This week I’m looking at greenwashing, never heard of that term?
Read on amigos.
We’re going to take a look into some of deceptive tactics companies use to disguise their questionable practices with a veneer of eco-conscience and learn how to distinguish genuine green efforts from slippery marketing ploys.
Happy Friday Friends.
Everywhere you look now you will see the word “Environmental”
On every UK road you will see vehicles plastered with Environmental Plumbers, Environmental Builders, blah, blah, blah, blah blah.
Service providers of all natures have quickly latched on to the premise that if you add the word ‘environmental’ in front of your business description the customer perception will be that you behave in an ethical and responsible way and therefore you must be trustworthy.
That’s a lesser form of greenwashing but in the corporate jungle greenwashing can have more sinister and often cynical applications and there are now many species of greenwashers out there with amazing skills in environmental deception.
We’ve all seen the labels on cleaning products with scenes from the forest and words like ‘Pure”, ‘Natural’ and ‘Eco-Friendly’ haven’t we? But the reality when you read the list of chemicals on the label on the back gives a very different story.
Time and time again we have heard stories from the fashion industry making great boasts about sustainability only to be exposed for manufacturing products un-ethically using poorer disadvantaged labour.
Fast food chains make loud, bold corporate statements about the sustainability of their operations. They do that now simply because we are living in age that is threatened by climate change, their vast marketing budgets come with great expertise in influencing their customers thoughts and perception.
But all these examples do not come close to the petro-chemical industry. Once upon a time not so very long ago fossil fuels, petrol, diesel, coal and gas were without doubt the best available technology, but not anymore.
The big players, the BP’s, the Shell’s, currently make big noises about their environmental aspirations, how they are changing and transitioning to a renewable future, they would have you believe that they now work and care for the environment.
This is greenwashing at its absolute finest, like giant green mega-Chameleons, they have morphed to suit the PR challenges of the day.
The stark, cold brutal truth of the matter is that they are on a train that simply cannot be stopped, after causing over a century of environmental destruction and catastrophe they are incumbent to the vast profits they produce.
Someone asked me this week if we were helping fossil fuels to clean up their act?
My reply was easy– “We’re not here to help fossil fuel become greener, we’re here to replace it!”
The fossil fuel companies’ new renewable blends involve shipping vast quantities of feedstocks like palm oil across thousands of miles and encouraging un-ethical agriculture, food chain disruption and de-forestation.
When Kermit the Frog sang about the challenges of being green years ago, he was miles ahead of his time. (This weeks’ song by the way)
So how do you differentiate the authentic green companies from the pretenders. There are ways to spot the green gems.
There has been a rise of eco-label certifications that can help such as Fair Trade, The Rainforest Alliance, MSC which can give a level of trust on how companies behave.
Look for companies that show evidence or a commitment to reducing carbon footprint, waste, water usage for instance and embrace sustainability throughout it’s supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to manufacturing and packaging.
From the very start at Syntech Biofuel we realised that we could change the story and pioneer the circular economy for others to join and follow.
Accreditations such as the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) immediately evidenced a cradle to grave provenance trail for our feedstocks.
The fact that ours all come from the UK meant that we could easily prove we operate in a truly sustainable way that is also ethically and socially responsible. I’ll devote a coming blog to spotlight how we’ve really pushed the envelope in terms of achieving a circular manufacturing operation and business philosophy.
So there’s your compact guide to greenwashing, don’t believe the hype, dig deeper, avoid the hogwash and marketing from the corporate green chameleons. They care more about your money than they ever have for you or the planet you depend on.
Here endeth this week’s environmental gospel according to Mike!
Thanks for reading, Have beautiful weekend.
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