Ensure your company isn't damaging customers' trust by greenwashing – making false claims that your company or products are environmentally friendly.

•  Greenwashing is when a company purports to be environmentally conscious for marketing purposes but actually isn't making any notable sustainability efforts. •  Companies can greenwash even when they have good intentions. •  As a result of greenwashing, most American consumers do not believe company claims about their sustainability practices.

You've probably heard of whitewashing at least once in the corporate world. Whitewashing is when an organization covers up or glosses over scandalous information by presenting a biased representation of the facts. But greenwashing isn't nearly as well known. Greenwashing is when an organization spends more time and money on marketing itself as environmentally friendly than on actually minimizing its environmental impact. It's a deceitful marketing gimmick intended to mislead consumers who prefer to buy goods and services from environmentally conscious brands.

What is greenwashing?


Former House Oversight chairwoman breaks silence on Big Oil probe

By Maxine Joselow 03/08/23
Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! Happy International Women’s Day and happy hump day. Today we’re reading about why airlines want to charge you for flying on french-fry oil. 🍟
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The world is finally cracking down on ‘greenwashing’

By Emma Marris 03/01/23
Let’s say you want to buy a T-shirt and you want your investment to be as environmentally sustainable as possible—after all, clothing production generates 8 to 10 percent of global carbon emissions. How should you…
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Exxon drops its algae ruse

By Emily Sanders 02/13/23
Fat on record profits, Exxon is abandoning a notorious effort to convince the public it was working on climate solutions.
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Complaint requesting an investigation into apparent greenwashing by Shell plc

Global Witness writes to share its concern that Shell plc (“Shell”) has filed potentially misleading
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Google let Daily Wire advertise on ‘climate change is a hoax’ searches

By Geoff Dembicki 01/27/23
Exclusive: Data shared by Center for Countering Digital Hate shows Ben Shapiro’s site bought ads on climate crisis denial search terms
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Big Oil’s false advertising is not free speech

By Emily Sanders 01/24/23
“Big Oil peddled the big lie,” U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said last week following the release of a new study showing Exxon’s acute scientific understanding of climate change preceded its public denial. Facing ever-mounting…
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How dark money groups led Ohio to redefine gas as ‘green energy’

By Maxine Joselow 01/17/23
Conservative groups helped Ohio lawmakers push the narrative that the fuel is clean, documents show. They are taking their campaign to other states.
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Exxon’s climate research accurately projected global warming

By Andrew Freedman 01/12/23
Exxon scientists have been at the forefront of climate change research using computer models, the study published in the journal Science shows. According to the study, between 63% and 83% of the climate projections reported…
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The new soldiers in propane’s fight against climate action: television stars

By Hiroko Tabuchi 01/11/23
An industry group is spending millions of dollars to push back against efforts to move heating away from oil and gas....
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Big oil is behind conspiracy to deceive public

By Nina Lakhani 12/20/22
Lawyer in a civil lawsuit launched by towns in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico describes why it is using laws used to target mob bossesThe same racketeering legislation used to bring down mob bosses, motorcycle gangs, football…
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Opinion: “I was really struck by the lack of introspection”

By David Wallace-Wells 12/15/22
Last week, a House investigation into Big Oil profiteering and greenwashing released its latest report — the result of more than a year of research, subpoenas and hearings. Among other things, the latest report makes…
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Whistleblower: Enviva claim of ‘being good for the planet… all nonsense’

By Justin Catanoso 12/05/22
The operator of a Tigercat tractor used its claw-like arm to skillfully scoop up what just days before had been a sizable old oak, as the clear-cut of a thickly wooded 52-acre (21-hectare) site in…
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They derailed climate action for a decade. And bragged about it.

By Kate Yoder   04/15/22  
In 1989, just as leaders around the world were starting to think seriously about tackling global warming, the National Association of Manufacturers assembled a group of corporations — utilities, oil companies, automakers, and more —…
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Will Technology Solve The Sustainability Challenge?

By Felicia Jackson   04/13/22  
There is no question that sustainability is a core issue for business today, driven by concern about the growing impact of climate-induced extreme weather, as well as an increase in regulatory disclosure demands. I
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Documents show polluting industries mobilized to block climate action

By Amy Westervelt   04/12/22  
Of the primary reports that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change publishes every four to six years, the mitigation report, focused on what can be done and what’s holding climate action back, only gets more…
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Latest IPCC Reports Underscore Threat of Climate Disinformation

By Michael Khoo   04/04/22  
The latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirm that “climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people,” urging that if we…
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Finance and Climate Change

A comprehensive assessment of the world's 30 largest listed financial institutions shows a clear disconnect between the concrete short-term targets and actions needed to address the climate emergency and the limited, long-term targets currently being…
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Canadian ex-minister Catherine McKenna named to head UN greenwash watchdog

By Joe Lo   03/31/22  
Within twelve months, the 16-member group is to publish recommendations on how to judge net zero commitments and translate them into national and international regulations.
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Facebook drives sceptics towards climate denial

By Merlyn Thomas   03/30/22  
A report released Wednesday by Global Witness found Facebook's algorithm amplified doubts rather than nudging people towards reliable information. Facebook says its systems are "designed to reduce misinformation". Researchers created two users - climate sceptic…
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Facebook paid GOP firm to malign TikTok

By Taylor Lorenz and Drew Harwell   03/30/22  
Facebook parent company Meta is paying one of the biggest Republican consulting firms in the country to orchestrate a nationwide campaign seeking to turn the public against TikTok.
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Banks promised climate action. Where is it?

