Gloucester waste management firm Printwaste is urging businesses to think carefully about using any misleading green credentials, warning that they could soon face a clampdown by industry watchdogs on making spurious claims.
Greenwashing, which has become a growing concern in recent years, is the practice of using marketing and PR tactics to overexaggerate or even fake claims concerning environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts as a marketing ploy to win greater favour from consumers and investors.
As the threat of climate change and the critical race to NetZero – brought to the fore at COP26 – looms industries and organisations face increasing pressure to reduce their environmental impact and cut carbon emissions.
Stakeholders and campaigners now have different expectations on businesses and want to see their sustainability claims backed up.
This follows a recent report that the fashion industry faces a legal crackdown over misleading claims by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as it targets greenwashing. And it is not just fashion brands that are being investigated for a breach of consumer protection law: other sectors, including transport, food and drink, and beauty are also expected to be investigated over their environmental claims.
Don Robins, Managing Director of Printwaste, said: “Businesses are coming under more scrutiny and facing urgent challenges in reducing their waste and emissions to meet ever stringent market and legislative demands while being cost effective. Sustainability isn’t just a buzz word for firms – it involves real effort and active implementation of greener practices, to lesson climate impact as well as improve business efficiencies.
“Organisations that don’t practice what they preach face the wrath of not just customers and the wider public but also industry watchdogs, as a clampdown on greenwashing will inevitably come into force across all sectors. In some cases, businesses may not even be aware that they are responsible for greenwashing, something which can be addressed through education and raising awareness.”
“We support organisations to be Zero to Landfill Certified through a four-stage process, starting with an audit of the waste produced within their business. This allows us to make recommendations, advise on processes, and help to make a simple, yet impactful result on its waste production. Businesses can start with this straightforward approach to genuinely boost its green credentials as well as its customer appeal, which comes with an officiated stamp of approval in the ethical promotion of green practices.”