SJP Building Services

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What is Greenwashing?

Posted: 2022-06-08, in category: Greenwashing

Professional Building Contractors, Renovations, Refurbishments, Conversions, Interior Design & Kitchen Installation

GreenwashingWith the emphasis on companies needing to reduce their carbon footprint, many people prefer to deal with ethical businesses. Several industries have gone a long way towards becoming environmentally friendly with their products and practices. However there is an amount of ‘Greenwashing’ that goes on. This is where companies try to appear climate friendly, without actually being so.

Ethical spending within the UK increased by almost 24% from 2019 to 2020, the market now being worth £122billion. Dishonest green PR is on the rise claiming things like ‘carbon neutral’ flights and ‘net zero’ bacon! Corporations and companies are aware that people are starting to demand a more environmentally responsible approach. Big oil companies spend millions on getting the message over that they are pulling all the stops out to lower their carbon footprint.

Greenwashing allows some unscrupulous companies to boost their sales and image while continuing environmentally-harmful practices. It is fairly simple to greenwash your business, just throw in some inspirational scenic imagery, use buzzwords and make vague claims. This type of tactic puts customer’s minds at rest and reassures them that the company cares and shares their moral values. As companies get cleverer with their greenwashing, it’s sometimes difficult to spot. Some ways to identify greenwashing include:

  • Being vague. Broad definitions are used which create misunderstandings, like using a recycle symbol without being specific about which parts may be recycled.
  • Token gestures. Concentrating on one ‘green’ feature such as getting rid of plastic straws, while using suppliers who use environmentally damaging practices.
  • Buzzwords or images. Companies that use natural scenes on packaging etc, or buzzwords and phrases like ‘non-toxic’, ‘chemical-free’ and ‘all natural’.
  • Carbon offsetting. Claiming to make up for pollution, yet still producing and releasing it into the atmosphere. The pollution is not actually reduced at all which is classed as greenwashing.

Greenwashing distracts people, and makes us feel all is ok and being solved by others. It also diminishes the real and significant efforts being made by other companies such as Steel Quick.


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