“Green is the New Black”: Socially Responsible Marketing & Greenwashing in the 2020s

Strauss, Cindy (2022) “Green is the New Black”: Socially Responsible Marketing & Greenwashing in the 2020s. MA/MSc thesis, BCE Kommunikáció és Szociológia Intézet, Kommunikáció- és Médiatudomány Tanszék.

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Since the public awareness of global warming and other environmental issues has risen, an increasing number of consumers have become more conscious of their purchase behaviour and pay more attention to the ecological footprint they leave behind. Due to this, many companies have begun to specialise their CSR communication on environmental topics, in the form of Green Marketing. Nevertheless, the cases of misleading and false green claims have been increasing as well, which lead to the phenomenon we know today as Greenwashing. Delmas & Burbano have already elaborated on different firm types that have tendencies to commit greenwashing, as well as the drivers that motivate certain companies to mislead with their green claims, while Laufer has offered some possible regulatory solutions for this issue in his literature. Based on the claim typology theory from Carlson et al., this research analyses environmental claims in the CSR communication of companies that are part of the Fortune Global 500 in the form of a content analysis. Green claims were taken from several companies from three different sectors and then categorised into claim types and deceptiveness types, in order to determine to what extent these companies commit greenwashing, what types of greenwashing are most common, and if there are any differences between the greenwashing tendencies of the sectors. The results showed that each company had cases of greenwashing on their websites and that there were clear tendencies toward certain types of claims and types of deception. However, there were no significant differences found between the sectors, as well as regarding the company sizes. Overall, this research showed that the Fortune Global 500 companies committed greenwashing to a rather high extent in their CSR communication and that this is a phenomenon that is present in all companies, regardless of their sectors or size. However, other questions can be targeted in future research, such as including a wider sample of companies regarding their size and age, as well as differences between companies based in different countries.

Item Type:MA/MSc thesis
Subjects:Environmental economics, environment protection
Management, business policy
ID Code:15339
Specialisation:Communication and Media Science
Deposited On:30 Jan 2023 09:05
Last Modified:30 Jan 2023 09:05

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