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How to avoid Greenwashing?

In light of heightened scrutiny surrounding ESG and sustainability claims, I’ve been delving deeper into the concept of greenwashing, including its various categories, and studying how organizations can deploy effective strategies to combat it. By doing so, they not only mitigate risks associated with misleading practices but also enhance their credibility and trustworthiness, thereby solidifying investor confidence in their commitment to sustainability.

In my research i came across some of the main greenwashing tactics that were observed by Planet Tracker in 2023. Planet tracker argues there are in fact a wide range of greenwashing categories. These include:

1. Greencrowding: which involves hiding in a crowd to evade detection and relying on safety in numbers;

2. Greenlighting: occurs when companies spotlight small green features of their operations or products in their communications to distract from larger environmentally damaging activities being conducted elsewhere;

3. Greenshifting: is when companies shift the blame for environmental issues to the consumer;

4. Greenlabelling: on the other hand, involves misleading claims of sustainability;

5. Greenrinsing: occurs when companies regularly change their ESG targets before they are achieved;

6. Greenhushing: refers to under-reporting or hiding sustainability credentials by corporate management teams to avoid investors scrutiny.

ESG practitioners should be aware of these tactics and apply the necessary measures to avoid them, while also implementing the right strategies to uphold integrity and transparency in their environmental, social, and governance efforts.


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