Greenwashed again

A recent survey by Chatsworth Communications of the FTSE 100 green ‘claims’ reveals that top organisations are going green to protect brand and image rather than any concern for the environment.  Over 1200 ‘opinion formers’ from across the UK were asked views on the FTSE 100 green claims as part of the Green Winners and Green Washers Survey

Of course this wouldn’t be the case for organisations within the built environment sector … would it?

From the surveys press release

The results reveal increasing cynicism as to whether UK business is leading on environmental  issues out of a genuine desire to protect the environment or if this is just greenwash aimed at creating an eco-friendly corporate image.

• The main motivation for UK companies to adopt green policies is to protect their reputation (27%) followed by consumer pressure (20%) and good business sense (18%)
• Only 1% believe genuine concern for the environment is the key driver for UK companies to adopt green policies
• Marks & Spencer (45%) and HSBC voted the top green winners – the companies making
the most genuine green effort
• BP, Tesco and British Airways considered to be most guilty of ‘greenwash’ by respondents
• BP, Tesco and Marks & Spencer have the highest profile and most effective green publicity campaigns in terms of coverage
• Majority of respondents (75%) believe it is better for big business to own up where they are not green and show willing to make any changes

Nick Murray-Leslie, Director, Chatsworth Communications comments: “The views of the people polled influence millions of consumers across the UK, who will ultimately vote with the purchasing decisions they make.

(original lead from Edie)

1 thought on “Greenwashed again

  1. Shaun Sayers

    The bottom line economics will always dictate policy. I have seen a similar phenomenon develop over the years on the safety side of things. Moral obligations and all that. However having travelled to many places around the globe and having had the benefit to compare and contrast, I’ve come to the firm conclusion that, while fatality rates in comparable industries may vary dramatically from one country to another, the economic equation balances in much the same way. Boiling down to a brutal maxim somewhere along the lines of “we kill as many as we can”

    So whilst the fatality rate in a particular industry in Germany may be twenty times better than the fatality rates in a comparable Romanian company (for example), the economic consequence of a fatality may be roughly twenty times worse in Germany. It is consequences have driven safety standards higher, and long may it continue.

    Turning that same example around, the knowledge, skills and technology to reduce fatality rates in our Romanian company are readily available, but they won’t be adopted until the economic driver is present, and the cost of life increases. It is consequences have driven safety standards higher, and long may it continue.

    The environment becomes important when there is economic capital in publicly promoted environmental policies, or greater consequences in bad practice.

    Money makes the world go around



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