More and more, consumers are demanding “green” products. In response, many corporations are developing and marketing merchandise billed as environmentally friendly. But are these corporations choosing to ignore any negative ramifications these products may actually have? Organization and Environment Guest Editor Frances Bowen and Editor J. Alberto Aragon-Correa discuss in their editorial “Greenwashing in Corporate Environmentalism Research and Practice: The Importance of What We Say We Do.”
From the editorial:
Greenwashing is the selective disclosure of positive information without full disclosure of negative information so as to create an overly positive corporate image (Lyon & Maxwell, 2011). Greenwashing is a central empirical phenomenon within organizations’ interactions with the natural environment because it is hard for stakeholders to directly evaluate firms’ environmental performance. This leads to a reliance on firms to signal their environmental quality through environmental reports, advertising, corporate websites, or eco-certification schemes. Increased environmental disclosure without obvious substantive improvements in environmental impacts has fed justifiable skepticism about the gap between what firms say and do on environmental issues (e.g., Dauvergne & Lister 2010; Forbes & Jermier, 2012; Konefal, 2013). Increased environmental disclosure has also provided research questions and empirical data for scholars to analyze greenwashing behavior, its drivers, and its consequences (e.g., Delmas & Burbano, 2011; Du, 2014; Walker & Wan, 2012).
This editorial also introduces the most recent issue of Organization and Environment, which can be read for free for the next 30 days. Click here to view the Table of Contents and here to read “Greenwashing in Corporate Environmentalism Research and Practice: The Importance of What We Say We Do.” Want to know all the latest from Organization and Environment? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!