You all must have seen products around bearing tag such as ‘chemical free’, ‘100% eco-friendly’, ‘environmentally sustainable’ and so on. The necessity for companies to be environmentally sound in real is the alarming need of the hour. The reason to mention ‘in real’ is because a few companies on the contrary showcase themselves as environmentally sound in a fake manner misleading the consumers, shareholders, authorities and the general public. And this act is termed as ‘Greenwashing’. The concept can simply be put as ‘It is not how it appears to be’. They either make dubious claims that their products cause minimal or no harm to the environment and/or the processes that they opt for manufacturing are quite environmental in nature whereas in real that is not the case.
We are all aware of the growing demand for environmental friendly products in the market. This feeds to the greed of such malafied intended companies whose motto is just to capitalize on the ongoing public sentiment by deceit. They play with the sentiments of public by creating a false impression of how worried they are of the planet.
We would like to highlight the practice of greenwashing by laying out a few examples. Windex, a Home cleaning brand introduced a window-cleaner bottle which they claimed to be 100% recycled ocean plastic bottle but the truth was soon unfolded when it was found that ocean plastics do not remain usable and the claim was too unrealistic.
The famous automobile company Volkswagon was running an ad campaign discouraging the use of diesel and claiming that it possesses a technology that emitted much less pollutants. However later it was revealed that the ‘clean diesel’ campaign of Volkswagon was a sham and that the technology that it claimed was in reality designed to cheat emission tests and the pollutants emitted were much higher. The company was penalized heavily for its conduct.
IKEA, a prominent furniture brand and the largest consumer of timber claims itself to be extremely sustainable whereas on the contrary it was found indulging in illegally sourced wood from the forests in Ukraine.
Such practices not only destroy the trust of customers but also damage the company’s reputation, becoming susceptible to heavy penalties from the regulatory authorities.
Companies need to stop brainwashing people to believe the lies that they sell under the garb of ‘Greenwashing’.