How We Should Not Be Fooled by Greenwashing

In this interesting Fast Company article ‘Don’t be fooled by brands that do one good ethical thing, say economists‘, the issue of a particular form of company greenwashing is exposed. All companies want to highlight some ethical action or initiative, but sometimes this hides a whole set of quite inappropriate behaviors.

Greenwashing is a new term: “a form of marketing spin in which green PR (green values) and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly.” (Wikipedia). And this seems to be quite widespread, at least more or less consciously.

Still, studies show that “A company touting its One Ethical Behavior will likely manipulate you into a purchase“. This is linked to a psychological aspect: “Understanding our minds’ tendency to accept one positive behavior is essential. It’s commonly used across advertising and politics to mask significant ethical issues.”

Be wary about greenwashing and the good deeds that are communicated by organizations and companies, it is quite essential to understand whether it is just superficial chatter or the reflect of a deep culture. And if that is the case, those organizations may be those that communicate the least!

Greenwashing is an issue nowadays and let’s not be fooled by superficial communication on good deeds, rather examine if ethical behavior is deeply rooted in the organization!