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Greenwashing, Marketing a Sustainable future (rev1

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An overview on \'Greenwashing\', how marketing needs to be about the whole rather than the image, and the reasons why there will be such huge opportunities in this area in the near future - thanks to David Mackay and Stefaan Vandist (at Duval Guillaume)

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Greenwashing, Marketing a Sustainable future (rev1

  1. 1. Greenwashing and the Green Realities – <ul><li>We hear more and more talk about the ‘importance of being green’….but what does this mean for us as individuals, businesses and countries. </li></ul><ul><li>Given the realities of finite resources and environmental damage, we must look at the correct use of sustainable practices (personally, commercially and politically), to create opportunity and better the world we inhabit. </li></ul><ul><li>And we must learn to differentiate ‘greenwashing’ from true sustainable practice. </li></ul>Barry Walsh of Greenbeans.ie
  2. 2. Why is Sustainability important ? - there are 6 billion of us - resources are finite and damage is being done - there are huge opportunities in a huge market, which is especially important now. - there isn’t a choice anymore! First I will briefly deal with the situation at hand, then we shall go to ‘greenwashing’ and its ills. Finally, to see the forest from the trees, (no pun intended) I shall return to the greenwashing of sustainable energy in Ireland/UK, and whats really needed.
  3. 6. There is additional another issue…. <ul><li>Fossil fuel energy is running out and there is no magic bullet! </li></ul><ul><li>Fossil fuels will get increasingly more expensive, as developing countries increase demand, and fossil fuels are needed to manufacture goods as well as for energy. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to be independent of energy imports, (we are currently one of the most dependent countries in the world on imported energy)! In 2007, 96% of all energy used in Ireland was imported. </li></ul>
  4. 9. What is wrong with this? <ul><li>2% renewables and measures like wind powered bike lights are insignificant. </li></ul><ul><li>If we all just do a bit, then we only achieve a bit! </li></ul><ul><li>Its like using a teaspoon to try to bail out the Titanic, which brings us to something which many companies, (and governments) of today are guilty of…… </li></ul>
  5. 10. Greenwashing What? Why? Why not? And how to avoid it
  6. 11. What is Greenwashing?
  7. 12. <ul><li> Green·wash (grēn'wŏsh', -wôsh') “verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.” </li></ul>
  8. 13. <ul><li>1 Greenwash is misleading the public by stressing environmental credentials of a person, a product or an organization when these are unfounded or irrelevant </li></ul>
  9. 14. <ul><li>2 Greenwash is an environmental claim which is unsubstantiated (a fib) or irrelevant (a distraction) </li></ul>
  10. 15. <ul><li>3 It’s greenwashing when a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact. </li></ul>
  11. 16. Why does greenwashing happen?
  12. 17. It depends on how you look at it, But reasons are positive
  13. 18. <ul><li>1 changing buying patterns in consumer markets </li></ul>
  14. 19. <ul><li>CFC FREE | ORGANIC | FREE RANGE | CRUELTY FREE | BIO | DOPLPHIN FRIENDLY | NON TOXIC | BIODEGRADABLE | RECYCLABLE | ECO | CARBON NEUTRAL | FSC | AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING | VEGAN | FAIRTRADE | LOCAL | OZONE FRIENDLY | CARBON OFFSET </li></ul>
  15. 21. <ul><li>CULTURAL CREATIVES | LOHAS | NEW WORLD’S | BLUE GREEN’S ... </li></ul><ul><li>They are all high-educated, involved, active, merely urban, double income, early-adapting, ... And marketers are starving to get them </li></ul>
  16. 22. “ Green is a new sort of ‘ good manners’”
  17. 23. “ Green is fashionable, delivers cool and social status”
  18. 26. There is greenwashing, because we’ve passed a tipping point. Which is good
  19. 27. <ul><li>2 Our education: we’re motivated to tell the story in the most beautiful way </li></ul>
  20. 28. Isn’t this how you would think of advertising milk?
  21. 29. The risk is that same can happen with greenvertising. Sometimes we cannot blame ourselves Making things look nice is our nature
  22. 31. Why all the fuss? Why is that so bad?
  23. 32. <ul><li>More complaints against advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Undermining confidence in advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Sabotage of environmental movement in business </li></ul><ul><li>Honestly…It is simply annoying </li></ul><ul><li>Bad press attention </li></ul><ul><li>And last but not least… </li></ul>
  24. 33. <ul><li>You don’t want this kind of circus </li></ul><ul><li>on your doorstep </li></ul>
