What is ‘greenwashing’?

How is it related to ‘whitewashing’?

Greenwashing and isolated green warning sign against white background

 

‘Corporate greenwashing’ is going on all around the world.

So, I am putting its meaning here in English and in French.

Greenwashing” your social and environmental performance is as bad as “whitewashing” profits. europarl.europa.euVerdir” ses résultats sociaux et environnementaux est aussi répréhensible que de blanchir ses bénéfices. europarl.europa.eu
Greenwashing or environmental whitewashing means « donning the ecologists’ green garments », which has nothing to do at […] groupe-frayssinet.comL‘écoblanchiment ou blanchiment écologique, c’est « s’habiller en vert écolo», ce qui n’a rien à voir avec la protection de l’environnement. groupe-frayssinet.fr
(Source : Ezra Winton “Corporate greenwashing : building up new mythologies groupe-frayssinet.com(Source : Erza Winton, « L’écoblanchiment des entreprises : la construction de nouvelles mythologies »).

Guardian sustainable business

The troubling evolution of corporate greenwashing

‘The term “greenwashing” was coined in the 1980s to describe outrageous corporate environmental claims. Three decades later, the practice has grown vastly more sophisticated.’

‘In the mid-1980s, oil company Chevron commissioned a series of expensive television and print ads to convince the public of its environmental bonafides. Titled ‘People Do’, the campaign showed Chevron employees protecting bears, butterflies, sea turtles and all manner of cute and cuddly animals.

The commercials were very effective – in 1990, they won an Effie advertising award, and subsequently became a case study at Harvard Business school. They also became notorious among environmentalists, who have proclaimed them the gold standard of greenwashing – the corporate practice of making diverting sustainability claims to cover a questionable environmental record.’

Demonstrators protest against Nestle water bottling operations in California. According to news reports, Nestle, which operates five bottling plants in California, uses 244m gallons of water annually. Reports also said that its state water permit expired 27 years ago. Photograph: Eugene Garcia/EPABruce Watson

Sun 21 Aug 2016 00.00 AEST. –  Note – this article was five years ago! Has anything changed for the better in 2021?

Go to the whole article. Begin with Chevron’s advertising campaign back in the 1980s.

This pretence about concern for the future of the planet is one of the ways we, as voters, are encouraged to believe we are doing more than we are to try to contain global warming. And, clearly, it is happening wherever corporations want to make money at the Earth’s expense while appearing – giving the illusion – of ‘caring about the planet’.

Imagine, for example, ‘Green’ high rise built on wetlands! If we don’t know, how can we challenge their behaviour? How bad are the regulations? How well is the government protecting the wetlands that we now know are essential for bio-diversity? And, if we are shareholders, why not threaten to move money to ethical corporations.

On our Australian Broadcasting Corporation television ABC Channel 2 soon ‘Gruen’ will be on. This series shows how advertisers spin information. How are they taking advantage of the pandemic? The panel examines advertisers. Due to start October.

3 thoughts on “What is ‘greenwashing’?

  1. It is practiced by many- Oil companies in Nigeria, Nestle selling high sugar products now notorious in South America and Africa. Language is powerful and sadly the rhetoric is often a smoke screen for shocking practice

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    1. It is practiced by many- Oil companies in Nigeria, Nestle selling high sugar products now notorious in South America and Africa. Language is powerful and sadly the rhetoric is often a smoke screen for shocking practice

      Like

      1. Dear Heather, Thank you. We need to be able to identify more of these companies. Your response is so important.

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