Ever wonder how come many companies suddenly have amazing environmental schemes as soon as it becomes a trendy topic? How they were able to do all so quickly? Ever considered that much of it may actually be a lie? And if its all a lie, why is it worth the risk of controversy? I certainly have.
Greenwashing is becoming more and more common, as eco-solutions become increasingly popular; and are often being highlighted as a marketing feature. Commonly known examples of this include the Sea World scandal in 2013 with the release of the documentary ‘Black Fish’; highlighting the mistreatment of the Whales at an attraction which was (and still is) promoted as a zoological marine park.
But despite this scandal, this form of corporate lying is still largely present in many marketing departments. Even in large companies you see used all the time and probably use yourself.
For example, in 2015, VW was involved in an attempted hushed controversy dubbed the ‘Clean Diesel Scandal’. Essentially VW claimed to be using low carbon emission diesel engines in their new car range. However, after EPA investigations, the pro-eco claims were found to be a complete lie. The result of which was the recall of 8.5 million cars across Europe and they suffered fines of up to $18 billion.
So why do companies think this is worth it?
Personally I believe that a marketing teams are seeing the growing trend of being environmental friendly and want to profit off it. Without having the motivation to do the actual work. By joining this trend it offers a socially aware marketing angle which is only going to get bigger over time which offers reputation and financial benefits. Well, they will if they don’t get caught…