For the most part, I agree with the author of this September 15, 2016 Forbes article (“How to Succeed at Sustainability (And Why Greenwashing Doesn’t Work)”): Greenwashing is a very bad thing and, when it happens, the offending organizations should be seriously taken to task and compelled to address their mistakes. But I respectfully and strongly disagree with this statement from the author, Pascual Berrone, an IESE professor and author of Green Lies: “Only once you have established and genuine green initiatives in place, should you start drawing attention to your activities.”
The fact is there is a lot to be gained from communicating during “the journey.” Sure, it has to be accurate, honest, transparent, and not boastful, but it helps the organization to be engaged in the discussion while “on the journey to figuring it out.” Plus, we can all learn from each other’s experiences. Practically speaking, waiting until you have all the answers and your data buttoned up may mean you never get around to communicating.
Greenwashing, no. But we should also be saying “greenblushing,” no. We define greenblushing as limited or no information by an organization so as to understate or ignore its commitment to and actions on environmental and social responsibility. Follow this link to learn about greenblushing, https://www.dix-eaton.com/what-we-do/practices/corporate-social-responsibility.
Beware of greenblushing. It is also a barrier to succeeding at sustainability.