Is greenwashing a problem for ESG?
There is absolutely no place for misleading, vague or inaccurate claims about the environmental or societal impact of a company’s activities in ESG reports or marketing campaigns. Fortunately, it’s becoming more difficult for companies to inflate ESG activities. The regulatory landscape is now tougher, and lawmakers are clamping down even harder on what they see as "greenwashing" practices.
In the EU, for instance, a new directive on regulating While in the UK the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s independent media regulator, is shining the spotlight on ESG-related marketing. More specifically, it is keeping an eye on the use of vague environmental terms, such as "nature positive". When the ASA decides a campaign is misleading, it can impose considerable fines. And such fines usually go together with very public shaming and reputational damage.
New horizons for ESG practices
Responsible business wasn’t invented with the publication of the UN white paper, Who Cares Wins, but it certainly gave it strong impetus. Over the years, ESG has evolved and become more widespread. It now touches every sector of every industry.
At IFCO, we have a strong sustainability heritage, having started our circular business model in 1992. Now, more than ever, the atmosphere at IFCO is one of incredible responsibility. We are more vocal about ESG issues and have embedded ESG into our strategy and our company culture. The result is that all IFCO employees sustain our circular business model and embrace our commitment to ESG. And this is exactly what we need to succeed.
At the same time, we also understand that we still have work ahead to make real our ambitious ESG commitments set out in our ESG report. As the fresh grocery supply chain is made up of complex, interdependent systems, we can understand it better when we look at it through the ESG lens. We’re living our ESG strategy to ensure a thriving business, a thriving planet and a thriving society.
Our industry must continue to adopt and strengthen ESG strategies. And not just because it’s how you can avoid litigation or financial and reputational damage. But because it’s the right thing to do. And because the title of the UN report in 2004 still rings true today: "Who Cares Wins".