Taking it seriously
Increased awareness of environmental issues has sadly led to an increase in “greenwashing”. That is, communicating false or misleading information about how a business’s products, aims, and policies are more environmentally friendly than they are.
Fortunately, associations like the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are on hand, looking after the public’s best interest. The ASA has officially announced that it will be launching inquiries into sustainability claims and will research ‘carbon neutral’ and ‘net zero’ claims made in ads. Ultimately, greenwashing in marketing and advertising will be harder, so to reap the benefits, brands have to put the work in.
Another indication of the seriousness and longevity of this trend came with a recent update to Google’s Ads Policy. It has now prohibited advertising for, and the monetization of, content that promotes climate change denialism. While to most this may seem logical, it could preclude further action being taken against brands misrepresenting their eco-credentials.
Ultimately, it’s not possible to approach this trend half-heartedly. Public pressure is ensuring governments and business take their demands seriously. Thankfully, there are an increasing number of resources around to help brands as they transition to sustainable business practices. Similarly, brands that have already grappled with the issue are willing to help others take the meaningful steps required to get ahead of the curve.
The sooner businesses embrace sustainability and environmentalism, the greater success they will have in the future.