Don’t let “GreenHushing” keep us in the dark.

While a host of large companies are ramping up efforts to significantly reduce their carbon footprints, a disturbing new trend shows many are going silent about their efforts and even their successes.

A recent survey published by climate consultancy, North Pole, analyzed 1,200 private companies across 12 countries and 15 market sectors to get a sense of where they are on their Net Zero journeys.  The recent trajectory for many sustainably conscious companies is very positive, including more science-based metrics, ambitious timelines, and voluntary offsets.  Yet over a quarter of these companies do not plan on publicizing their climate targets or their progress in achieving them. 

Why is this happening? And why does it matter?

Backlash over aggressive claims and targets without data and science back-up has led to a number of successful lawsuits over “Greenwashing”.  At the same time, conservative lawmakers have blocked attempts to implement meaningful climate legislation and gone to the extreme of divestiture of state invested funds solely as a reaction any perceived liberal agenda.  The result for well-intentioned companies trying to implement real goals is often intense pressure (and potential litigation) from both sides that’s not worth taking the risk.

While Aps like like UBER allow you to choose an electric vehicle, and Skyscanner a flight with less CO2 impact, data on the impact of these public disclosures on consumer behavior is lacking.  Some experiments show labelling a product as “sustainable” may lead consumers to assume the product is less effective.  A 2020 study published in the Journal or Advertising showed that implicit green communication, or “green understatement” was more effective in enhancing product performance perceptions than explicit “green emphasis” or overt labelling.  Perhaps consumers are smart enough to recognize Greenwashing when they see it.

But a company that communicates less about their science-based goals will not likely emerge as an industry leader on sustainability.  Their silence is also not likely to get other companies on board to adopt sustainable practices.  Companies pay attention to early adopters to see if their success was worth the risk.  Even the giant investment and real estate firm Blackrock, an early leader on climate change commitments, has removed several Net Zero commitment references from its website.  

What about the consumer?

How can they make informed buying decisions without full transparency from those companies that choose to be sustainability industry leaders?  

As a non-toxic, fully-recyclable, bio-based product, ECOR products are implicitly sustainable.  The market’s reaction to our products illustrates some of the dynamic we are seeing across industries.  Full adoption occurred once our customers were able to complete extensive performance testing.  Performance and price have always lead the discussions.  ECOR’s sustainability attributes are important, but only after the products was proven to meet or exceed all industry specifications. Our new ECOR-FLR product line has not only passed some of the most stringent testing criterial , but it has been fully incorporated into our customer’s manufacturing process.

As part of our current LCA (Independent Lifecycle Analysis), we are meticulously gathering data on the impacts of every step of our Conversion Technology.  As leaders in sustainable conversion technology, we encourage transparency via LCAs, and once independently verified and analyzed, we plan on publishing this data.  We hope the market’s reaction to full transparency will not only address consumer’s thirst for this knowledge, but lead other companies to adopt Circular Economy practices.

Let’s make sure data on achieving climate progress sees the light of day.

We need the good news!