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Painting The World Green Or Greenwashing?

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

By Devika Kulkarni

“Climate change has clearly fuelled Australia bushfires”. These were some of the headlines signifying the uncertain and inconsistent peril. As a result it awakened a wave of conscious thinking towards the environment. It was reflected through changing lifestyle, alternative energy sources and likewise eco-friendly consumption. Changing consumer’s preferences cause a shift to the company’s production process and aim of supply. In this octane of superiority, Producers tries to adhere the purpose of achieving consumers’ trust through various environmental friendly initiatives acting as a Protagonist of the change supporters. However for some of the company producers, it can mean to lead a falsified and insidious act involving other common people in such illegal movement. This is when Greenwashing comes into picture.

Greenwashing is a spin in which company aims to propagate and advertise their products beings eco-friendly – when they are actually not. It is a deception which creates a more susceptible of being committed to sustainability. It is a marketing strategy about creating illusionary image of being nature friendly. Simply to put, a misleading advertising or rebranding that is ultimately harmful for our environment. Such deceitful culture has made people reluctant about the symmetric information and thus misleads consumers into acting unsustainably.

Greenwashing is a pejorative term likely to be derived from word “Whitewashing” which means a concrete weapon to hide the misdeeds. It was coined by a well known environmental activist to describe efforts by corporations to portray themselves as environmentally responsible in order to mask environmental wrongdoings. In true essence, they entrust more money of showcasing their packing and branding eco-friendly instead the very impact on environment. Greenwashing implicitly acquires brand equity through false and coercive allegation or claim stating that it is responsible for promoting natural and sustainable benefits to environment. So in this process there are some sins which are obliged to exist in such unsecured actions:-

1. Sin of False allegations or Fibbing: - False Labels are used to get an edge over the competitors thereby creating false, wrong, illegal certification to commit people buy the give nature friendly product.

2. Sin of Vagueness: - The usage of huge and heavy eco-friendly claims is deemed to be as meaningless and untrustworthy.

3. Sin of Irrelevance: - An Environmental claim that seeks to advertise mismatch of certain the factual information to gain public favor and support.

4. Sin of hidden trade-offs: - A method in which they suggest a product being “green’’ which is rather accountable with respect to one environmental aspect.

5. Sin of Lesser Evils: - Application of do-good or all-natural label to a product that is environmentally unfriendly product.

Thus at micro and macro level it is necessary to look for the authorized and legalized certifications. It is also inevitable to stop trusting fake slogans and misunderstanding of confusing terms. In its wider essence “Vegan = Eco” is not true and likewise blatantly claiming “all-natural” need to be encountered at the top tier. Citizen should always look for proof of Green practices to ensure that your product is healthy and cruel free. It is obligatory to contain the complete information about one’s product of purchase, brand and package in order to have sheer confidence while consumption. Regular update about products and brands at this stage becomes primary. A product with full of integrity has overall holistic approach in which sustainability aspect is incorporated in all its supply chains and not one just capsule of consideration. It is transparent, open and assuredly based in all its terms. They pay heed to accountability, responsibility and ready to admit and acknowledge the thirst of improvement with its sure fire. Hence it is mandatory to look upon as a collective responsibility.

“Sustain yourself to Sustain your message” needs to be reignited and thereby reshaped for its effectiveness.

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