Greenwashing: All You Need to Know
Going green has become a trend that both individuals and corporations are adopting. This could be by adopting conscious environmental-friendly practices or green investing. However, this novel adoption of green practices has given birth to the problem of greenwashing.
What is Greenwashing?
Greenwashing can be described as a marketing technique used by companies to make consumers believe it is environmentally conscious when it is not making any notable sustainable impact. The concept of greenwashing was designed to identify and denounce companies that claim to be environmentally sustainable while their actions prove different.
Consequences of Greenwashing
Firstly, it affects organizations that are truly making efforts to be environmentally friendly and the government’s efforts toward a green future. Second, greenwashing makes it harder for consumers trying to implement eco-friendly decisions in their lifestyles. Third, in the end, it affects consumer trust in brands that may genuinely be eco-friendly.
Hence, greenwashing does more harm than good to the environment.
How to identify Greenwashing?
To know when a brand is greenwashing, you must be able to identify the tactics used by such brands. You can spot whether a company is truly green by looking out for the following.
- Buzzwords or vague terms:
‘Eco-friendly’, ‘sustainable’, and ‘natural’ are some of the terms corporations use to give them an environmentally friendly look. However, if you think about it, these words are vague and point to no particular way that the company is eco-friendly. These words can mean various things, and their inclusion in packaging should not be the basis of deciding whether a company is green or not.
- Green packaging:
To put up the front of being sustainable, many brands have made changes to their branding. A classic method of greenwashing is using the colour green to be the brand colour. Another way is to include a leaf, animal, or green imagery like the earth to give the company the illusion of eco-friendliness.
- Lack of verification from an eco-watchdog:
An eco-friendly company will have the backing of third-party certifications. These third parties ensure that a company that claims to be green follows sustainable practices. Conversely, the lack of verification from an eco-watchdog is a tell-tale sign of greenwashing.
What to do to avoid Green Washing
- Do your research:
The importance of due diligence and digging deeper to verify a company’s eco claims will help you to avoid a greenwash. It is also important to identify the brands that are truly green and stick with them.
- Look beyond the buzzwords or green packaging:
Looking beyond a brand’s popular buzzwords and green packaging will allow you to identify and avoid a greenwash. Companies that use greenwash tactics rely on their vague descriptions to attract consumers. You save yourself by not being swayed by vague terms.
- Verify claims from a third party:
With the increase in sustainable companies, organizations have been developed to serve as watchdogs to these companies. For every industry that adopts green practices, some watchdogs regulate their green policies. Find the appropriate third party and verify.
As someone interested in adopting sustainable decisions, being a victim of greenwashing will not help maintain your interests. That is why it is necessary to know how to spot a greenwash and how you can avoid one. The tips will go a long way in helping you maintain your eco-friendly practices.