Staff Reporters
Apr 9, 2021

Campaign Crash Course: How to avoid greenwashing

To mark Earth Month, we bring you five tips on how to communicate with consumers about sustainability in an authentic way, and to protect your brand from being accused of greenwashing.

Welcome back to Campaign Asia-Pacific's Crash Course learning series, in which you will learn valuable lessons and practical business tips on trending and essential topics from industry experts in just five minutes. Think of it as a mini mini MBA, if you will.

Lessons will cover the breadth of the marcomms industry, including technology, creative, media, strategy, leadership, diversity and inclusion and more. We'll start off by introducing you to larger topics and delve deeper into specific elements in the future. This series is designed to be useful to C-suite executives as well as those just starting out in their careers.

The lesson

Ahead of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, the 25th lesson in the Crash Course series will cover the theme of sustainability. Embedding sustainable practices is becoming an essential part of business hygiene. As well as being good for the planet, having strong sustainability practices is also a powerful marketing tool, as consumers are increasingly measuring brands on their social and environmental impact. But when reviewing sustainability campaigns to date, the space is littered with examples of brands that jump on the bandwagon but fail to back up their claims with evidence or do their due diligence—leading to the term 'greenwashing'. 

So how can brands shout about their success without falling prey to 'greenwashing'?

In this lesson you will learn:

  • The benefits of embedding sustainable practices within your business.
  • 5 tips on how to shout about your sustainability credentials but avoid being accused of greenwashing, including the importance of managing your supply chain, the need to communicate both wins and areas of improvement, and ideas for how to 'walk the talk'.

Your teacher

Suzy Goulding is the director of MullenLowe Sustainability, a practice offering specialist support to businesses and brands across the region looking to strengthen their sustainable credentials. MullenLowe Sustainability was launched in November last year under communications agency MullenLowe Salt Singapore, which is a certified B Corporation and a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, set up to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation.

Goulding has worked at MullenLowe Salt for the past four years, prior to which she set up her own Singapore-based communications agency, The Umami Collective. She has previously led communications at The Ate Group and Y&R Asia (now VMLY&R).

The quiz

After you watch the above video, test your knowledge of sustainability with this quiz:

Campaign Crash Course is an ongoing series with new courses to be released on Fridays. We are always looking for feedback and ideas. Have a suggestion or want to take part? Complete our feedback form or email our editors.


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