Our guide to avoiding Greenwashing as a business

Article posted

18th Apr 2023

Read time

5-9 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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What is greenwashing

Greenwashing is a term that refers to the practice of companies trying to create an environmentally friendly image in the minds of consumers, even if they don't actually implement sustainable practices. These companies might use phrases like "all-natural" or "eco-friendly" without any real credentials to back up their claims. Greenwashing can be a frustrating experience for consumers who are passionate about sustainability because it creates a false sense of security.

Consumers are more aware of the impact their purchases have on the environment, and businesses have responded by labelling products as sustainable or environmentally friendly. However, not all companies can live up to the hype they create. Some businesses use terms such as "green" and "sustainable" without any credible evidence to support their claims.

How can this impact your Business?

In today's world, consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever before and expect the same commitment from the businesses they support. Unfortunately, when companies resort to greenwashing, they end up causing more harm than good. Greenwashing can not only damage a company's reputation, but it can also deter stakeholders from wanting to work with them. This translates to lower sales and less business. Being truthful and transparent about a business's sustainability practices is vital to gaining and keeping the trust of both consumers and stakeholders.


How can your business avoid greenwashing?

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, many brands are jumping on the green bandwagon. To avoid greenwashing, brands need to remain transparent with both consumers and stakeholders. This means providing clear and honest information about their manufacturing process, supply chains, and environmental impact. Furthermore, any green claims made should be backed up by credible evidence. By doing so, brands not only avoid greenwashing but also build trust and loyalty with their customers. Here are some tips to ensure your business can avoid greenwashing.

  • Make sure all claims are specific and detailed. Don't use fluffy language to make the claim exaggerated and make sure they are easy enough for your target market to understand.
  • All your environmental claims should be backed up with data. Make sure this is always kept up to date and easy for consumers to access, for example, you could add a page to your website.
  • Be honest with consumers about how to green your brand is. If you market yourself as becoming net zero by a certain date, then give customers a timeline or a plan for how you are going to reach this.
  • Don't use too many typical buzzwords without anything to back it up, such as "eco-friendly" or "natural".
  • Don't give any campaigns or packaging misleading messages. In the past businesses have used packaging or campaigns to make certain products seem more environmentally friendly than they actually are.
  • Don't explain your business plan or achievements in a complex way. This leads to a lot of confusion and will isolate the demographic you are trying to reach.


How to market sustainability

Just because greenwashing is becoming a controversial topic for many businesses, doesn't mean your business should not market its sustainability efforts. In a world that is becoming increasingly conscious of environmental issues, it is vital for businesses to be transparent about their sustainable practices. Marketing sustainable goals and achievements can set a company apart from its competitors and give it a unique selling point. However, it is crucial to avoid any exaggeration of claims. Here are some things your company should keep in mind when marketing "green" products or sustainable services:

  • Can products be recycled and are they free of toxic materials? If the answer is no, then it is probably best not to market these products as sustainable.
  • Think about your manufacturing process. If you don't follow environmentally friendly practices during this then it is best not to market your services as sustainable.
  • If you plan on making changes by a certain date, then you need to offer credible data and a timeline of how the business plans to do this.
  • What your business should avoid when marketing sustainability

Green marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses to attract environmentally conscious consumers, but it is important that these efforts are not perceived as greenwashing. Avoiding certain practices can make a big difference in the success of your green marketing efforts. Here are some best practices for marketing your sustainable services:

  • Clear and easy-to-understand claims
  • Lots of data that show how you have met or are going to meet "green" goals.
  • Be clear and honest about plans and practices.
  • Don't compare your products to companies that have no sustainability goals or plans.

Ensure your business becomes sustainable correctly with Resolve Net Zero

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the need for sustainability, businesses are under more pressure than ever to reduce their carbon footprint. Luckily, Resolve Net Zero is here to help with a comprehensive range of sustainability services that can make a real difference. Whether you're looking to reduce your carbon levels through energy-efficient practices, or trying to minimise waste through recycling and sustainable sourcing, we have the expertise and experience to help. At Resolve Net Zero, we recognise the importance of creating a sustainable business model, and we're committed to working with you every step of the way to achieve your sustainability goals.

If you're ready to improve your energy efficiency whilst driving down energy bills then why not get in touch? With our carbon management plans we will give your business everything it needs to reduce consumption and maximise on savings. . Request a free quote now and start reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills today.