By Emily Pontecorvo   03/25/22  
A flurry of climate pledges from financial institutions in recent years has not been followed by meaningful action, according to a report from the corporate accountability nonprofit InfluenceMap published on Friday.
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New SEC climate rule leaves progressives wanting more

By Rachel Frazin and Saul Elbein   03/23/22  
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took a long-sought step this week by proposing to require that publicly traded companies disclose their direct and indirect climate change contributions, but advocates are pointing to loopholes they…
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American companies can’t sugarcoat their carbon pollution anymore

Robinson Meyer   03/23/22  
On Monday, the SEC announced that it would add another layer to this set of essential disclosures, requiring companies to also release information about their climate risks. Starting next fiscal year, the country’s largest public…
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This Timber Company Sold Millions of Dollars of Useless Carbon Offsets

By Ben Elgin   03/17/22  
Jim Hourdequin is one of the planet’s biggest sellers of carbon offsets—the widely used instruments that are supposed to act as a balm for the rapidly overheating climate. His company earned $53 million from these…
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Texas threatens to hit ESG firms over fossil fuel ‘boycott’

By Adam Aton   03/17/22  
Texas is wrestling with how to hit back against Wall Street’s green posture. The state’s top financial official is starting to inch toward action against some firms, after months of Texas Republicans bashing financial giants…
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‘Sustainable’ funds are no more green than traditional products, study finds

Clarity AI, a sustainability data technology platform part-owned by BlackRock, analysed 31,000 funds to assess how they perform against a new European Union classification system that defines a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. Its…
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Greenwashing Is Increasingly Making ESG Moot

By Tim Quinson   03/16/22  
For years now, managers of big funds touting their supposed focus on the environment, social issues and corporate governance have been faulted for holding shares of fossil-fuel purveyors (including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp.),…
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World’s biggest money manager BlackRock does u-turn on climate commitments?

By Shoma Bhattacharjee   03/09/22  
BlackRock had recently become one of the latest financial institutions to call for sustainable investment. The company, the world’s biggest multinational investment management company with over $10 trillion in assets that it manages, had published…
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What’s Driving Insurers to Prioritize ESG Investments?

By Jonathan McGoran   02/23/22  
A recent survey of 280 decision makers at U.S.-based life/annuity and P&C insurers shows increased attention and commitment to aligning investments with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.
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Major oil companies aren’t following through on climate change promises

By Mary Louise Kelly   02/18/22  
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Gregory Trencher, a co-author of a report that shows, despite pledges, BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Shell aren't making changes needed to transition to clean energy.
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Green washing: World’s biggest companies overstating climate change action, says study

By   02/07/22  
Some of the world’s biggest companies that have made commitments to reduce their carbon emissions are vastly overstating their progress and failing to meet their own goals, a new study has stated. Companies like Google,…
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What do the Tobacco-Loving Heartland Institute, Bill Cosby, Petrostates, and Racists Have in Common?

By Daily Kos Staff   01/25/22  
Because last week, a “P.S.” note at the bottom of a Heartland Institute email to subscribers explained they sent “two policy experts to New Hampshire this week to testify in favor of a proposed bill…
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Dirty greenwashing: watchdog targets fashion brands over misleading claims

By Sarah Butler   01/14/22  
Fashion brands that make misleading claims about their environmental credentials face a crackdown by the competition watchdog as it targets greenwashing.
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One in 5 ads on Google from fossil fuel companies, finds study

By   01/08/22  
Fossil fuel companies are among the biggest spenders on Google ads that look like search results, revealed a joint study by The Guardian and InfluenceMap, a think-tank that tracks the lobbying efforts of polluting industries.
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The firms that help keep oil flowing

By Hiroko Tabuchi   10/13/21  
Secretive investment funds are putting billions into fossil fuel projects, buying up offshore platforms and building new pipelines.
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The January 6 corporate accountability index

By Judd Legum, Rebecca Crosby and Others   08/17/21  
After a violent mob stormed the Capitol building in January, hundreds of corporations pledged to make changes to their political giving. Some corporations pledged to withhold PAC funding to the 147 Republicans who voted to…
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Scientists hired by oil giants predicted climate crisis 60 years ago: Report

Edited by: Aditi Gautam   07/05/21  
More than 26 lawsuits have been filed in the US against oil companies for their role in climate change. The internal documents of these companies contain research data collected by their teams regarding the effect…
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Inside Exxon’s playbook: How America’s biggest oil company continues to oppose action on climate change

By Lawrence Carter   06/30/21  
ExxonMobil continues to fight efforts to tackle climate change in the United States, despite publicly claiming to support the Paris climate agreement, an undercover investigation by Unearthed has found.
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D&O Price Increases Sting in a Hardening Market. Adopting ESG Best Practices Can Reduce the Pain

By Courtney DuChene   01/28/21  
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, made headlines last fall when it committed to spending $310 million over the next decade on corporate diversity programs as part of a settlement for a series of shareholder lawsuits over…
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How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled

By Laura Sullivan   09/11/20  
Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in southern Oregon, is standing on the end of its landfill watching an avalanche of plastic trash pour out of a semitrailer: containers, bags, packaging, strawberry…
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Exxon Confirmed Global Warming Consensus in 1982 with In-House Climate Models

By Lisa Song and Others   09/22/15  
Steve Knisely was an intern at Exxon Research and Engineering in the summer of 1979 when a vice president asked him to analyze how global warming might affect fuel use. “I think this guy was…
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