top of page

Climate Change and the Effects of Green Washing

What is climate change?

Climate change is an issue that has been popularly discussed for many years however, it seems many people are unaware of the true meaning of climate change and how it has affected and will continue to affect the planet. The true definition as given by the United Nations states that” Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change.”as we advance as an species we are slowly contributing more to the effects of climate change then we may realise, by relying on modes of transport that emit gases that deteriorate the ozone layer and factories that release harmful gases and using landfills as a way to get rid of waste we as a Species are rapidly deteriorating the planet in a way that may never be able to be fixed.

With many scientists and media outlets delivering the message that we have a very short time left to avoid the worse effects from climate change and may already be too late to repair the damage already caused there is a bigger push on everyday households and on multinational companies to become more environmentally friendly, however even with the dire consequences we face many companies still choose to not change their ways in favour of profit and use tactics such as green washing in order to mask their ill deeds.

What is green washing?

Greenwashing is a term used to describe a false, misleading or untrue action or set of claims made by an organisation about the positive impact that their company’s product/practices has on the environment. Green washing can be seen in almost any major named company and is mainly unseen by the average citizen as they mainly only know a company by the image that company puts out. An example of this can be seen by Starbucks. In 2018 Starbucks released and marketed their new “straw-less lid” in an effort to become more sustainable which from the average person would come across as a positive and sustainable move from Starbucks. However, when it was investigated it was a revealed that the straw less lid contained more plastic alone than the original lid straw combo had combined.the company tried to argue the point that the plastic was now being made of a recyclable plastic however as only 9%of the worlds plastic was being recycled it wasn’t a solid defence and they were called out for their use of green washing.

Another example is Nestlé. In 2018 nestle released a statement saying it had hopes and ambitions for their packaging to become 100% recyclable by 2025. Now whilst this is a very positive goal and a good step towards sustainability many environmental groups criticised nestle for not having any clear targets or a timeline to support its ambition.organisations such as green peace voiced their frustration at companies like nestle for greenwashing and taking hollow steps to help fix a crisis nestle them selves heavily contributed to. It should be said that Nestlé, coca- cola and PepsiCo were named the worlds top plastic polluter for the third year in a row at the Time Nestlé released their hollow ambitions which is one of the main. Reasons for such a backlash from these sustainable organisations

Starbucks and Nestlé are only a small example of green washing. It can be seen from many different organisations such as, IKEA, coca-cola and almost every fast fashion brand etc. the problem with these organisations is they are the main contributors of pollution and they are able to use harmful practices whilst convincing the majority of people that they are sustainable and they are determined to help the planet.tactics like green washings needs to be treated as more important and more of an issue within itself as they are essentially lying to people and trying to shift their blame away from themselves and onto other companies and even onto households and the public which is directly not only aiding in the continued harm to the planet but is downplaying the significance and harm that climate change can have on the entire planet .In order for us as a species to unify and help reduce this crisis we need to hold every person and organisation to the same standard and make big United changes.


bottom of page