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Home  > Publications  > Blog  > Positive effects with greenwashing? No way!

Friday, 07 August 2020

Positive effects with greenwashing? No way!

Thursday, 15 August 2013 | Posted by: Damir Gagro, European Coatings Journal

The trend towards eco-friendly products continues. It is no wonder that companies hop on board and label their product or even their entire enterprise as green. So that the public has the impression the company is doing its business exceptionally eco-friendly and ethically correct. This is and has to be rated positive.

However, if someone is making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice, we talk about greenwashing. By practicing greenwashing the credibility of a product, a company or even an entire industry is at risk. This is common knowledge and may lead the public to mistrust even trustworthy companies.

I recently read an article with great surprise. The thesis: greenwashing has a positive effect, following the slogan "it is better to do something than nothing”. In the long run, it may eventually lead to something which is really green. I think this way of thinking is dangerous. Even the thought an industry is putting itself so much under pressure that all companies have to become green or disappear. Companies are forced to act green and work on eco-friendly solutions, as they already boarded the "green vessel”- is more than questionable. But until the vessel arrives its destination, the consumer has already been alienated.

Companies should be sincere when it comes to the topic. Nobody expects a change to happen immediately, from naught to full speed. But letting the share of eco-friendly solutions grow step by step, makes a sustainable success possible for the long run and is not putting a company’s reputation in jeopardy - as greenwashing does. It has no positive effects at all. Companies should not "just do something than nothing”, because something just equals nothing. Greenwasher will be punished by the market in the same way as sedate companies.   

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