What is Greenwashing?

People must have come across the term whitewashing in the media frequently but the lesser-known term greenwashing also possesses the same negative connotation as the former. And the term itself does not seem particularly insidious but the meaning behind it points towards malpractice that many corporations across the world partake in.  And since the term isn’t particularly well known these businesses face little to no consequences for their false representations. But we must first understand what greenwashing means in order to identify its application in the real world and the resulting impact this practice has on the environment.

So greenwashing typically refers to the practice of rebranding done by a particular corporation to give the impressions that they are more environmentally friendly than they actually are in order to deceive conscious consumers. This practice is particularly harmful because not only does it deceive the consumers but also takes away opportunities from businesses that are environmentally friendly. The corporations that partake in this deceitful advertising gimmick often don’t produce goods with environment-friendly objects which in turn also harms the environment due to this unethical practice. It is important to note that the claims made by these companies might be partly true but they are almost always exaggerated to the extent to make consumers believe enough to attract demand.

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Greenwashing has recently become more widespread as the looming climate crisis and environmental degradation is motivating consumers to reconsider their choices keeping in mind their impacts. This attempt to capitalize on the newly growing sector for environmentally conscious products harms the consumers, other eco-friendly businesses and the environment, the very thing that they misrepresent to protect. Greenwashing is a highly unethical deceitful marketing practice which must be eradicated with the help of educating consumers and promoting better regulatory standards for advertisements among businesses.

Source and References:

  1. Will Kenton, Greenwashing Definition, Investopedia (Jan 23, 2021)  https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/greenwashing.asp
  2. Fesmina Faizal, what is Greenwashing?- Types and Examples, Feedough (Jan 21, 2021) https://www.feedough.com/what-is-greenwashing-types-examples/
  3. Adryan Corcione, What is Greenwashing?, Business News Daily ( Jan 17, 2020) https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10946-greenwashing.html
  4. Tanvi Patel, What is Greenwashing? How to be a Sustainable, Informed Customer, The Better India ( Jan 24, 2020) https://www.thebetterindia.com/210776/greenwashing-meaning-sustainable-fashion-reduce-carbon-footprint-eco-friendly-lifestyle-tan42/

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