E nvironmentally conscious development is on the rise across the Australian construction industry. This has occurred as the result of increasing awareness within the industry about the risks that climate change poses, and increasing expectations from consumers to combat those risks. However, this uptake in concern – and corresponding demand for environmental sustainability – has been matched by the topic’s contrivance, which threatens to reduce a serious issue to a collection of catch phrases and empty logos. This practice, known as ‘greenwashing’, involves “the misleading claims of environmental benefits attached to a product… designed to portray a product or company as caring for the environment”. This can occur through words, graphics, vague or unprovable claims, exaggeration of compliance, or deliberate exclusion of information. In the construction industry, greenwashing makes it harder for architects, specifiers and clients to make informed decisions about the products and practices used in a project, and encourages the spread of greenwashing as unsubstantiated claims are further distributed. The widespread practice of greenwashing has taken place across all business sectors – not just within architecture and design. However, accurate and sufficient benchmarks for sustainability are paramount for the construction industry, given it makes up 23 percent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions and has significant potential to reduce that figure. At best, the greenwashing of inadequate products and practices is undertaken to increase sales without impacting the environment directly either way. (Even then, the practice of greenwashing contributes How greenwashing threatens environmental practice