In the regular #VoxPopuli survey for May, we checked how familiar our followers on social networks are with greenwashing. Greenwashing implies a form of misleading marketing if the company or brand presents itself as sustainable without implementing appropriate activities or investing substantial efforts that support these claims. The goal of the survey was to find out, first of all, how much our followers understand this phenomenon and whether they can recognize it in practice.
In the survey we conducted on Instagram, most respondents (84 %) were familiar with the term greenwashing, and slightly fewer respondents (78 %) could recognize it. On LinkedIn, on the other hand, the percentage of respondents who could identify greenwashing is the same as on Instagram. In addition, more than half of our followers (64%) claim to stop using products or services from brands, that have been accused for greenwashing.
We also asked our respondents which is a better way to avoid greenwashing – taking more green actions or being transparent about the potential damage of their organization’s business to the environment. On Instagram, a third of respondents think it is better to take more green actions and the rest of them believe it is better to be open about the organization’s negative environmental impact. On LinkedIn, respondents are even more convinced that transparency is the correct answer (more than three-quarters of the answers).
When it comes to carrying out activities related to environmental protection, it is optimistic that the vast majority of organizations carry out various activities in this area (89% of them). Also, all our respondents agree that environmental protection will be a crucial topic in the coming period.
Only half of the respondents on Instagram are familiar with the meaning of ESG reporting and an even smaller number put it into practice (not even a quarter of the organizations in the answers on Instagram or on LinkedIn). Slightly more than half of the respondents (57%) said that at least one sustainability expert is part of their team. Finally, less than half of the respondents (44%) know what the CSRD directive is, which again indicates that our respondents mostly only ‘scratched’ the surface regarding sustainability. At the same time, there is still a lot of room for getting to know different terms and phenomena in sustainable business, both positive and negative.