Greenwashing: Overview and Insights on Addressing Greenwash

Kranti Chintakunta


• Understand the concept of greenwashing by drawing on definitions offered by prominent marketing associations and authors.
• Attempt to identify indicators of greenwashing based on information gathered from contemporary reports on greenwashing.
• Explore existing scenario to identify best practices that assist businesses in avoiding greenwash. This includes an examination of the business environment, both internal and external and identify where greenwashing scope exists and where it enters the marketing process.
• Understand the framework in which greenwashing exists. Socio-cultural, politico-legal, economic and other pertinent business environmental concerns are explored.
• Explain the green building concept as one that addresses greenwashing with maximum success.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper examines green marketing theory and arrives at an understanding of greenwashing. The paper further proceeds to draw on information from scholarly and academic articles as well as reports from the corporate to identify what comprises greenwashing, recognizing greenwashing and addressing the same.

Findings: The paper highlights how the green building concept addresses the issue more effectively than its contemporary concepts.

Practical implications: The paper provides an insight into how the green building concept has cleared the greenwashing trap to a great degree. This can provide an understanding of how the approach can be bettered as well as replicated across sectors.

Originality/ value: Helps readers in understanding why greenwashing continues to exist and and offers insights on mitigating the same through developing products/ services that are green by design such as ‘green buildings’. Concepts such as Life Cycle Assessment(LCA) are explained and how they provide a useful base for building a greenwashing free case are elucidated.

Paper type: Conceptual paper.

Keywords: Greenwashing, Green marketing, Green consumer, Sustainability, Green buildings

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