the public is a fickle and ever evolving organism, they are becoming increasingly aware of ‘green washing’ and are beginning to campaign against it.
Green washing’ is the unjustified appropriation of environmental virtue by a company, an industry, a government, a politician or even a non-government organization to create a pro-environmental image, sell a product or a policy, or to try and rehabilitate their standing with the public and decision makers after being embroiled in controversy.