Recording Available: Navigating Our Way Towards a World Without Greenwashing

In case you missed Humanscale’s webinar this week, Roddy Clarke, Design Writer for the Financial Times and Forbes, and Jane Abernethy, Chief Sustainability Officer for Humanscale, offered insights on how to decipher what’s real and what’s noise in a world of greenwashing.

See below for some soundbites from this lively conversation.

For the full webinar recording please click here.

Roddy Clarke and Jane Abernethy
  • Roddy Clarke, Design Writer and Consultant:

    • On the consumer’s role in driving change: “We underestimate the power of consumers sometimes. How we shop, how we invest in products, and how we ask questions about companies can have such an impact. Consumers have an impact on businesses. And businesses have an impact on organizations and government.”

    • On the appeal of authenticity: “Consumers don’t expect brands to be 100% perfect or sustainable; Many brands don’t have the capability or resources to do so. If a company doesn’t have funds to implement changes to become more sustainable, they can communicate that to people and tell them where they want to be in the future, and how they want to change structure – this can be very powerful.”

    • On scrutinizing sustainability claims: “Words like ‘Recyclable’ and ‘compostable’ only really stand when you are providing instructions for consumers to carry out these actions successfully.”

  • Jane Abernethy, Humanscale:

    • On the importance of audits and certifications: “If we just share what we think is true, it’s not really being fully transparent. A lot of companies start there, but it’s important to ask for third-party verification.”

    • On the nuances of marketing language and integrity: “I try really hard, working with our Marketing team, to avoid certain wording unless we are very confident that we can legitimately say that. Around 10 years ago, we went through all of our marketing materials and actually removed the word ‘recyclable’.”

    • On the value of transparency and collaboration: “It’s great to celebrate a company’s progress. A lot of times, there are things that you try and maybe the traditional way would be too expensive. But there are a lot of creative ways to address issues and challenges and maybe sharing parts of those journeys could be very helpful as well….We don’t want to pit sustainability against finance. We want to find the synergies.”