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Greenwashing

Environmental Communication and Sustainability

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The Palgrave Handbook of Global Sustainability
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Abstract

Greenwashing is a misleading environmental communication practice used to create a positive image in the eyes of stakeholders when in fact the reality is not as positive as it seems. Greenwashing is a widespread phenomenon today, given the increasing importance given to issues of responsibility and sustainability. The need and demand for increasingly eco-friendly and green behavior has led some economic actors to decide not to invest in processes and strategies to improve sustainability, but to invest in communication. This communication process has enormous potential negative effects that affect the market, truly sustainable companies, consumers and investors. The variety of communication channels used by companies today lend themselves to being manipulated and diverted according to the message they want to deliver and the perception they want to create in the eyes of the receiver. Misleading communication practices are used in all sectors and by all types of companies, unfortunately without coming up against established and valid control, monitoring and sanctioning mechanisms. In addition to the environmental sphere, misleading communications may also concern other thematic spheres, such as ethical values, the figure of women, the SDGs, social values, and sexual orientation. In an increasingly globalized and digitalized world where image plays a dominant role even over content and where form wins over substance, there is a growing demand for communication that is capable of attracting attention and capturing the gaze of those who read or listen to it.

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Correspondence to Riccardo Torelli .

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© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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Torelli, R. (2022). Greenwashing. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Global Sustainability. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38948-2_108-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38948-2_108-1

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-38948-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-38948-2

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Earth and Environm. ScienceReference Module Physical and Materials ScienceReference Module Earth and Environmental Sciences

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