Posted by: Karun Tyagi
GreenWashing, also known as “green sheen,” is a term that was first used by an environmentalist named Jay Westervelt in 1986. It refers to the practise of a company making claims that are either misleading or false in order to give the impression that the company is doing more for the environment than it actually is.
It soon became apparent that for businesses, being seen as environmentally responsible allowed them to maintain their competitive edge, establish customer loyalty, and increase their market share.
BlueWashing is a marketing strategy used by corporations and businesses to falsely claim that they adhere to the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact through the formation of partnerships and affiliations with various UN Agencies. Accordingly, “blue-washing” describes the behaviour of businesses that align themselves with the United Nations solely for the purpose of advertising their supposed conformity with the principles of actions against child labour, slavery, and corruption, and protecting human rights.
According to the UN, the Global Compact is “the world’s largest corporate sustainability effort.” By establishing ten standards or guiding principles for businesses to adhere to, they want to build a greener and more ethical sector.
The blue of the UN emblem is the inspiration for this colour. However, their affiliation with United Nations Agencies is more of a shield beneath which they operate in accordance with the ideals established by the UN than an indication that they are actively pursuing that objective.Human rights groups have criticised the UN Global Compact for missing measures to ensure corporations adhere with these 10 criteria.
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
There are signs of GreenWashing and BlueWashing like
No validation / No test certificate
Lack of preciseness in communication
Lesser of two evils