Greenwashing: The Hidden Lie of the Empty, Aimlessly and Valueless Brands
We’ve addressed the importance of “walking the talk” before.
In a previous article on how marketing can be the pioneer of sustainability, we wrote that “sustainable marketing must be able to fulfill the core objectives of its activity, generating wealth for the business and the community in which it operates, responding to customer needs, without jeopardizing the future of the next generations, both in environmental and social terms.”, and we gave you tips on how you should think strategically green: thinking the offer, generating awareness, considering partnerships.
We talked about the right thing to do, however we keep witnessing, as marketeers and consumers, the escalation of the “greenwashing”, and the hospitality industry is amongst those who take the forefront regarding the abusive use of green marketing – disguising the true impact of their activity, highlighting eco-friendly actions or environmental concerns that are not addressed within the companies.
What is Greenwashing?
You can google it, and you’ll find “Greenwashing is a form of marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly.”
And how can companies shamelessly lie about it?
Lack of supervision and control, we would say. The main goal of greenwashing is to profit and become competitive at the expense of consumers lack of information. To identify the greenwashing, it is necessary to verify the product, assess the information, and remain vigilant against several techniques (from Neil Pattel’s blog)
- Disguising the environmental impact: highlighting the environmental benefit, hiding the environmental cost of the process – sometimes higher.
- Claims without proof: claiming to be eco-friendly without showing why, no evidence.
- Surreptitious switch: glorifying some green actions, to mask unhealthy ones
- Imprecise language and communication: vague language, using green words but with no specific clarification
- Irrelevant information: highlight green information that is in fact mandatory by law
- Lesser of two evils: a true green appeal to hide damaging actions on environment
- Lies: fake claims.
- Fake Labels: using some logo that may be confused with green certificates, but the product was never assessed by authorities
- Opportunist segmentation: green products to satisfy a client segment but keep producing environmental dangerous products
We hope to bring you aware on this issue as consumer, marketeer or hotelier, since, as written before by our Communication&Marketing Talent: “Without vision, the path is short”, and the consumer is sensitive to the purpose and truth that build a true brand.
ABC Sustainable Luxury Hospitality
Proudly Ambassador Global Wellness Institute