Greening the greenwashers – How to push greenwashers towards more sustainable trajectories - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Cleaner Production Year : 2023

Greening the greenwashers – How to push greenwashers towards more sustainable trajectories

Abstract

While the literature has notably focused on the meanings, conceptualizations, causes, consequences and solutions to greenwashing, we propose a counterintuitive perspective to fill a gap by considering whether and how greenwashing can be leveraged to transform greenwashers into green(er) performers. To address this issue, we overview the literature and use conceptual reasoning to develop four mechanisms by which greenwashers may be pushed toward more environmentally friendly trajectories that would not otherwise have been considered: (1) greenwashing raises awareness and normalizes greenness; (2) a greenwashing faux pas is instrumentalized to hold companies accountable by triggering an irreversible "ratchet effect" (enforcing consistency between discourse and actions without allowing a step backward); (3) greenwashing as an aspirational green talk that can constitute an important resource to inspire and drive change; and (4) the management of greenwashing by regulators allows them to advance their sustainability agenda, notably because of enforcement spillovers. A better understanding of these mechanisms can transform the way greenwashing is managed and help addressing environmental challenges.
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Dates and versions

hal-03908838 , version 1 (11-09-2023)

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Dejan Glavas, Gilles Grolleau, Naoufel Mzoughi. Greening the greenwashers – How to push greenwashers towards more sustainable trajectories. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2023, 382, pp.135301. ⟨10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.135301⟩. ⟨hal-03908838⟩
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