Fortunately, environmental protection and acting responsibly are now very important to many people. But is every brand really serious about its “green properties”? What is greenwashing and how do you recognize it?
“Not everything that glitters is gold – or green.”
As an environmentally conscious brand that treats people and nature with care, we would like to briefly explain to you what greenwashing is in this we samay - we care about people and nature blog post.
Greenwashing literally means “washing green” and represents criticism of marketing campaigns by companies that claim to be green – i.e. environmentally friendly, but are actually not.
Unfortunately, many companies and brands use greenwashing in their external communication because sustainability simply sells well, the image is polished and it is talked about everywhere.
The public is supposed to believe that the company is acting in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner without doing enough to do so.
How do you recognize greenwashing?
Isn't it great that many companies from a wide range of industries now have a heart and place great value on sustainability, social standards and a mindful value chain?! Or are they mostly just riding the green wave without actually being serious?
Of course, it's fantastic that more and more brands and companies are thinking about how they can make their structures green. The smallest change to become a more environmentally friendly company is important. But it depends on communication. Consumers should not be deceived by advertising, but should receive honest information.
Based on these 3 criteria, you can tell whether a company is serious about its efforts or whether there is greenwashing behind it:
Transparency, information, communication
If you are interested in whether a company or product is really sustainable, take a look at the homepage of the respective company. If you find a lot of transparent information about procurement, production, company values, etc., this is very important for your assessment of whether the company is serious about sustainability. The more information and therefore transparency a company provides, the more certain you can be that there is no greenwashing behind it.
Corporate communication to the outside world - in advertising, on social media and on packaging material shows you whether few and one-sided aspects are advertised as sustainable. Because greenwashing often only mentions a few aspects that are formulated in very general terms.
Proportion of sustainable products in the range
How many sustainable products can you find in the brand’s range? Is a company really sustainable if only a few products can be described as environmentally friendly? How high should the proportion of resource-saving products in a sustainable company's range actually be in order to be called “green”?
It is very complex and expensive for a company to act sustainably, responsibly and fairly. Regardless of the industry it belongs to, it is almost impossible for an eco-friendly company to compete with the low prices of other brands that produce similar but unsustainable products.