What Is Greenwashing?


Greenwashing (a compound word modelled on “whitewash“) is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound. The aim is to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly.

Companies apply greenwashing techniques to the promotion of their products in order to appeal to the environmentally-conscious consumer.  Claims that align a product or campaign can gain market share and a competitive advantage over their rivals.

There is also an increasing pressure, from the public and government, for large companies and corporations to reduce their impact on the environment, especially with regard to their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

For example, companies involved in greenwashing behavior might make claims that their products are from recycled materials or have energy-saving benefits. Companies engaged in greenwashing typically exaggerate their claims or the benefits in an attempt to mislead consumers.

An example of greenwashing is the American multinational oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil indicating they were reducing greenhouse gas emissions while they were actually increasing.

However, an awareness of greenwashing has increased in recent years. This is due to the rising demand for environmentally sustainable products and much-needed transparency that goes hand in hand with ethical consumption

7 Ways to avoid greenwashing

1.Look out for certification

2.Be more purposeful with your purchase

3. Look for minimal/recyclable packaging

4. Look out for irrelevant claims

5. Beware of the common greenwashing words ( eco-friendly, all natural, green, non-toxic, plant based, organic, etc..)

6. Look for environmental emblems from established, third-party organizations

7. Buy Less


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