2019 was one of the biggest years for eco-activism on record. People in the scores got involved – with protests, strikes and changing habits. This also stimulated, it seems, a wide raft of businesses pledging to change their processes, products and general environmental impact. All good right?
You would hope so. Whilst individual actions are not particularly in doubt, there is continued scepticism about businesses, and their integrity for positive change, that truly protects our planet. Clearly some brands such as Patagonia, TOMS and LUSH, have the environment at their core.
Hopping on the climate activist bandwagon is known as Greenwashing. It’s a ploy many commercial businesses use to increase sales, recognition and brand awareness – you may have seen brands do a very similar thing around Pride season.
So how do we get beyond greenwash?
Put your money where your mouth is.
For a company to show that they mean what they say, it’s important that they invest in environmentally friendly resources. Whether it’s staff, transport, products, or any other resource, if a business isn’t actually spending money on green initiatives then they’re not actually doing anything.
Shift your fundamental business strategy.
Shifting your business strategy is also key to getting beyond simply greenwashing. Unilever is a good example of a company who has done more than simply say they support the climate. Through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) they have changed the way they procure new business so that they are only working with companies who are working to change their environmental behaviours. A fundamental shift like this is essential to prove you actually want to make a difference.
Change who you are working with.
Partnering with brands who aren’t committed to preventing climate change is a sure way to show your business is simply greenwashing their marketing. The brands you work with shouldn’t have a negative environmental impact or, at the very least, they should be doing everything in their power to reduce their carbon footprint whilst maintaining an in-revenue business.
Provide evidence of your green credentials.
Prove that your commitment to protecting the environment is genuine by showing demonstrable results on your website and social media. As consumers we have the power to choose who to support with our spend power, so if you want to avoid the stigma of greenwashing, show your results and prove to your customers that you’re serious.
Make some noise about environmental impact.
Talking tends to become habit. So let’s get talking! As a business, if you talk about the environmental impact of your decisions this will inevitably end up reducing the impact. For a business to get beyond a greenwash, the environment needs to be front and centre in all conversations and decisions.
Here at OggaDoon we’re genuinely committed to helping the environment. That’s why we work with companies such as Ssassy Property, developers of the UK’s most sustainable residential development; and The Vegetable Diva, a vegetarian and package-free community with locally grown produce. All OggaDoon employees even received a tree as their Christmas present this year.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can help your business get beyond a greenwash, drop us a message – we’d love to start a conversation.