20. Green Marketing, Communication, and Greenwashing

  1. Nikos Avlonas Founder and President1 and
  2. George P. Nassos Principal2

Published Online: 1 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118787472.ch20

Practical Sustainability Strategies: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Practical Sustainability Strategies: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage

How to Cite

Avlonas, N. and Nassos, G. P. (2013) Green Marketing, Communication, and Greenwashing, in Practical Sustainability Strategies: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ. doi: 10.1002/9781118787472.ch20

Author Information

  1. 1

    Center for Sustainability & Excellence

  2. 2

    George P. Nassos & Associates, Inc.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2013
  2. Published Print: 20 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118250440

Online ISBN: 9781118787472



  • green marketing;
  • greenwashing;
  • stakeholders;
  • sustainable communications strategy


Greenwashing—making exaggerated environmental claims in order to curry consumer favor—is one of the banes of the sustainability community. Materiality is a very important part of a comprehensive sustainability strategy including green marketing. Overstatement of environmental attributes is a very common marketing behavior leading to greenwashing. The guidelines take issue with and offer very little tolerance for deliberate “greenwashing” including not only misrepresentation but also the omission of salient facts. Sustainability and communications symbolize two complementary areas of an organization's mode of operation. Sustainable communications encompasses a new “breed” of actions within the field of communications that enable for a balanced and a transparent promotion of the organization's business and sustainability responsibilities. Social media enables real conversation between the organization and its stakeholders. Sustainable communications strategy should reflect those issues that are at the core of organizations, the issues that are most important to the stakeholders.