What is greenwashing and how to be aware of it while shopping?

definition of greenwashing
Greenwashing might be a new term for you but unfortunately the meaning of this word is being exercised since people started talking loudly for environmental care. It’s a combination of two words; green plus whitewash. It means duping people for the sake of portraying oneself as green. It is a practice followed by most of those companies that are not environmental friendly. They don’t meet environmental standards in their operations but falsely follow them as if they are following green laws. They follow in a way for that they don’t have to lose any benefit for the sake of environment and they just pretend to be following all their environmental standards. They show themselves as green companies the most caring and environmentally responsible entity. In short they portray themselves as environmental friendly in all their workings but actually they are not green or environment friendly.

Why companies do greenwashing?

The main purpose of most of the companies to do greenwashing is that they want to grab environmentally conscious market by just showing themselves as green. Secondly they want to satisfy their environmental regulator that they are following all green laws. In most of the developing and least developed countries it is so easy to dupe their green regulator either by playing smart or by offering them any type of monetary or non-monetary under-the-table benefit. In advance countries though duping the green regulator is not that much easy but companies with the help of their environmental consultants follow the green laws so smartly that they actually do less but it seems they are doing great for the green care. Every cosmetic activity they do fondly but where they can hide their violations or avoid the slap of law they don’t waste time to do it.
Another purpose of greenwashing by the companies is to win the favour of their donors and sponsors. Most of the financiers of big companies are from advance countries and they want their financed company should not violate any type of law. So they put this restriction before signing the financing deal. Secondly the franchised companies of developing and least developing countries just pretend to be environmental friendly because that is part of their franchise contract to remain green in their operations.

Why to be aware of greenwashing?

General public must be aware of such companies which don’t take care of environment and unabashedly claim to be environmental friendly. Such companies actually do dual sin; first they hit environment and secondly they dupe public. So what would be the ethical standards of such companies that hit the nature and portrays themselves as nature lover? Can they take care of their customers? Will they be following other standards of quality while manufacturing their products? Apparently it may be but wherever they find any chance to compromise over quality without letting it know to their customers they must do this malpractice. So an environmentally cheat company should never be your trusted company.

How to identify greenwashing?

It is not so difficult. For this purpose:
  • Before buying you should be familiar of environmental certification mark of your country to know the product if it is green.
  • Secondly almost all of us read newspapers and watch news on TV so we should keep any eye on our concerned companies if they are violating any environmental law.
  • Besides we should also keep our ears open to word-of-mouth about such companies because public complain against any company is also a good criteria to examine the green credentials of a company.

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