Greenwashing: are you familiar with the term? A quick Google search yields the scholarly definition of "Disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible image."
In plain English, think about the recent car commercial we've all seen: a man hops in his Hyundai and scours the beach with a trash-gathering device attached to the bumper, cleaning up the sand for millions of turtle newborns. Or how about the information put out there recently by airlines claiming to use more "sustainable" jet fuel or offering carbon offsets for flying?
These actions give a "green halo" effect to a given company's actions and position them as caring stewards of our planet. Far from it.
A new report from the nonprofit organization Carbon Disclosure Project found that while more than 4,100 companies worldwide have a 'transition plan' to limit emissions and keep global heating below 1.5c (2.7f) as outlined by the Paris agreements, only 81 of these companies had a "credible" plan. A credible plan was defined as having firm, unambiguous, outlined goals with an actionable plan to achieve them in a reasonable time frame.
The other 4,000+ companies? Forget greenwash - how about hogwash? If you're trying to make environmentally conscious decisions, be a smart consumer and ignore the commercials. Do your homework, use reputable nonprofits as sources and good, sound judgment to make choices.
Remember the old mantra: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.