Greenwashing; disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.
We’ve all seen the giant wave of companies claiming to be “green” in the past decade or so, and it’s great that the public opinion of “green” and “sustainable” and “organic” products and companies has evolved so much. From the elusive, exclusive, expensive, hippy stereotype notions of the past, to now being highly desired and seeping into the mainstream in a major way. But with this newfound, mainstream enthusiasm for all things green, the amount of companies being dishonest and riding the trend with false claims has been exponentially increasing.
We know that greenwashing sustainability doesn’t work in the long run, so why do companies do it? It gives marketing, PR and the company itself a bad wrap, and eventually it finds it’s way to the consumers.
In the natural industry, reputation and truth in marketing are key. Companies are dealing with a much more intelligent and scrutinizing community who will pay the higher price for what they believe in.
We ask; why mess this up?
In our experience, for companies who really want to to walk the walk of going green, it’s imperative to have commitment from the top and a solid plan of action that’s integrates sustainability into a company’s business objectives. But having a great roadmap of how to get there and how to set up the metrics is only half the battle. If only a few departments are on board that’s still greenwashing. It’s critical that sustainability efforts are a part of the company culture and mission that the CEO lives and breaths. As anyone in business knows, if it’s not coming from the leaders as part of the operational criteria, it’s just not going to work. The added benefit of a CEO being that leading example for the rest of the company is that employees will feel good about the company they work for – we think this is everything because your employees are your first brand advocates. The feel good vibes create a ripple effect from there…
We believe, if companies hold themselves accountable by being transparent on their sustainability efforts, scorecards and cost benefits, it’s a great start to attracting the kind of investors to the table that are in it for the right reasons, beyond just their own personal gains.
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