Are Your Tax Dollars Going to Green Washing?

Last Updated Apr 15, 2008 11:32 AM EDT

  • Are Your Tax Dollars Going to Green Washing?The Find: The environmental performance of companies participating in voluntary environmental programs is 7.7 percent worse than companies that don't participate; if participating companies self-monitor their performance is 24 percent worse.
  • The Source: A new study of more than 30,000 firms from researchers at George Mason University.
The Take-away: There are more than 200 regional and national voluntary environmental programs in the U.S. The EPA alone spent $69 million funding them last year, and when the Department of Energy started its Climate Challenge Program, 124 companies signed up. That's a significant amount of tax payer money, so one has to ask: is it just going to green wash American business? And does the desire to make a big public show of your green initiatives correlate negatively with your actual green credentials?

The study suggests that when it comes to being green, more smoke means less fire.

(Image of green paint tray by Editor B, CC 2.0)

  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.