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Elliot Durrant: 'Environmental Recognition Days: Impactful or Irrelevant?'

Elliot Durrant

Environmental recognition days are designed to raise awareness of environmental issues, but do they truly help to achieve global net-zero goals?

“In today’s world, with environmental messaging everywhere and the urgency of the argument increasing, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

“Continuous exposure to sustainability messages can lead to green fatigue, with surveys indicating that 42 per cent of people feel exhausted by the constant influx of environmental news. This feeling can lead to apathy and disengagement, the exact opposite of what is required if we are to reach our climate goals.

“And then there is greenwashing, which the UN defines as “misleading the public to believe that a company or other entity is doing more to protect the environment than it is”. An example of greenwashing could be promising to offset carbon, rather than making actual emission cuts. The UN goes on to say that greenwashing can “promote false solutions to the climate crisis that distract from and delay concrete and credible action”. Basically, if we believe something is already being done, why push for it? Again, this practice can lead to complacency and inaction, not to mention undermining a company’s reputation if it is discovered.

“With many companies jumping on the sustainability bandwagon, particularly around recognition days, distinguishing genuine efforts from greenwashing can be a challenge, and research shows that 58 per cent of consumers are sceptical of corporate environmental claims.”

You can read Elliot's full article, here



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