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Greenwash (CPD) G#289 N#290

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Greenwash CPD

GBE > Encyclopaedia > Files > CPD > Topics > G#289 N#290

Greenwash CPD

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Greenwash CPD

  • File Name:
  • File Type: PDF of PPT or PPTX
  • File Size:
    • PDF Show: 0.909 mb
    • PPT: 3.4 Mb
  • Number of Slides/Pages:
    • PDF Show: 41 Slides of 52
    • PPT: 52
  • Created for: Architects CPD
  • Presented to: Architects CPD, LSBU University
  • Author: BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy ONC HNC Construction BSc Dip Architecture (Hons+Dist)
  • © GBE GBL GBC NGS ASWS 2006 – 2015
  • Created: 17/07/2008
  • Revision: 25
  • Updated: 21/11/2015
  • Previously published on Scribd: DD/MM/2009,
  • Scribd reads: NNNN at 06/01/2013
  • Tags: CPD, Lecture, _
  • ProductSets: Methods of Construction, Materials, Building Elements,
  • UserGroups: Students, Architects, Assistants, Technicians, Structural Engineers, Constructors

GBE CPD Content

(without images; See the slide show for the pictures)

What on Earth is Greenwash?

See Also:

What on Earth is Greenwash?

  • Some companies spin their policies and communications to make their business appear more environmentally friendly.
  • These methods can include, for instance, sponsoring an ecological charity or employing an ‘environmental officer’ without actually changing the company’s environmental behaviour in any real terms.
  • Another example is presenting a simple financial cost cutting exercise as an effort to reduce the environmental resources that the company uses.

Read it

  • A greenie applied for a post at an Large Commercial Architects with big developer clients, because they had an environmental policy
  • It went along the lines: so much information is published on global warming that cannot be trusted, until there is legislation we will carry on Business as Usual
  • I had read the policy, he had not.

ISO 14063

  • ISO 14063 is a set of voluntary standards provided to guide the environmental communications of businesses and organisations.
  • Its basic principles are transparency, appropriateness, credibility, responsiveness and clarity.
  • Participants make a voluntary commitment to ensure that all our environmental information is upfront and honest, relevant to our products and services, robust and supported, easy to access, and understandable.

Truly green businesses hate Greenwash.

  • That’s why they are committed to being Greenwash free.
  • They can demonstrate their commitment by observing the environmental reporting standards set out in ISO 14063.

VeryPC commitment

  • At VeryPC, they take this kind of thing very seriously.
  • After all, the world beating energy efficiency of their machines is what makes them who they are.
  • It’s the very core of their business.
  • They publish energy usage figures for all their products.
  • They make sure the information is obvious and easy to understand, and make sure that they explain where the figures come from.
  • They do all this so that you can be certain that when they say they are greenwash free, they really mean it.

Greenwash free

  • Logo

GBE Link

General claims made in Greenwash

  • Sustainable
  • Environment Friendly
  • Eco-friendly
  • Recyclable
  • Recycled
  • Managed Forest
  • CFC free
  • HCFC free
  • ZODP
  • Water based
  • Solvent free
  • Low VOC
  • Energy saving

Meaningless in a specification

  • Sustainable
  • Environment Friendly
  • Eco-friendly
  • Architects are prone to using these too, about their projects when in many cases they have tackled few elements and few issues.


  • Not recycled
  • Meaningless in a specification
  • How much of their own materials is recycled?
  • This may be an indication of the state of their sector of the industry
  • Don’t use non-recyclable


  • But how much is post-consumer
  • Or factory floor sweepings?
  • What percentage?
    • –ISO 14021
    • See Also: GBE Echo (Collaboration)
  • Recycled what?
    • PVC?
    • Radioactive Gypsum?

GBE Links

  • GreenSpec

Managed Forest

  • But in who’s terms
  • Is it FSC certified? Forest Stewardship Council
    • PEFC?
    • BM Trada is not a scheme just a test house
    • Another scheme?
  • or none at all?
    • UK sources UK grown UK Species
  • Non UK source
    • Chain of Custody?

CFC & HCFC free

  • What about HFCs?
  • What about HFAs?
  • What about PFCs (aluminium production)?
  • What about Chlorine (PVC production)?
  • What about ODP and ZODP?