  25. 34. 2 ways you can avoid greenwashing
  26. 35. <ul><li>1 Stick to the MAIN PRINCIPLE of Greenvertising: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Green Marketing is not about making </li></ul><ul><li>normal things seem green (greenwashing), </li></ul><ul><li>it is about making green stuff normal” </li></ul>
  27. 36. Organic and ethical was almost exclusively a value add proposition in the boom years. But this luxury positioning is very much at odds with the new mood of austerity and the pragmatic need for frugality….
  28. 37. What’s important to todays C onsumers? (and the emerging idea of Non-sumers) - Proactively buying less - Living small, compact and without wastefulness - Thinking ethical, all the way through the chain - Rejecting unnecessary products, embracing experiences - Expressing self through what they do, not what they have - Being part of global communities of like-minded people - Crusading for change through how they behave and what they buy
  29. 39. <ul><li>2 Be aware of the </li></ul><ul><li>“ seven sins of Greenwashing”: </li></ul>
  30. 40. Cut out and keep <ul><li>The sin of suggestive pictures </li></ul><ul><li>The sin of the hidden trade off </li></ul><ul><li>The sin of no proof </li></ul><ul><li>The sin of vagueness </li></ul><ul><li>The sin of irrelevance </li></ul><ul><li>The sin of lesser of two evils </li></ul><ul><li>The sin of fibbing </li></ul>
  31. 41. 1 The sin of suggestive pictures: <ul><li>Green images that indicate a (un-justified) green impact, </li></ul><ul><li>like flowers blooming from exhaust pipes </li></ul>
  32. 42. 2 The sin of the hidden trade off: <ul><li>Suggestion of being Green, based on a single environmental attribute, while blurring all other parameters which are maybe more important, like a Hummer that is claiming that it is a Hybrid </li></ul>
  33. 43. 3 The sin of no proof <ul><li>Claims that could be right, but are not supported by any evidence, or by any reliable third- </li></ul><ul><li>party certification, like Household lamps that promote their energy efficiency without any supporting figures or certification. </li></ul>
  34. 44. 4 The sin of vagueness <ul><li>Claims that are expressed with fluffy language with no clear meaning , </li></ul><ul><li> like ‘planet-friendly’ packaging </li></ul>
  35. 45. 5 The sin of irrelevance <ul><li>environmental claims that are redundantand unimportant for customers </li></ul><ul><li>seeking environmentally preferable products. It </li></ul><ul><li>is irrelevant and therefore distracts the </li></ul><ul><li>consumer from finding a truly greener option. </li></ul><ul><li>Like ‘unleaded fuel (all fuel in Europe is unleaded </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
  36. 46. 6 The sin of lesser of two evils <ul><li>These are “green” claims that may be true within </li></ul><ul><li>the product category, but that risk </li></ul><ul><li>distracting the consumer from the greater </li></ul><ul><li>Health- or other negative </li></ul><ul><li>impacts of the category as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>Like organic cigarettes </li></ul>
  37. 47. 7 The sin of fibbing <ul><li>out-right lying, and produce </li></ul><ul><li>totally fabricated claims or data </li></ul><ul><li>Like driving climate neutral </li></ul>
  38. 60. <ul><li>A little bit of recent government Greenwashing… </li></ul><ul><li>- Headline ‘ Wind farms break 1,000MW barrier supplying 33% of Irelands power !’ </li></ul><ul><li>This was a short term high wind, low demand situation during a single day!! </li></ul><ul><li>- In reality, the amount of power capacity to generate from wind in Ireland is about 9%, (and totals 11% if you include hydro and biomass), and is generally lower than this on a day-to-day basis. </li></ul>
  39. 63. <ul><li>Hence, there are huge opportunities in both </li></ul><ul><li>: the creation of products that tie in with new more ethical, (and frugal) lifestyles, </li></ul><ul><li>: and the vast unfixed problem of energy generation! </li></ul><ul><li>Sources/ Interesting reads: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http:// cause-encounters.blogspot.com </li></ul><ul><li>JOHN GRANT; “The Green Marketing Manifesto” </li></ul><ul><li>BOB WILLARD; The Next Sustainability Wave </li></ul><ul><li>Trendwatching: Nonsumers, Transumers and Minipreneurs </li></ul><ul><li>Also David Mackay’s Sustainability without the Hot Air </li></ul><ul><li>The Greenwash Guide: terrachoice.com </li></ul>
  40. 64. Thanks for listening!!! <ul><li>Any questions….. </li></ul><ul><li>Barry Walsh </li></ul><ul><li>www.zenthings.com (Massage tables & Yoga mats) </li></ul><ul><li>www.greenbeans.ie ( We buy used consumer electronics for cash, which we resell or recycle) </li></ul><ul><li>Contactable at 086-171-36-763 </li></ul><ul><li>And info@zenthings.com </li></ul>

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