What is greenwashing
Published May 2, 2024

“What is greenwashing?” one might ask. It is not a new term but not widely discussed. It’s when a company fakes its ethical practices.

“What is greenwashing?” one might ask. It is not a new term; however, greenwashing is not widely discussed. Sustainable businesses in the Philippines, or those who pose to be an ‘eco-friendly business’ in the world, are aware of it since they are found guilty of adopting this deceptive practice.

In this article, we will discuss the definition of greenwashing and some examples of greenwashing practices to empower consumers to become informed decision-makers.

What is Greenwashing?

What is greenwashing

Greenwashing is the practice of companies providing misleading information to the public that their company or their products are environmentally friendly. However, their actions state the opposite. As a concrete example, Nestlé committed to having 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025. But Break Free From Plastic’s 2020 annual report states that they are still one of the world’s top plastic polluters despite what they would like people to believe.

Some businesses claim to use alternative packaging to plastic just to be tagged as an eco-friendly business. Often, that is just their public image. Their actual environmental impact is often undisclosed.

Why Do Companies Do This?

What is greenwashing

People all over the world are becoming more and more aware of environmental problems and thus are becoming more conscious of their contributions to environmental preservation. According to a Pulse Asia survey, 8 out of 10 consumers prefer to purchase from sustainable businesses in the Philippines. So, companies capitalize on this growing demand and take advantage of eco-conscious consumers.

What are Greenwashing Practices?

What is greenwashing

Here are some samples of greenwashing practices that will help consumers spot the eco-conscious fakers:

Unsubstantiated Claims or Misleading Labels

Companies may use terms like “eco-friendly,” “natural,” or “green” or use logos that imply an environmental benefit. However, they lack the evidence or certification to support their claims.

Exaggerated Marketing

Companies may use heavy advertising or marketing campaigns to focus on their minor environmental efforts, such as shifting to biodegradable packaging for business, to cover up their operations that cause environmental damage.

Diversionary Tactics

Companies may show that they engage in environmental initiatives such as tree planting, but something about their regular operations could be more environmentally conscious.

Avoiding Greenwashing, truly Caring for the Environment

What is greenwashing

It is important to understand that greenwashing is dangerous as it undermines actual credible efforts in addressing environmental issues. It will also negatively affect consumers’ trust because of misleading purchase decisions.
As consumers, you should learn more about greenwashing tactics and legitimate certifications, demand accountability and transparency from companies, and support eco-friendly businesses that show genuine commitment to sustainability.

What is greenwashing

Oikos Sustainable Solutions is one company offering 100% biodegradable packaging for business. Our compostable bags are made of cassava starch and corn starch with legitimate certifications and recognition from DOST. We are open to collaborating with sustainable businesses in the Philippines. Check our product catalog here.