It is easy to see that nowadays, contrary to the past, green marketing strategies are no longer “niche”, aimed only at very specific and limited market segments, but are becoming increasingly pervasive.
Thus, while in the early 1990s companies’ environmental performance influenced a large part of consumer purchases, in 2015 66% of global consumers (and among millennials, the percentage rose to 72%!) were willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products.
In this respect, greenwashing has been and still is one of the main obstacles to the green transition. Although this concept circulates relatively little in the public debate in Italy, within a capitalist society, it nevertheless signals a key point for a truly conscious discussion of the environmental issue.
But what does “greenwashing” mean? This term is a neologism derived from the figurative expression “whitewashing”, which refers to concealing the truth to protect the reputation of entities, companies, or products. “Greenwashing” is therefore the marketing and communication strategy pursued by companies, institutions or organisations that present their activities as environmentally sustainable, concealing their negative environmental impact.
Coining a neologism is often much more than just creating a new word; it signals the need to reflect on a new problem or, as in this case, to rethink an old problem in a new way. Greenwashing, in fact, is what forces environmentalist thought to question its own nature: what is truly ecological and what is mere façade?