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In search of true sustainability

2021-05-18 09:23

The Boniviri editorial staff

sustainability, green, greenwashing, generation, millenials, fridaysforfuture,

In search of true sustainability

The new generations lead the green revolution.

The importance of knowing how to distinguish green companies from those that do greenwashing.

Terms such as sustainability, green, eco-friendly are now on the agenda, and all companies in the world seem to be interested in environmental issues.
Theirs is an obligatory choice: for some years now, with the Fridays For Future movement, increasing media pressure and the new standards dictated by the Paris Agreement, neglecting this issue would risk losing credibility in the eyes of all stakeholders.

The natural consequence of this sustainability boom is the weakening of the line that separates companies that put a tangible commitment in place from those that limit themselves to marketing operations.


"In fact, the overabundance of green products, or alleged ones, has also fueled the hoaxes and made it more difficult 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 in Il Sole 24 Ore

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The new generations are looking for the real green

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 the 'environment.

The interesting aspect to analyze is precisely that linked to consumption habits.

According to a study by the consulting firm Ernst & Young, 50% of young people of the new generations are willing to pay a premium of more than 10% for a sustainable product. Despite this, the share of young people under 24 who buy sustainable products is lower than that of the rest of the population (77% against 84%), highlighting a sort of contradiction between their sensitivity towards environmental issues and their consumption.

The problem therefore lies in the difficulty in distinguishing truly sustainable products from those that are only in appearance.

It all starts with training

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 the company, its supply chain and its choices in the field of social and environmental responsibility in depth.

"We need better scientific knowledge to avoid a gap between what is said and the real level of sustainability of the products" explains Matteo Colleoni, full professor of Sociology of the environment and of the territory and delegate for sustainability at the Bicocca University

The role of training is therefore fundamental: the survey by the Toniolo Institute shows that 70% of graduates are informed about sustainable development, compared to just over 40% of those with a lower degree.

Therefore, a more widespread dissemination of information is needed, capable of reaching all layers of society, using the channels most used by young people.

The role of all of us, both as citizens and as consumers, will be fundamental to make the green revolution materialize. It is undeniable that there is still a long way to go, but the new generations have the mentality and the means to push towards radical change, for a truly sustainable world.


Source: Magnani, Alberto. 2021. "Green Yes, 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.

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