The term ‘greenwashing’ might be officially outdated. In 2016 the number of companies making unmerited PR splashes over sustainability is far outweighed by those who are taking significant strides forward and not talking about it. When faced with the science of climate change and transparency into corporate accountability in 2016, sustainability is simply part of doing business.
Yet many leading companies still shy away from fully embracing their sustainability stories. Excellent, groundbreaking work is happening across the private sector with no-one around to hear. To re-philosophize the old saying… if a tree grows in a deforestation zone, and no one is around to hear the re-surging wildlife, does it make an impact?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Corporate sustainability has reached new heights, driven new innovations and industries, and been embedded at the core of business strategy and systems, yet there are still barriers to sharing this information publicly.
Having just surfaced from taking a deep dive into Environmental Defense Fund’s 10-year history of working with Walmart, I’m particularly focused on all the great corporate sustainability stories that need to be told. I was also encouraged to see this theme emerge at the recent GreenBiz16 conference and in their follow up article.
Companies are effectively doing a disservice by not getting such messages out there. What if your company is "walking" more than it is "talking"?
Joel Makower, Chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz
As an environmental NGO that has partnered on the ground with leading brands for over 25 years, EDF is keenly aware that companies are often doing considerably more sustainability work than they publicize. Why is this? It could be out of fear of greenwashing; fear of financial stakeholders assuming that mindshare has been taken away from the next quarter’s earnings; or perhaps fear of being perceived as irrelevant to their target audiences.
Let me quickly debunk each excuse using the theme of transparency: Read more