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Circular Wonderings is an exploration of the role of digital, software and technology in the Circular Economy. Exploration is the key word here. I write regularly, reflecting on my current thoughts and research. Expect typos, incomplete thoughts, varied rambling topics and (hopefully) a journey towards clearer understanding and insight. Subscribe here to join my journey.

The Greenwashing step

Many years ago someone (... I can't remember who ... no, your memory is fading with age ...) changed my thinking on greenwashing.

I now apply the same concept to circular-washing 1 too. So, when I saw "greenwashing" I mean all types of fake marketing to make a company or product seem to have sustainability or circular benefits, when it does not.

The idea is that there is a journey that looks something like this:

  1. Oblivious : little or no awareness of our impact on climate change and waste problems
  2. Greenwashing : we need to be "seen" doing the right thing!
  3. Real action: eventually we reach the stage were we actually want to make real change and become a regenerative business

The point is that perhaps the fakeness of greenwashing is a necessary (or possible) step on the path.

This is an interesting, potentially positive, take on greenwashing. And leads me to want to explore ways to help push past the greenwashing stage.

One vital aspect to this is for society to then hold greenwashing businesses to account, shine a light on the fake aspects of their messaging.

So, I am enjoying the recent news that the "Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is to launch a series of inquiries into the environmental advertising claims and practices across a range of sectors – starting with energy, heating and transport" 2

The potential here is more than just catching this businesses in their fakeness - but in the opportunity to move more onto the real action stage.