Greenwashing tricks. What is it and how not to get hooked?

What things are you used to buying: packaging which does not harm the environment, & nbsp; the composition on the label of which corresponds to the real, safe and effective? & nbsp; The manufacturer of such products must also be environmentally friendly and pay their employees decent wages? & Nbsp;

Companies whose products comply with these and a number of other principles build their business in an ESG coordinate system. However, there are brands on the Russian market that so far only make loud statements about the ethics and environmental friendliness of their products, but in reality do not implement these practices properly. & Nbsp;

Such companies (intentionally or unknowingly) resort to greenwashing & mdash; environmental marketing, when a company presents its products in a favorable light, while misleading the consumer.

League of Green Brands is a development institute created on the initiative of Unilever and the Chistaya Liniya cosmetic brand , since 2019 has been working on the systematic implementation of the “ green '' , responsible principles, checking how well Russian business adheres to them throughout the entire life cycle of goods and services. One of the key tasks of the League & mdash; fighting greenwashing. & nbsp;

At the beginning of December, the final conference of the League was held, at which its participants and partners talked about their already implemented projects and shared their plans for 2022. The AiF editors attended the conference and invites you to familiarize yourself with the theses of the speech by Evgenia Sedova, director of the research and development department of the category of personal hygiene products at Unilever in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. What are the 'sins' exist with manufacturers?

1. Sin of hidden compromise & mdash; claiming a product as green based on individual characteristics without considering other components of its ecological footprint.

Example. Often, when talking about doypack packaging, brand-owner companies emphasize that in the production of such packaging and transportation of products reduces the volume of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. However, due to the complex composite composition and the absence of a large-scale infrastructure for collection and sorting, doypacks are practically not recycled, so it is incorrect to talk about their environmental friendliness.

2. Sin of lack of evidence & mdash; sustainability claims that cannot be verified through public information or independent assurance.

Example. Manufacturer claims recycled content in product packaging, but cannot validate this claim any officially accepted sources of information.

3.Sin of vagueness & mdash; too broad and lengthy statement referring to the environmental friendliness of the product, but does not have a clear content and meaning for the consumer.

Example. Use of the words 'natural' , 'bio' , 'eco' on the product label without any specific meaning.

4. Sin of irrelevance & mdash; using truthful but irrelevant claims about product specifications.

Example. Free from alcohol statements on baby food or non-GMO packaging on the salt packaging, where such a designation is irrelevant.

5. Sin of the lesser of two evils & mdash; the statement used may be true within a product category, but may distract the user from greater or negative environmental impacts.

Example. Organic cigarette caption; on the packaging, while the composition of cigarettes in comparison with the harm of smoking as a phenomenon does not really matter.

6. Sin of fake marking & mdash; indirectly positioning a product as having an independent ecolabel that doesn't really exist.

Example. Use your own logos that resemble the official eco-certification logos in design, font or name.

7. Sin of lying & mdash; outright deception regarding product characteristics.

Example. False assignment of a real eco-label to a product that has not actually passed this certification.


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