7 December 2023

The greenwashing spin cycle

Kat-Jackson-L
Kat-Jackson-L
Kat Jackson

The rising tide of faux-green discourse

The rising tide of faux-green discourse

It’s impossible to work in PR for any length of time and not be able to spot a trend emerging in the media. Rather like when major movie studios release two competing films with the same premise at the same time, proper media hounds can spot when an issue is on the ascendancy in media interests a mile off. One of those is happening now – and the issue is with greenwashing.

This goes further than the number of inbound alerts we get from the press on these issues. It’s likely that if you’ve opened a paper or a trade magazine recently there will have been a piece either vaunting an industry’s green credentials or highlighting what the problem with greenwashing agendas in x sector are. Now, this is not a podcast swimming around the murkier conspiracy-laden areas of the internet, and we won’t speculate as to just why so many of these articles are popping up.

Photo courtesy of BBC News

A quick look online and the concept of greenwashing is just the crest of the faux-eco wave.

This piece from euronews.green (click here) breaks the issue down further into greenhushing (underreporting green standards to avoid drawing attention); greenrinsing (changing your ESG standards before audit); greenlabelling (packaging the brand as being greener than it really is); greenshifting (deflection – the consumer is actually causing most of the problem with their consumption, not the brand); greenlighting (focusing on one especially eco-conscious element of the product rather than the whole); and greencrowding (joining an eco working group which only moves as quickly as its slowest member).

Reading this, the multitude of ways that businesses can be accused of casual eco-consciousness are growing, and arguably not all of these potential #fails happen by nefarious design.

While the green revolution is happening and growing pace, it’s often smaller incremental changes taking place which are encouraging the behavioral change which is so needed. Honda may have encouraged everyone in their famous advert to ‘hate something, change something’ (right) but it’s very rare that that root and branch change happens all in one go. 

What is important in this case – as with so many things relating to perception and reputation – is the bigger picture.The combined powers of public pressure on businesses to get their eco acts in gear (as long as products and services still remain affordable), and financial influence on the markets are moving the needle along.

No-one historically really cared that much about the detail or the nuance of how the green agenda happened. This diversification of greenwashing shows that attention is now being paid to the how just as much as the why, and demanding rounded thinking about corporate approaches to earth-friendliness. 

Content
Content
Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress

PR for startups: gold dust for future unicorns.

19 June 2024 PR for startups: gold dust for future unicorns. Grace TuckerAccount DirectorFounders have a tough gig. They’re the ultimate plate spinners. More often than not, they’re working at every hour of the day to develop their product. Meanwhile, in saturated markets, they're devising strategies to engage their target audience and looking to raise investment. ...

Charting an Inclusive Future in FemTech

14 March 2024 Charting an Inclusive Future in FemTech Braden MacDonald Senior Account ExecutiveIn FemTech, inclusivity isn't just a buzzword; it's a necessity: the United Nations Global Report found that nearly 90% of men and women hold some form of gender bias against women. This can have serious consequences - misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and lack of treatment. For femtech, ...

The Media Foundry Feed – February Newsletter

February 2024 The Media Foundry Feed Newsletter - February 2024 Introducing the Media Foundry Feed - your revamped rendezvous for all things charity, creative, and femtech. We're shaping the conversation, so get ready for some (big) opinions that may leave you feeling galvanised, challenging your perspectives, or igniting those creative sparks! Read the full newsletter below: ...

Media: Found – January 24

22 January 2024 Media: Found - January 24 A regular digest of what we’ve been watching/ listening to, articles we’ve read and other items on our radar: Tessa Laws Chief Executive Officer All hail the beckoning of the end of the month of abstinence... All hail the beckoning of the end of the month of abstinence... All hail the beckoning of the ...

Media: Found – November 23

7 December 2023 Media: Found - November 23 A regular digest of what we’ve been watching/ listening to, articles we’ve read and other items on our radar: Photo courtesy of BBC News Tessa Laws Chief Executive Officer Techtastic Techtastic Tech is in its heyday – and there’s something for everyone.Name your favourite tech. Mine are: Femtech, Sextech and Agetech. As a quasi-mathematician in ...