Why Corporate Greenwashing is a problem…
Greenwashing is a large topic spanning many areas and impacting us in so many ways.
In basic terms greenwashing is where companies or groups or influencers use advertising and public messaging to try to ‘appear’ to be environmentally friendly, sustainable and green, in many cases trying to appear ‘greener’ than they actually are.
As more companies cotton on to the financial and reputational benefits of ‘appearing’ to be ‘greener’ in a world where ultimately the end consumer or user would like to ‘do the right thing’, the problems with greenwashing increase.
What is Corporate Greenwashing?
Corporate greenwashing is effectively where a business spends a large amount of time and money exaggerating and promoting their (often non existent) environmentally friendliness and green credentials, instead of actually putting in the effort and doing the work to reduce and minimize their overall environmental impact.
Which means the efforts to make their business more environmentally friendly are negligible compared to the efforts made to be seen as such.
So why is it a problem?
We live in a consumer society and culture where we are ‘sold’ to every minute of the day.
The rise of environmentalism is providing a new type of consumer, i.e. a ‘green’ consumer to sell to, and companies are now intentionally adopting ‘Being Green’ as their USP to appeal to this new type of consumer.
This wouldn’t be a problem IF these companies actually adopted any ESG or Green Strategies and initiatives to reduce and improve their environmental impact and thereby attract the green consumer as a result… BUT they don’t, instead many choose to hide or distract their environmentally UNfriendly operations and practices through carefully constructed marketing and greenwashing.
They basically ‘fib’ to appeal to and attract the ‘green’ consumer. This is a problem.
Greenwashing is more than a question of ethics
If a business presents itself as ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ without making any changes to become these things then it is setting itself up for failure as we hurtle deeper into the climate emergency with every day that passes.
By ignoring its own environmental impact, a business is exposing itself to hefty fines, tarnishing its brand and reputation, and moving ever closer to an unsustainable business model.
As a business it really doesn’t make any sense to greenwash…
For help on your green journey within your business to reduce and improve your environmental impact get in touch, we offer bespoke ESG and Green packages for all your requirements.
For more green, sustainable tips and articles take a look at our other blog posts, or pop over to Instagram and LinkedIn and check out @achievinggreenness where we provide you with the motivation, evidence, and tools you may need to become greener.