Greenwashing: definition, implications, examples and the ADEME tool


In a landscape where environmental awareness is growing more and more, greenwashingappears as a unfair practices aimed at achieving this growing concern without actually committing in sustainable practices. This strategy manipulative is deployed through various communication media, thus deceiving consumers AND stakeholders and cause devastating consequences for societies that succumb to it.

Definition of greenwashing

According to the BPI, “ greenwashing it is characterized as a marketing method that for companies consists in using argument ecological with the public to give a environmentally responsible imagewhile the reality is completely different and their practices do not match the accusations.” So greenwashing it works by using environmental sensitivity of consumers promote image sustainability often exaggerated or lying. Companies adopt this strategy to capitalize on I will have positive, attract new customers and retain the ones already acquired. This deception manifests itself through various communication media such as advertising campaigns, product labels or official statements.

The results greenwashing

Practice from greenwashing leads to a cascade of consequences, including a loss consumer confidenceof internal crisis in companies. When employees discover that their company is using deceptive communication practices, it can lead to ka a sense of betrayal and disillusionment within different teams. Resignations may occur, especially among employees most concerned with environmental issues, impacting organizational cohesion and effectiveness.

The teams they are in charge of CSRoften involved in specific actions for the benefit of the environment, can feel frustrated AND despised when their efforts contradict a misleading communication developed by company services marketing. These internal conflicts they weaken the cohesion of the enterprise in its environmental approach and compromise his ability act responsibly at all levels.

Restore this lost confidence often requires a further investmentnot only to correct deceptive practices but also to rebuild a trustworthy and authentic brand image.

Companies and organizations that have succumbed to greenwashing

Lufthansain 2022 he was charged greenwashing for the wording indicating the commitment of the company ka audiovisual advertisingwhile after investigation no environmental initiativesof Lufthansa he could not justify such communication consumers who were then confuse.

In 2023, FIFA she also faced accusations of greenwashing, notably for this partnering with sponsors and organizing the last World Cup in Qatar promoting sustainabilitywhen organizing massively polluting sporting events. This contradictionglaring weakened its moral standing, affecting its ability to mobilize public support and promote truly sustainable initiatives in sport.

Read more : Audencia conducts a study on “Corporate CSR Transformation”

A tool for communication without Greenwashing thanks to ADEME

The Ecological Transition Agency (ADEME) is a French organization that works to support, advise and finance projects aimed at supporting the transition to the model Sustainable Development. Created in 1991, WE BREATHE acts as a key player in the promotion of public policies in favor of the environment and energy efficiency.

In the current context where many companies try to communicate about them environmental initiatives, WE BREATHE developed a valuable tool for prevention greenwashing and encourage a honest and transparent communication. This tool called “ an anti-greenwashing tool”, provides instructions and best practices help it companies develop the message in a credible and authentic way.

Guide to WE BREATHE offers practical advice on various aspects of environmental communication, such as verification of claimsPUSH transparency of informationMeasurement intervention in the environment real and compliance with internal company procedures. By following these recommendations, businesses can avoid pitfalls greenwashing and build environmental communication based on solid foundations.

Read more : How to effectively communicate your CSR policy?



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