Avoiding Greenwash by Design: Resolving Market and Socio-Environmental Ethical Conflicts

TitleAvoiding Greenwash by Design: Resolving Market and Socio-Environmental Ethical Conflicts
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCrutchfield, D, Lunde, M
Book TitleICSDC 2011
Date Published2012
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number978-0-7844-1204-6
AbstractThis paper examines the development of a broadly applicable comparative assessment framework for resolving design/specification dilemmas resulting from the clash of socio-environmental and marketplace ethics. First, the study frames the ethical standings and conflicts of each of these intentions. This process involves an initial examination of the diverse and conflicting conceptions of `green' or `sustainable' design. Next, a review of marketplace and consumer culture will follow, including the effects of globalization and the `green revolution'. The study then introduces the notions of `greenwash' and `greenspin,' along with their implications to architecture and construction. Findings in this investigation include the development of a rational and effective determinative assessment structure. The relevance of such a framework lies in its potential application to the specification of products and/or systems utilized in the construction of architectural, engineering, and design projects intended to address socio-environmental concerns. Such a `specifier-based' assessment tool will allow for subtle yet essential distinctions specific to many such projects, thus avoiding skewed prescriptions by well-intentioned `third-party' agents.