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-By Mansi Suryavanshi

What is greenwashing?

The phrase is “greenwashing” was first used in 1986 by environmentalist Jay Wester veld in a critical article that was motivated by the irony of the “save the towel” campaign in hotels, which had little effect beyond saving hotels’ money on laundry bills. The concept was developed at time when most people got their news through print, a radio, and television, so they could not fact-check as they can now.

Over the years, companies that engaged in widespread greenwashing have garnered media attention. For instance, in the middle of the 1980s, the oil firm Chevron commissioned a number of pricey print and television advertisements to promote its commitment to the environment. However, Chevron was actively breaking the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act while the now-famous “People Do” campaign was in effect, as well as spilling oil into wildlife refuges.

How to avoid greenwashing:

Here are some fundamental brand greenwashing techniques to avoid if consumer demand for sustainability is the frontier of our transition to a greener, fairer, and smarter global economy.

Fluffy language: Avoid using phrases or expressions that are vague in their meaning (such as “natural” or “eco-friendly”).

Clean firm against green products: Be wary of hypocrisy, such as the production of efficient light bulbs in factories that pollute waterways.

Avoid using branding imagery that convey an unwarranted sense of being environmentally friendly, such as flowers sprouting from exhaust pipes.

The following designations are just unreliable: Watch out for overt attempts to “green” unsafe products in order to make them appear safe. (Anyone want eco-friendly cigarettes?)

Imaginary companions: Use caution when using labels that appear to be third-party endorsements but are untrue.

Absolute falsehoods Never make completely false statements or data.  

Why is greenwashing undesirable?

Because it deceives investors and customers who are truly looking for ecologically friendly businesses or products, greenwashing is dishonest and immoral. Green products are frequently more expensive and might be marketed at a premium, which can cause customers to overpay. Greenwashing may significantly harm a company’s reputation and brand if it is discovered. 

Greenwashing harms innovation and a healthy level of competition:- 

Resources used to make something appear ecologically friendly may also be put to creative use to produce results that have a meaningful, long-lasting influence on the environment.

However, it is also true that you are drawn into the race and must put out at least the same degree of marketing effort to maintain competitiveness in a market where all of your rivals promote how environmentally responsible they are. Fortunately, this appears to be changing, as more and more businesses are becoming real.