As consumers become more aware of climate change awareness, which strives for, the number of companies that want to take advantage of this situation also increases. In Turkey, I have been observing a significant increase in the number of companies that are ‘green’ or sustainable, especially recently. The claim that companies are sustainable does not always reflect the truth. Greenwashing is when a company purports to be environmentally conscious for marketing purposes but actually isn’t making any notable sustainability efforts[1]. If we ask why greenwashing is done, the answer lies in ever-changing consumer preferences. According to a report in Forbes, 87% of customers would buy a product with a social and environmental benefit if given the opportunity[2]. Therefore, it is very important for consumers to be aware of greenwashing. As pointed out by the United Nations ActNow movement, it is important for consumers to spend their money wisely in the fight against climate change. So let’s look at some of the methods that can be used to recognize greenwash.

  • Pay attention to the chosen words:

It is quite common to use expressions such as eco-friendly and environmentalist in the promotion of products. When faced with such statements, it is necessary to be more careful and evaluate whether the product really has certificates that it is environmentally friendly. For example, the use of the term ‘vegan’ in the textile industry generally means that synthetic products such as plastic are used and no one has any doubts about the environmentalism of plastic.

  • Be aware of color and visual preferences:

The frequent use of images related to nature in product promotion and company logos is one of the most common examples of greenwashing. The use of green color in product promotions is one of the tactics frequently used by companies.

  • Explore more deeply:

Conducting more in-depth research on companies that are thought to have applied for greenwashing is one of the most reliable ways of detecting greenwashing. As you examine the websites and advertising campaigns of such companies, it may be noticed that they are not transparent enough about environmentalism. There should be no doubt that companies that take real and serious steps on the environment will announce this in a transparent way.

  • Check the company partnerships:

Some emission-intensive companies may purchase companies with relatively low carbon emissions and carry out their advertising activities through these companies. If consumers want to take part in climate action, they must know about the main companies where spending will ultimately go.

As a result, greenwash is becoming more and more common; According to a report published in 2021, almost 60% of sustainability claims in the textile industry are greenwashing[3]. As a result, as individuals’ awareness of climate increases, the number of companies that want to profit from it will also increase, so it is important for consumers to raise awareness about greenwashing.




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