According to EthicalConsumer.org, “Greenwashing is used to describe the practice of companies launching adverts, campaigns, products, etc. under the pretense that they are environmentally beneficial, often in contradiction to their environmental and sustainability record in general.“
To break it down, Greenwashing is a marketing ploy used by businesses and companies to create a false image of environmental consciousness in their products and of the company themselves. With more consumers looking for environmentally friendly and socially conscious products and companies, greenwashing has also increased in recent years.
The problem with greenwashing is that it gives companies a false image of being environmentally friendly when oftentimes the company can actually have a horrible record of environmental business decisions. Greenwashing is used to cover up these malpractices and becomes nothing more than a PR stunt to maintain company image and profits than the story of saving the Earth that they often convey.
This isn’t just affecting the company’s image but is also hurting the environment in the process through misinformation. Consumers who believe they are purchasing an environmentally friendly product may be receiving one just as harmful as the next one over. This makes truly environmentally friendly products difficult to discover amongst all the fakes.
Greenwashing often entails vague statements and claims, green imagery, and the use of certain buzzwords to convince the consumer. Companies who would like to show their environmentally conscious highlights should be completely transparent with how these decisions actually affect the environment.
This isn’t just about doing what’s right, even though you should. Greenwashing your company is usually a weak facade and truly environmentally conscious consumers will know exactly what you’re doing and it will not work.