A new guide advises professionals how to move from greenwashing to genuine sustainability.
By Ben Knight
In my last Third Thursday post, I touched on the idea of Greenwashing; perhaps I should have written and released this post first. A few months ago, the people of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and Futerra Sustainability Communications released the helpful business guide Understanding and Preventing Greenwash (PDF).
Understanding and Preventing Greenwash describes many ways of identifying Greenwashing in organizations and products. The section “10 signs of Greenwash” and “Forms of Greenwash” are particularly relevant to those involved with package design, product design and the communication of similar visual messages (page 7-8). For the general design strategist, the Greenwashing Checklist (page 28-30) provides a good start for analyzing if an organization is guilty of greenwashing.
The terms used by a design strategist can undermine our credibility as individuals, as well as our professional practice as a whole. We need to educate our clients, consumer and users; otherwise, we will simply be conducting business as usual while falsely serving a current trend. Sustainability is a professional mindset and lifestyle. Green is a dying trend.