Seaspiracy controversy and dodgy eco-labels




April 19, 2021

We need to celebrate all genuine efforts to become greener, while continually raising the bar over time.

We’ve all been burned enough to raise a skeptical eyebrow when companies talk about “doing their bit” and “protecting the planet”. Think of the laundry detergent with a picture of earth on the front... that’s wrapped in 10 layers of plastic. Or Volkswagen faking its own vehicle emissions tests for years.  

With so much "greenwash", it can feel like we need to become private detectives just to buy responsibly!

The proof is in the pudding

Our key defense against greenwashing is to ask businesses for the cold hard evidence. Greener aggregates over 50 high quality eco accreditations, and only includes businesses on our app that are making meaningful progress to be better for the planet. (We'll soon be publishing the full list of accreditations that we use, and we'll continue to raise the bar over time).

What about dodgy accreditations?

There are a few Netflix fans here at Greener HQ. The recent Seaspiracy documentary has sparked a lot of debate, including their claim that the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) eco-label is little more than a pay-to-play scheme. There are definitely dodgy accreditations out there, which means our job at Greener is a tough one!

We need to filter out the BS to help people find genuine greener options for everything they buy.

Our take is this

If you can cut down the amount of seafood you eat - win! If you are going to eat fish, it’s still better to buy MSC. Why? Because most fisheries have to make improvements before they can gain certification. The doco showed that we need tougher enforcement of the rules, but it's still the better option.

If you want to go a step further, buy fish labelled as “pole and line” caught, which is available at all major Aussie supermarkets. This helps reduce over-fishing and by-catch of dolphins and other marine life, and also supports small-scale fishing. Win-win!

Progress over perfection

It takes time for big companies to change, and we need big players on board to make a large-scale, meaningful impact on problems like over-fishing, climate change and fair labor.  

Consider one Greener brand - Adidas. They’re working hard to wipe out virgin plastic from all their products by 2024. Adidas is a MASSIVE company, and it’s going to take years for them to completely clean up their supply chain. It makes sense for us as consumers to support them along the way (even while they remain imperfect) to encourage other companies to follow the same path.  

The takeaways

Let's continue to challenge companies to be better, and push for better policies and enforcement.

Instead of bashing the NGOs that are working to make things better, let's support them as they try to fix things - bit by bit.

Let's celebrate all efforts to become greener, while continually raising the bar over time.