What is Greenwashing? And How to Use Data to Fight It?

Explore how data analytics can help us to detect and prevent greenwashing to promote genuine sustainability

Use Data to Detect Green Washing — (Image by Author)

Greenwashing is the practice of making misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product or a service to communicate a false image of sustainability.

Five sins of greenwashing — (Image by Author)

This act of embellishment or hiding falsehood has become a common challenge as companies seek the attention of environmentally conscious consumers.

In this article, we will delve into the world of greenwashing to explain its manifestations and how to use data analytics to detect and prevent these unethical practices.

I. Understanding Greenwashing
1. What is Greenwashing?
2. Examples of Greenwashing
3. Greenwashing x Data Analytics
II. Data Analytics for Greenwashing Detection
1. The difficult task of detection
2. Natural Language Processing (NLP)
3. Change Point Analysis
4. Regression Analysis
5. Network Analysis
III. Conclusion

I discovered Greenwashing when I conducted my first supply chain sustainability project.

As a Supply Chain Solution Manager, my task was to estimate the environmental footprint of the manufacturing and logistics operations of our customers.

And it was surprising to see the claims of some of their competitors considering that they were producing and selling similar products.

How can a company selling disposable plastic products can claim to be carbon neutral?

The objective of this article is to show you how analytics tools can help you to detect this kind of false claims.

1. What is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a portmanteau word of ‘green’ and ‘whitewashing’.

This dishonest practice is used by organizations to create a false impression of environmental…

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