knowing how to distinguish green companies from those that do greenwashing.
Terms such as sustainability, green, eco-friendly are now on the agenda, and every company in the world seems to be interested in environmental issues.
Theirs is a forced choice: in recent years, with the Fridays For Future movement, increasing media pressure and the new standards dictated by the Paris Agreement, neglecting this issue would mean losing credibility in the eyes of all stakeholders.
The natural consequence of this sustainability boom is the blurring of the line that separates companies that put forth a tangible commitment from those that limit themselves to marketing operations.
"In fact, the overabundance of green products, or allegedly so, has also fed the hoaxes and made it more complicated to distinguish truly sustainable companies from those that end up, perhaps in good faith, only proposing more subtle forms of green washing," explains Alberto Magnani on Il Sole 24 Ore
The new generations are looking for the
Millennials and Generation Z are undoubtedly among the greatest promoters of a more sustainable future. As evidenced by a survey by the Toniolo Institute, 80% say they are ready to change their habits to combat the problem of global warming, and 70% are inclined to choose products from companies that are seriously committed to safeguarding theenvironment.
The interesting aspect to analyze is precisely that related to consumption habits.
According to a study by the consulting firm Ernst & Young, 50% of the younger generation is willing to pay a premium of over 10% for a sustainable product. Despite this, the proportion of young people under 24 who buy sustainable products is lower than that of the rest of the population (77% compared to 84%), highlighting a sort of contradiction between their sensitivity to environmental issues and their consumption.
The problem therefore lies in the difficulty of distinguishing truly sustainable products from those that are only apparently sustainable.
Everything starts with education
In order to make a purchase that can be defined as sustainable, it is not enough to read "green", "organic" or "biodegradable" on the label; it is necessary to know in depth the company, its supply chain and its choices in terms of social and environmental responsibility.
"A better scientific knowledge is needed to avoid a gap between what is said and the real level of sustainability of the products," explains Matteo Colleoni, professor of Sociology of the Environment and Territory and sustainability delegate at Bicocca University.
The role of education is therefore fundamental: the Toniolo Institute survey shows that 70% of university graduates are informed about sustainable development, compared to just over 40% of those with lower educational qualifications.
What is needed, therefore, is a more widespread dissemination of information, capable of reaching all strata of society, using the channels most frequently used by young people.
The role of all of us, both as citizens and consumers, will be fundamental to ensure that the green revolution becomes a reality. It is undeniable that there is still a long way to go, but the new generations have the mentality and the means to push for radical change, for a truly sustainable world.
Source: Magnani, Alberto. 2021. 'Green S ì, Green Washing No. Italian Kids Seek (True) Sustainability | Il Sole 24 ORE '. Www.Ilsole24ore.Com. https: / / lab24.ilsole24ore.com / green-generation /green-si-green-washing-no-i-giovani-italiani-cercano-la-vera-sostenibilita.php.