What is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is defined as the practice of making unsupported claims about the sustainable benefits of products, services, technology or company culture and process.

Who does it?

Organisations who exaggerate their contributions to the environment to purposely mislead customers in order to generate more sale.Unsubstantiated claims are made regarding how environmentally conscious a corporation is through the use of dubious, eco marketing techniques without third party certification to support.

When did it start?

The term originates from the 1960’s phrase “Ecopornography”, which was used to describe far-fetched campaigns developed by oil companies to rebut their environmental reputation. However, it wasn’t until 1986 that “Greenwashing” was officially coined by Jay Westerfield, a leading American environmentalist.

Where can it be found?

Greenwashing is often detailed in marketing and advertising strategies though the use of sustainable buzz words that give the impression of being “eco” without any evidence to endorse. Statements like sustainably sources or ethically made can be utilised however no certification to confirm the statements are available to the customer. Some organisation involved in greenwashing do place labels on their packaging. however, upon closer examination the labels are not provided by a third-party certification bodies and do not mean the organisation has achieved a specified environmental standard. There have been cases of organisations simply changing their packaging or logo to “eco” greens and browns to encourage more sales.

What is greenwashing
Misleading greenwashing

Why is is done?

The simple and short answer is – Corporate greed. A growing number of consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and can be influenced into purchasing from sustainable businesses in an attempt of being more eco- friendly. Organisations recognise this and utilise it to their advantage, generating more sales without making environmentally conscious decisions.

Thanks for Reading

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog. The Sustainability Strategy aims to build a community that feels free to openly discuss their environmental views. If you enjoyed the content and would like to get involved in the Sustainable growth conversation, I would love to hear from you.  I would love to hear from you. You can find me on Facebook,  TwitterLinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Keep it Green,


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