Is your company Greenwashing?

It’s nothing to do with getting the grass stains out of the kid’s clothes, greenwashing is the process of giving the false impression about how a company’s products or services are environmentally sound

With the outlook now firmly focused on sustainability, your executive is likely to be soon (if not already) facing pressures to prove that your organisation’s green credibility claims are up to scrutiny, regardless of the size of the business. Here are some tips avoid greenwashing claims.

Keep communication clear
One way to ensure your company is accurately advertising its efforts towards environmentally friendly practices is to ensure its communications are clear and consistent. It has been estimated that to three quarters of people have no idea what companies are talking about when they refer to their sustainability credentials.

This can lead to confusion, such as customers thinking your business is fully sustainable when you’ve only just started to change processes to reduce your carbon footprint.

Avoid overpromising
While it’s tempting to over-egg your organisation’s sustainability position, it’s not advisable as it may lead to problems later and even claims against your company.

Instead, make sure you advertise past efforts with data to back up your achievements. Talking about how you have helped the environment, rather than how you hope to, helps prevent the organisation leaving itself open to further action

One way to ensure sustainability values are met is by partnering with other companies doing the same.

A small business focusing on clothing for example, might try to attain manufacturers close to their warehouse and target demographic to reduce the travel mileage.

Have statistics ready
Claims mean nothing if you can’t back them up. You need to have to data to hand to prove the claims your business make.

Over a quarter (26%) of all greenwashing lawsuits are a result of companies being unable to provide evidence to substantiate their messages..

If your company claims to be reducing plastic use through changes to packaging, you need to be able to specify the reductions. Other important information includes whether the replacement (if any) is environmentally friendly and by what measurement.

By substantiating your claims, not only does it verify your environmental efforts but it also helps validate your company as an honest one.