What is greenwashing and how can it be recognised?

Understand the truth behind 'sustainable' claims

In today's world, where sustainability is playing an increasingly prominent role in consumer choices, some companies have found a quick way to meet this demand: greenwashing. But what exactly is greenwashing, and how can we recognise it?

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a marketing strategy in which companies falsely claim that their products, services or business practices are environmentally friendly or sustainable. This deceptive tactic is designed to create a green image without delivering actual environmental benefits.

How can you recognize greenwashing?

  1. Vague claims: Look for vague and general terms such as "green" or "eco-friendly" without specific details or evidence.
  2. Lack of transparency: Lack of clear information about how a product is sustainable can be a sign of greenwashing.
  3. Irrelevant claims: Some companies emphasise a small sustainable aspect while ignoring larger environmental problems.
  4. Hidden trade-offs: Companies can emphasise a certain sustainable aspect while hiding other, less sustainable practices.

Why greenwashing is a problem

Greenwashing misleads consumers and undermines the efforts of companies that implement truly sustainable practices. It creates confusion and skepticism about sustainability claims and can lead to environmental damage through unconsciously unsustainable choices.

How to combat greenwashing

  1. Research: Be critical and conduct research into a company's sustainability claims.
  2. Look for certifications: Reliable environmental certifications can help distinguish truly sustainable practices from greenwashing.
  3. Demand transparency: Consumers can approach companies and ask for clarity and evidence regarding their sustainability claims.


Greenwashing is a misleading practice that can hinder real progress in sustainability. By being aware and asking critical questions, consumers and businesses can work together to promote authentic sustainable practices and make a real impact on our planet.

   Are you looking for guidance in obtaining sustainability certifications for your products?

At Westwood we have the expertise to support you throughout the entire process of certification when importing from Asia. Contact us to ensure that your products meet the highest sustainability standards. 

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