#GS-03 Climate Change

For Prelims


  • Greenwashing can be defined as the practice of projecting a company’s products as more environmentally friendly or as having a bigger positive influence on the environment than they actually do.
  • This is seen as an attempt to capitalize on the growing demand for environmentally sound products without taking proenvironment measures.
  • Greenwashing involves making unverifiable, misleading, or dubious claims that are aimed at creating a more positive image of the company among people.
  • The term greenwashing is evolved from the term “whitewashing,” which means using false information to intentionally hide wrongdoing, error, or an unpleasant situation in an attempt reduce its impact.


For Mains:

Impact of Green Washing:

For consumers
  • The primary impact goes to the consumers as consumer sentiment is slanted toward being green and environmentally sustainable.
  • Evidence of greenwashing makes consumers loose trust in genuine green products which can result in collapse of such companies.
  • Greenwashing can also lead to degradation of customer satisfaction, erosion of brand loyalty and can potentially affect repeat purchases.
  • Companies also use greenwashing to increase price of products, by labelling them environmentfriendly which increases the financial burden for consumers.
For Environment:
  • Greenwashing creates a smokescreen of environment protection while causing damage to the environment.
  • This can lead to countries missing their Nationally determined contributions (NDCs), as well as preventing them from reaching the goals set under Paris Climate Deal.
  • Misguiding the people can lead to significant long term damage to the environment and ecosystem.

Challenges in preventing Greenwashing:

  • It is neither practical nor possible to monitor and verify all the processes and products that has the ability to potentially cut emissions.
  • The processes, methodologies and institutions to measure, report, create standards, verify claims and grant certifications are still being set up hence we currently lack the ability to regulate this field.

Source “Need taxonomy, definitions to avoid ‘greenwashing’: Rao