According to research from Nielsen, 73% of the millennials are ready to pay more for products that are sustainable. This is why companies like to present themselves as eco-friendly. It has become an important element for advertising and reputation purposes. And yet, this rising concern for environmental issues among consumers also draws the attention of companies that are only pretending to be green.
These companies make a huge effort to convince people that their products are harmless, environment-friendly and sustainable, even though they are not. Their only purpose is to try to make more money this way. This is called greenwashing. After all, green is also the color of money, right? Some ways of doing this are a vague description, fallacious labels, usage of green color, promises that cannot easily be proven and many more. These green expressions often get ahead of reality and take advantage of the consumer’s trust.
Consequences of greenwashing
More and more regulations are out in place in many countries in order to prevent these deceptive practices. For example, Greenpeace launched a campaign called ‘Stop Greenwash’ to reveal fake actors and to help consumers make better choices.
In hotels, there are often signs on the towels saying ‘Please help us to protect the environment and use your towels more than once’. How can anyone take this seriously when there are single-use cups right next to it? People will think the hotel is just trying to save costs on laundry. This is why green messages should be more coherent. Consumers might be confused about the real intention behind these kinds of messages when companies act green in one part and not in another.
Pretending to be green not only misleads the real environmentally conscious customers but also harms the other genuine businesses who truly try to do good for the environment. Greenwashing increases the confusion and distrust in other green brands. As a consequence, nowadays, customer confidence in green products is now at rock bottom with only 10%. People are tired of companies talking but not acting on it. Also, it comes as no surprise that these fake environmental campaigns, promises, and claims do the environment no good.
The solution: genuine efforts and transparency
If you don’t want to get a bad reputation and lose your customers’ trust, you should be coherent in your eco-friendly strategies. Customers appreciate it when companies are transparent, communicate with them in a genuine way and show them that you are making progress towards a more sustainable business model. Do not try to be something you are not, because consumers will see through you. And then, the negative consequences of greenwashing will be bigger than the cost of being truly green. In addition, as we discussed earlier, try to look at your entire business and make sure all elements, from your production to your communication, are coherent.
At FromScratch we aware of the importance of being green for our clients and we help them to reach their goal. By working with us, they make sure that they are keeping their promises to customers in all means. This is why we offer eco-friendly communication supports. Not only do we offer FSC paper, a label which is independently verified, but we also offer other alternatives such as stone paper and washable kraft paper.
Make us part of your sustainability journey! Contact us now.