Greenwashing companies face fines
Companies in Portugal are already facing fines for ‘greenwashing’ or pretending to be environmentally friendly when on closer examination they aren’t.
According to Jornal de Nóticias, nine processes against companies accused of greenwashing are currently underway brought by the Directorate-General of the Consumer (DGC).
According to the newspaper, the Government – the DGC falls under the Ministry of the Economy – has recognised that the number of greenwashing cases is growing and at a time when climate change is recognised as becoming increasingly urgent.
The companies and institutions involved are claiming they are environmentally and ecologically sustainable through marketing and publicity to attract clients, or create a positive eco-friendly image when their current practices suggest nothing of the sort.
‘Greenwashing’ is a common marketing ploy designed to make products seem more sustainable than they are. It’s typical for greenwashing companies to spend far more time and money marketing the ‘eco-friendliness’ of their products than on working to ensure they are sustainable.
While it is not know which companies in Portugal are facing fines, one of the most common and notorious examples of ‘greenwashing’ is the hotel industry which calls on guests to “save your towels” to reduce water from laundering. While this movement was disguised as a way for guests to help hotels conserve water and save the planet, it essentially only cut down on laundry labour expenses for the hotel and has been found to make a minimal difference in water usage.