Consumers Say No to Greenwashing
Environmentally conscious shoppers are on the lookout for products that help them make sustainable choices. For this reason, they favour brands with green credentials and take time to look for recognisable symbols on packaging. However, in a bid to win customers, some companies are making claims that lack substance. This is referred to as greenwashing.
What Impact Does Greenwashing Have on Consumer Confidence?
None of us like being lied to and it does result in a breakdown of trust. Recent research from KPMG* reveals that greenwashing would turn 54% of customers against a brand. They don’t want to be misled, they want confidence that they are making informed decisions.
The research also shows that 18% of customers have already switched brands as a result of discovering that their eco credentials fell short of what they were promoting. Furthermore, 28% admitted being confused by inconsistent labelling. This leaves shoppers unsure of who to trust, what products match their values and suitable recycling options.
Single-Use Packaging & Misleading Claims
Consumer organisations from 13 countries have recently reported several drinks brands to EU authorities**. This relates to misleading claims about the recycled content and recyclability of single-use packaging, specifically water bottles. Many other food, clothing and beauty brands have already been held to account for greenwashing.
How to Avoid Greenwashing
We share 10 steps to gain consumer confidence:
- Audit and evaluate your business to inform actions to reduce the carbon footprint.
- Only make environmental claims that are supported by independent evidence.
- Avoid using words such as ‘responsible’ and ‘natural’ or images that consumers intuitively link with eco products unless they genuinely are.
- Make it easy for customers to find your green credentials on your website and other marketing materials.
- Provide clear symbols and information on your product packaging.
- Work towards accreditation with a recognised eco standard to build trust in your brand.
- Understand that offsetting carbon emissions with tree planting is insufficient action. This can be part of a wider plan towards net zero, but not a stand-alone strategy.
- Switch to sustainable packaging that is widely recycled in the UK and work with suppliers on ways to reduce and reuse packaging.
- Commit to initiatives such as the UK Plastic Pact or Courtauld Commitment for insight and collaboration to support action.
- Check that your company complies with the Green Claims Code. This has been developed by the Competitions & Markets Authority to reduce greenwashing.
Our Eco Credentials
Aylesbury Box Company is on a journey to net zero. Although this is a work in progress, we’ve made significant changes to our supply chain, our processes, our products and our policies along the way. Major achievements include considerable reductions in water, energy and waste, along with FSC® certification.
As an independent packaging manufacturer, we are both accountable and in control of decision making and actions. Our commitment to environmental and social sustainability is shared on our website. This information helps our customers to evidence supply chain sustainability. We also see it as our responsibility to proactively inform our customers of solutions that reduce packaging volumes and increase reuse and recyclability.
If you would like to talk to our team about cardboard packaging, contact our team on 01296 436888 or email@example.com.