Did you notice the towel-environmentalism of the hotels? In most of them, ‘changing the towel harms the environment; however, if you still want it to change, leave it on the floor.’ messages are everywhere.
So, can a hotel’s entire impact on the environment be related to towels and their washing? In the simplest case, what will be the lights, the energy required for heating and cooling, and the effects of this?
This is where the concept of greenwashing first emerged. Hotels!
It also explains the concept very well. ‘The environmental sensitivity, which you only show off on towels, is green-washing. However, if you are a candidate to manage all your environmentally harmful operations, if you have a concrete plan and real follow-up points, you are an environmentally friendly organization. The rest is just pretending!’
Look it is green!
Greenwashing is not a new concept. It is one of the concepts that has been discussing for a long time. Here’s the definition: A company or organization spending time and money on marketing themselves as environmentally friendly. That is, not managing environmental impacts truly, sincerely and with all transparency; but to be perceived as doing so by marketing and advertising. Namely, the dark side of marketing and advertising, with examples written, drawn and discussed all over the world…
So, is it really the dark side?
Perception is reality! Can this famous saying of the communication world maintain its validity in today’s world?
Inquiring, pressing consumer networks can put brands in very difficult situations all over the world. Those brilliant marketing and advertising fictions, where the content is bad (for human, environment, planet, etc.) but the packaging is delicious, is no longer enough to throw reality behind the scenes and replace it with a foamy perception.
It should not be overlooked that companies and brands that embrace greenwashing as a lifesaver actually do this as a result of consumer sensitivity and pressure. Therefore, although it has many sides to be criticized, its benefits can be mentioned even from this point of view.
Let’s go back to the hotels. Even if the towel issue is greenwashing, isn’t it a good enough situation on its own? Well, even if hotels are not yet fully managing their other environmental damage, wouldn’t even improving the entire washing system in hotels all over the world benefit the planet?
Green-wash today, green-transform tomorrow
The issues, which are tried to be dealt with in a short way with greenwashing today will not have the chance to manage like this tomorrow. Both the regulations and the rapidly rising consumer awareness and consciousness will abolish the function of the green-washing phenomenon. It will force companies to take real and perhaps even more radical steps.
Therefore, it is actually possible, with the support of an optimistic point of view, to see the green-washing practices that we see frequently today as a warm-up for the whole green transformation. There are many issues to discuss, of course, but increased consumer sensitivity will push companies and brands even harder, enabling the situation that is ‘managed’ with greenwashing today to evolve into a real transformation. Brands that cannot do this will not have a chance to survive anyway. Instead of constantly criticizing and ignoring, it will be a much more pragmatic way to start discussing how the transformation should be done for the future.
This will be supported by issues such as making international sustainable product definitions, which we will see more clearly in the coming period, the establishment of certification and accreditation systems, and the new trade ecosystem becoming more evident within this framework.
What kind of future does humanity want?
Sustainability is an important opportunity for a better humanity and planet. This is not a romantic point of view. The issues we talk about and discuss today give hope for tomorrow. Yes, hard! A lot! We need a paradigm shift at many points. But it is possible in every sense to make tomorrow better than today!
While discussing sustainability-oriented transformation, it is necessary to keep issues such as basic human rights, equality and justice at the center. The issue is not only environmental sensitivity, climate crisis, global warming, but more critically the future of humanity. Indeed, what kind of future does humanity want?
The ideal goal should be to create societies that are not only sensitive to the environment and the planet, but also sensitive to each other. The business world can also be a driving force for the transformation of the social structure in this sense.
Tomorrow will be better than today…
So every small, but right step will pay off, even if it’s for green-washing purposes at first. Steps will grow, leading to greater change and transformation. Tomorrow will be better than today…
What do we always say? Progress is always good, even if it’s not perfect…