Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly.
In our hyper-consumption based societies, it’s always smart to raise a skeptical eyebrow when you hear organizations make claims of how they’re “doing their part” in the quest to “save the Earth”, (although at the UnSchool we truly believe that no one can “save” the Earth, but we can all change it!). But when companies invest more time and money on marketing their products or brand as “green” rather than actually doing the hard work to ensure that it is sustainable — this is called greenwashing.
Cambridge Dictionary says greenwashing is designed “to make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is.”
Whilst some greenwashing is unintentional and results from a lack of knowledge about what sustainability truly is, it is often intentionally carried out through a wide range of marketing and PR efforts. But the common denominator among all greenwashing is that it is not only misleading, but it’s also really not helping to further sustainable design or circular economy initiatives. Thus, environmental problems stay the same or more likely, get even worse, as greenwashing often sucks up airtime and misdirects well-intentioned consumers down the wrong path.
Greenwashing: Definition / Meaning
Greenwashing is the act of creating a false or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology, or company practice.
Simply said, greenwashing can make a business to appear being more environmentally friendly than it is. It can also include green marketing that promotes the perception of products, a company, or environmentally friendly intentions.
Greenwashing is also when a company enhances positive social and environmental news, either by lying, manipulating, or twisting the real information.
Why greenwashing is bad?
- It confuses the customers; it makes them think that they are doing something good for the environment, while in fact, they aren’t.
- Misdirection makes it easier for companies to shift the customers’ attention from their negative environmental impact.
- A company that uses greenwashing means that its goal is selling products, not protecting the environment.
Just keep in mind that there is a difference between:
– a brand, that it is trying to become better
– a brand that is making something only to pretend that they care for the sake of selling more