Greenwashing is a term that shows up often in headlines and on social media. In layman’s terms, greenwashing is when a company tries to pass off products or practices as sustainable when they aren’t. The costs associated with greenwashing are staggering — not only to the planet but also to business. When a company is accused of greenwashing, it can be disastrous to its reputation and business.
In most cases, businesses want to do the right thing and run ethical companies that make sustainable products. They just haven’t understood their impact or had their sustainability claims independently verified. With new technology, brands no longer need to greenwash; they can access real information at a fraction of the cost of previous assessments.
Real change is ahead
Aside from failing to tackle pressing climate challenges, greenwashing erodes consumers’ trust in brands. It’s easy to get caught, and the price in terms of reputation and branding is steep. The best way to move forward is to demand transparency. Use available technologies to track environmental impact and provide a complete accounting to consumers. Below are five reasons companies need to embrace environmental impact technology now. Companies that leap will not only do the right thing for the planet and their customers – they’ll invest in their success via innovation.
1. Real, Sustainable Change Is Within Our Grasp.
While there has been plenty of bad news during the past two years, let me start with some hope; change for the better is possible. Just look at many of the changes – some likely permanent – that have occurred due to the pandemic. Costly business meetings that require flight and driving are now held via Zoom or other conferencing technology. Employees can work from home instead of sitting in their cars, reducing c02 emissions and stress. The same thing can happen with greenwashing. Technology is now available that rapidly assesses the environmental and social impact of consumer products and reduces the cost from tens of thousands of dollars per product to just a few dollars. By measuring the impact of consumer products, we empower both businesses and consumers to reduce their environmental footprint.
2. Consumers Want To Do The Right Thing.
Customers want to shop sensibly, but also responsibly. They would prefer to buy organic versus processed foods, for starters. It’s hard to make ethical choices if you don’t have good information on which to base them. Consumers are looking to buy more sustainable alternatives. However, they cannot make informed decisions due to a lack of data on products’ environmental and social impact. But things are beginning to change. Technology now exists to measure the environmental impact of all consumer products, making shopping for sustainable products a reality (see below).
3. Environmental Impact Technology Has Taken a Big Leap Forward.
Until recently, environmental impact technology has been expensive and unnecessarily complicated. The only companies that could track their impact were those with deep pockets. Thanks to advancements in technology, that is changing. Dayrize’s new assessment technology evaluates the environmental impact of a product in minutes instead of months. This reduces the cost from up to $30K per product to $60 per year — the equivalent of $5 per month. This change means environmental impact technology isn’t just something for big brands; the measurement of consumer products is cost-effective and accessible to both large and small companies. As a result, brands can drive sales with climate-conscious consumers, build higher brand value and reduce costs, while consumers can shop for sustainable products.
4. Impact Measurement = Sustainable Products.
Environmental impact measurement helps companies improve the sustainability of their products while answering the accelerating consumer demand for sustainable goods. Consumers want to buy more sustainable alternatives but cannot make informed decisions due to a lack of information on products’ environmental and social impact. You earn their trust when you give them better information on your products. Transparency isn’t a nice extra in today’s world; it is crucial to building a sustainable business.
5. Impact Measurement Empowers Consumers to Make Better Choices.
Brands ultimately empower their customers by providing better information. Dayrize, for example, provides brands with a consumer-facing widget that lists the water, land, and c02 impact and planetary savings of each product scored and includes the ‘Dayrize Score’ icon. Brands can use the widget(s) on their website to display the sustainability credentials for each of their scored products. Additionally, brands who partner with Dayrize receive ongoing, detailed knowledge and insights on methods to reduce their impact, improve the sustainability of their products and raise their Dayrize score.
Greenwashing doesn’t have to be an expected business practice anymore. The businesses that strive to inform their customers and genuinely commit to environmental practices will do more than feel good about what they do. They’ll be part of a success story.