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  • Writer's pictureAna Catarina Lopes

How to avoid greenwashing in 3 simple ways

Environmental issues are hard to ignore at present, and people are taking them very seriously. Especially when they are buying a product or service. In this article, I share 3 tips on how to avoid greenwashing your brand so that you don’t suffer any kind of backlash.

How to avoid greenwashing in 3 simple ways

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a marketing strategy that consists of claiming that a product or brand is environmentally friendly by intentionally misleading the public using misinformation and ambiguous wording.

Some companies try to make their brands and products appealing to consumers by falsely conveying an impression that they are “ecological” or “green”. In other words, companies greenwash their brands and products when running their marketing campaigns.

How to avoid greenwashing?

1. Be honest

Present-day consumers are the most informed ever and can spot when they are being deceived. It goes without saying that deception is an outdated marketing strategy. If your products are not 100% eco-friendly, simply do not claim they are – be honest and straightforward about it. Your clients will probably be happier to know your packaging is made out of 80% recycled plastic, than finding out they were misled into believing it to be 100% recycled.

2. Be accurate

Labeling your products with outdated or irrelevant information will make your products seem outdated or irrelevant too. Labels like “CFC-free” do not bring any value as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were banned more than 20 years ago. Your informed clients will know that.

Plus, avoid other deceiving strategies, such as changing the packaging image using greener, earth-friendlier colors without altering the actual product or packaging composition.

3. Be accountable

It’s true that making all your products greener in the blink of an eye is not an easy feat. This process may take some time. In some cases, it might even be impossible to make them 100% environmentally friendly.

Taking full accountability for your environmental footprint is the way to go if you want to be taken seriously. Keep your customers and audience updated on what you are doing to improve the environmental impact of your products, whether it is by working on new formulas or new packaging, or even finding new suppliers. Getting involved in local or global environmental initiatives such as reforestation or waste management is also a good way to make up for your brand’s impact on nature and show the world that you are actually taking action.

Caesar's wife must be above suspicion, and so does any brand that wishes to earn their customer’s valuable trust. Modern companies must share their audience’s concerns with the environment and take the appropriate steps to help build a better, (truthfully) greener future.


About the author:

Ana Catarina is an English to Portuguese translator specialized in Healthcare and Marketing. She helps foreign companies to launch their brand and products in the Portuguese market by translating, localizing and transcreating their client-targeted contents to make them appealing to the Portuguese public.


Med & Mark - A blog about medical and marketing translation
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