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An Integrated Framework to Assess Greenwashing

Nemes, Noémi; Scanlan, Stephen J; Smith, Pete; Smith, Tone; Aronczyk, Melissa; Hill, Stephanie; Lewis, Simon L; ... Stabinsky, Doreen; + view all (2022) An Integrated Framework to Assess Greenwashing. Sustainability , 14 (8) , Article 4431. 10.3390/su14084431. Green open access

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In this paper we examine definitions of ‘greenwashing’ and its different forms, developing a tool for assessing diverse ‘green’ claims made by various actors. Research shows that significant deception and misleading claims exist both in the regulated commercial sphere, as well as in the unregulated non-commercial sphere (e.g., governments, NGO partnerships, international pledges, etc.). Recently, serious concerns have been raised over rampant greenwashing, in particular with regard to rapidly emerging net zero commitments. The proposed framework we developed is the first actionable tool for analysing the quality and truthfulness of such claims. The framework has widespread and unique potential for highlighting efforts that seek to delay or distract real solutions that are urgently needed today to tackle multiple climate and environmental crises. In addition, we note how the framework may also assist in the development of practices and communication strategies that ultimately avoid greenwashing.

Type: Article
Title: An Integrated Framework to Assess Greenwashing
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/su14084431
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084431
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: green claims; greenwashing; greenwashing framework; misleading/deceptive environmental communication; net zero; public relations; selective disclosure; sustainability; transparency
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10148208
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