The word sustainability has become quite a buzzword in the past few years. Most businesses are incorporating sustainable practices into their work. This is because consumers are more than aware of the environmental concerns, and they prefer shopping from environmentally sustainable brands. But what brands and companies are doing is misguiding their customers by greenwashing. While brands are advertising and showing that they have become environmentally conscious and take green measures, they fail to have an overall positive impact. Greenwashing tarnishes your brand’s image and diminishes the customer’s trust in your brand. But we need to understand what is greenwashing first?


What is greenwashing?

What happens when your brand’s advertising strategy is misleading to the customers. You are trying to adopt green measures, but instead, it has negative repercussions, and your brand is faced with greenwashing. Greenwashing is when organizations contribute a greater amount of their time and cash in marketing themselves as practical than in real corporate natural endeavours. The actual term was coined by Jay Westerfeld, who initially alluded to the bad faith of hotels making advertisements on TV and radio empowering visitors to reuse their towels while ignoring other pivotal components of sustainability in their common strategic approaches. Greenwashing is incorporating sustainability without taking action for it. Greenwashing is misleading. Placing a convincing performance in one spot to divert individuals from the issues that matter. Interestingly, it’s generally the individuals who care about the climate who get bulldozed. 

Therefore, it is vital to understand how to spot brands that are green and are implementing sustainable practices. 


How can customers spot authentic green brands?

Greenwashing is effectively perceived by checking out a brand’s budget. For example, during the first Earth Day in quite a while, companies spent eight times more on setting up a green picture through promoting than the sum they spent on environmental research drives. It can likewise be perceived using phrases on the packaging and in publicizing that they can’t back up, for example, “all-natural”, “non-harmful”, and “eco-friendly”, or when brands design utilize a green background and pictures of leaves and trees to flag that the item some way or another adds to the battle against environmental change.


A 2017 study showed that more than 5000 home items showed that 95% of them had tricky green cases. Greenwashing is, by all accounts, turning into the phoney fresh insight about the advertising business. Indeed, even the greatest organizations like McDonald’s and FIJI Water commit these errors. So let’s understand how customers can spot greenwashing and spot sustainability claims.


  • Look out for words that sound great from the outset however have no substantial significance legitimately. ‘natural’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘organic’, ‘farm fresh.
  • Making a significant commotion around one minuscule green property on a generally anti- green item. Consider palm oil with a major mark regarding how the container is recyclable.
  • This is exemplary when a thought has come from an advertising group that hasn’t counselled specialists. The English store M&S as of late, caused problems for this when they intended to deliver 30 million honey bees into the open country. Sounds great on paper, but they immediately needed to backtrack when specialists called attention to the fact that it would have dangerous effects on the environment.
  • This could be a mark that peruses ‘half more reused content than previously!’, when in actuality that content has ascended from 2% to 3%.
  • However, items that change their look apply the facade of sustainability without really evolving anything. Espresso beans that abruptly come in earthy coloured paper packs; homeware entices with its subtle earthy design and messaging.
  • Making the item packaging green: indeed, this basic plot has been evaluated a couple of times. A simple example is Coca Cola Life.


Some brands that have greenwashed their consumers

In 2009, McDonald changed its logo to green in Europe to “explain their obligation regarding the safeguarding of natural resources”. Nonetheless, the rebrand was not to the point of convincing the cynics. If the brand is instilled to individuals as “undesirable” and “inefficient”, this is adequately not to persuade them in any case. Brands need to show genuine, long term obligation to ecological causes and a logo change to green joined by void guarantees actually will not do. The brand ran into another greenwashing embarrassment in 2019 when they supplanted their plastic straws with a paper elective. This made a colossal media buzz; notwithstanding, it immediately transformed into awful exposure for the brand. Things being what they are, the new paper straws were not recyclable.

  • What’s more, the effect was negligible as straws take up 0.025 % of complete plastic waste in the sea. Adjusting to more reasonable practices sets aside time. Yet, McDonald’s just declared a little advance towards the correct course while neglecting to show how they will move in different pieces of their business, which is a noisy and clear instance of greenwashing.


  • Given their brand, it’s difficult to envision that FIJI Water Company was sued for “beguilingly advertising itself as carbon-negative”. The claim in 2010 uncovered that numerous clients picked FIJI and not different brands because they professed to be “the main carbon negative filtered water” available. Being carbon-negative means eliminating more carbon contamination from our environment than they discharge into it. In any case, that wasn’t true with FIJI. Even though it was an arrangement for the future, they couldn’t spread out a concrete plan to accomplish this goal-oriented objective at the time of the claim. Forward crediting is hazardously tricky and can cause clients to lose all confidence in the organization. 


What should consumers look for when understanding whether the brand is sustainable or not?

  • Incidentally, genuinely sustainable brands are straightforward with regards to what they mean for the climate. Search for yearly reports and details on sites.
  • Search for organizations that are examined or certified by outsiders – to be granted B Corporation status or Fairtrade certificates. 
  • Truly sustainable items should incorporate straightforward language names about precisely what materials or fixings are in an item – and how they’re obtained. Cases ought to forever be exact and clear.
  • Some groundbreaking brands have assisted purchasers with following their items’ sustainability utilizing helpful tech. For example, reasonable design brands utilise QR codes for production network recognizability if you see this clever new extra on an item.



Involving bogus cases in your green advertising hurts your image and could prompt extreme monetary outcomes. Sustainability is now only a term. We can see that an ever-increasing number of clients are focusing on brands that they view as harmless to the ecosystem while boycotting organizations that neglect to meet their assumptions. Try not to be one of them. Advance beyond the opposition by remaining straightforward about your exercises and remembering sustainability for your brand’s core value.