Tip Sheet: Avoid the Traps of Greenblushing and -bashing

As the learned philosopher (and occasional movie star) Kermit the Frog opined, “It’s not easy being green,” especially these days. Not only is there the view in certain circles that corporate social responsibility is for tree huggers and has no place in a business and communications strategy, now those who believe we must do something about sustainability must be mindful of a new series of pitfalls. It is enough to make you think twice, for sure. Many of us are already familiar with the term greenwashing—overstating your sustainability activities and commitments to get credit for being corporately responsible. Countless pundits have criticized Big Oil, Big Tobacco or big business for PR and ad campaigns that tout their environmental responsibility and community activities while they continue to operate in less than responsible ways elsewhere.

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