The environment is in danger. There are growing concerns about global warming, deforestation, wildlife species extinction, resource depletion, and pollution. With more and more people being concerned about the environment and their impact on it, more and more business corporations are also going green.
Many firms present their environmental efforts to the public by applying green marketing strategies to help gain competitive advantage and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.
More often we see products claiming to be “organic”, “bio”, “eco-friendly”, “100% natural” and many other green terms. But, do we believe all of these claims made by these corporations are true?
Of course, some firms truly practice sustainable ways as they claim, but a vast majority of firms use it as a bait. These companies market their products and brand being ‘green’ produced through sustainable methods, while not practicing sustainability in actuality. This is greenwashing.
Greenwashing is a practice of deceptively using green PR and green marketing to persuade the public that a company’s products, vision, and policies are environmentally friendly and therefore ‘better’.
This practice has been going on for years, but the term was first coined by American environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986. Today, with the surge of green consumers and their demand for sustainable products, greenwashing is increasing too.
We, as consumers, try to do our best to save the earth by consuming the “eco-friendly” products. But if these claims turn out to be false, we are unintentionally contributing to harming the planet ourselves. The environmental issues that we are trying to fight will perhaps worsen, if not remain idle.
“How do we avoid being greenwashed?” one may ask. The answer is just being informed and having a skeptical eye. Check the labels of products that you purchase. Do some research before buying anything.
If the corporation has not yet backed up their claims of being green, ask them to present evidence to support their claims. Do not hesitate to call out the corporations if you find out that you are being greenwashed.