What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing has been a marketing trick in recent years. This is a term used to indicate that a company or organization is more sustainable or more socially responsible than it really is. Living more sustainably is trendy these days, so they give consumers the idea that your product or service helps them with that. Long story short, the good intentions of consumers are simply “misused”.

The seven sins of greenwashing.

There are different ways of greenwashing named The Seven Sins.

  1. Sin of the hidden trade-off

Emphasis is placed on a sustainable aspect of a product, while the other aspects are not sustainable at all. This also occurs in small companies that want to do something right, but have not yet sufficiently immersed themselves in all aspects of their product.

  1. Sin of no proof

A company claims to do something sustainable without it being possible to control it. If the evidence is actually there, it is a missed opportunity for a company not to disclose it, but they will be happy to share it with you if you ask. Usually, however, it is a common form of deliberate greenwashing.

  1. Sin of vagueness

Many products are recommended by claims that don’t really mean anything at all because they aren’t protected terms. Examples of such claims are natural, dermatologically tested, pure, traditional, and reef safe. In fact, green and sustainable do not actually mean much if it is not made clear how less environmentally harmful it is.

  1. Sin of worshipping

Logos or texts on a packaging or website give the impression that a third party is recommending or approving the product, but these sometimes the logos or texts are not from an existing body and therefore not valid. A form of greenwashing that is more common than we think.

  1. Sin of irrelevance

Sometimes, the product is recommended in the advertisement with no necessarily good reason, because there is already a legal requirement or because it applies to all products in the category. For example, cleaning products must be biodegradable by law, so the brands sold with them do not have to do anything beyond the legal requirements.

  1. Sin of lesser of two evils

This is a better alternative for a product that is still extremely harmful to the environment. An example is an electric car that in the long run is a cleaner option than a gasoline car, but which still requires loads of energy and mining. 

  1. Sin of fibbing

Made up claims, fake certificates, inventing facts and statistics, it’s all perfect for misleading customers.

What is blue washing?

In addition to the term greenwashing, you also have the term blue washing. Many companies associate themselves with the United Nations global compact. Blue Washing is a method used by companies to establish their partnership with various agencies and to portray themselves as a company that is fully in accordance with United’s ten principles. Nations Global Compact works when in reality it doesn’t. ‘ The blue sign is used as a marketing strategy.

Let’s be sustainable in a fair way!