Wishing to deter Greenwashing

In his first Thursday Night Insight piece earlier this year, Nick Hague underlined how important it is nowadays for companies – whether consumer or business-to-business organisations – to take green issues seriously.  Yet in his Differentiation Through Being Green article, he warns against the dangers of ‘greenwashing’ – that is to say deliberately misleading customers about your environmental credentials.

An article spotted in British newspaper The Guardian last week showed that Nick is not alone in his assessment. This article talks about MTV’s new global marketing push to tackle climate change, which includes a TV ad attacking businesses that are guilty of greenwashing.

With the launch of this campaign targeted at 15- to 25-year-olds, MTV urges corporations to make their lifestyle greener by "speaking to young people in their own language".

One of the campaign’s TV adverts features an animated character singing a humourous ‘green song’ about how to identify ‘false greens’, by talking about businesses and politicians who choose to ‘paint’ their policies green.  The character encourages viewers to remain alert to environmental practices and to take action themselves in their everyday lives.

As Nick highlighted, environmental issues allow companies the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition, but should not be used purely as a marketing gimmick.  Protecting our environment is a serious subject and deserves to be treated as such.

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