ZODP Zero Ozone Depletion Potential

  • But what about Green House Gases
  • Global Warming Potential GWP
  • This is often worse then ODP
  • We have had some good news about Ozone layer holes repairing themselves


  • Table pending

Water based /Solvent-free /Low VOC

  • Less or no Solvents
  • Low Volatile Organic Compounds
  • But still Synthetic
  • Extra chemicals to be water based
  • Sometimes more hostile than solvents

Water saving

  • But how low a flush WC?
  • 6/4 litre should be regarded as bad
  • And better than this is readily available
  • 4/2.5 litres should be normal
  • as low as 1 litre flush
  • Taps, Showers, White goods, etc.

Low maintenance

  • Example PVC windows
  • But PVC is short life:
    • Ironmongery usually fails first
  • Requires a good maintenance regime
  • PVC is dangerous stuff in manufacture and in landfill
  • There are alternatives
  • Peabody have already rejected them
  • ICI make a PVC Paint to maintain PVC windows
  • BRE Green Guide PVC windows A rated despite the C rating in the draft

Makes Zero Energy Buildings possible

  • Meaningless
  • Meaningless in specification
  • Is reliant on so many other things to be able to claim anything

Part L Compliant

  • Elements can be assessed against elemental requirements
  • When chasing (energy and CO2) the whole building needs to be looked at together not just individual elements

Code 6 Compliant

  • Elements can be assessed against elemental requirements
  • Materials are difficult to extract
  • One element or material may have a few criteria to be judged against

BRE Green Guide to Specification Compliant

  • BRE’s Green Guide to Specification has its flaws
    • Shades of green: 3-part 3 hour lecture
    • Green Materials Olympics 1 hour lecture
  • Its not Green
  • Its not a guide to specification


  • Sheep were dipped in nerve toxins
    • to kill moths and other insects
  • toxins remain in the wool
  • Woolmark carpets were from dipped sheep
  • Your carpets might be a killer
  • Choose carpets without dip


  • Timber of a perishable species needs preservative treatment if use in a vulnerable situation
  • Treatments are designed to kill spores which would otherwise rot the timber
  • Treatments remain in or on the timber’s surface


  • Sheep’s wool is natural (if not dipped)
  • Cork, cellulose fibre, hemp,
  • Natural paints, stains, waxes,
  • Solid timber floor boarding
  • Linoleum flooring
  • Rubber Flooring

Ambiguous advertising

  • that is easily misread and misinterpreted
  • Recycled v Recyclable
  • Recycled might be good
  • but recyclable means very little or nothing
  • Let future generations sort out the mess

Ambiguous advertising

  • Certificate or endorsements shown in advertising
  • When questioned:
    • AECB logo is for company membership its not about the products
    • The endorsement is for the other product in our range

Conforming to a certification standard

  • does not necessarily mean that a particular certification has been obtained
  • ‘To BS 1234’ can mean complies with just one clause
    • and that is backed up by UK Consumer Law

Green Marketing: Concrete Centre

  • Tell a good story: Business As Usual
    • Tough Durable & Strong
    • Versatile
    • Fire, Acoustic & Air resistant
      • Except at the day, movement control and acoustic isolation joints
  • New
    • Thermal mass
    • Only if you expose it and exploit it
  • Carbon sequestration as it strengthens over long period of time
    • Is that the same as Carbonation?

Green Marketing: Concrete Centre

  • Can be recycled as hardcore
    • Down cycling, down valuing
  • Can be Recycled Concrete Aggregate
    • But so little is
    • Engineers permit it but do not require it
  • Can contain GGBS and PFA
    • Engineers permit it but do not require it
    • OPC sector do not want the competition
  • Alternative to OPC are made abroad
    • Established market will continue to discourage it

Green Marketing: Concrete Centre

  • Suppress a bad one
  • –High CO2 production from heating
  • –High CO2 from chemical reaction
  • –8-10% global CO2 production
  • –1.8% UK CO2 production
  • –13% of 120m tonnes / annum waste: timber
  • –10% of 120m tonnes/annum waste: temporary works formwork
  • –10.2% of 120m tonnes/annum waste: concrete

Cement Aggregates Quarry Products Associations

  • Cement:
    • £3m/annum budget
  • Cement, Aggregates, Quarry Products
    • Associations joined forces
    • Marketing Budget combined
    • £12m/annum

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
10th November 2015 – 11th January 2021

Greenwash CPD


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© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
10th November 2015 – 11th January 2021

Greenwash CPD
See Also:


CPD Topics N#478




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© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
13th November 2015 – 11th January 2021

Greenwash CPD G#289 N#290 End.

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