“Greenwashing” can make something seem more environmentally-friendly than it is — whether a product, brand, company, or entire institution. Intentionally or unintentionally, if companies are using deceptive marketing to dupe consumers, it can be illegal. It’s a good thing Canadians are good about not taking the bait on greenwashing.

A new study finds that Canadians are among the world’s most suspicious consumers when it comes to brands’ sustainability claims. According to a new report from the Capgemini Research Institute, 43 per cent of Canadians believe that brands are greenwashing their sustainability initiatives, 10 per cent higher than the global average.

The data in A World in Balance shows a huge perception gap between consumers and organizations, with just 13 per cent of Canadian executives believing that consumers see their sustainability efforts as greenwashing.

Additional findings from the report include:

  • As businesses debate the value of ESG, 49 per cent of Canadian executives agreed that the business case for sustainability is clear. This is more than double 2022’s findings.

  • Canada ranks number one for hiring and recruiting people of diverse backgrounds and abilities. 80 per cent of Canadian organizations agree with this, 17 per cent higher than the global average.

  • 65 per cent of executives across Canada believe generative AI will play a key role in their sustainability efforts.

  • Canada is one of the only countries surveyed where more executives say they can measure and collect scope-3 emissions data in 2023 compared with 2022

Now, in its second year, the report found that 63 per cent of executives agreed that the business case for sustainability is clear. This percentage has tripled in comparison to the summer of 2022, when only 21 per cent of executives agreed. In addition, the percentage of executives that claim the cost of sustainability initiatives outweighs the benefits, has dropped from 53 per cent to 24 per cent and those that felt sustainability initiatives are a financial burden has declined by more than half (from 53 per cent to 22 per cent).

See also  Englobe appoints company's first ESG director

“Many companies understand the sustainability mandate, but organizations need to align on a clear strategy and short-term objectives to deliver concrete outcomes that will enable society to live within and not beyond the planetary boundaries,” says Cyril Garcia, CEO of Capgemini Invent and Group Executive Board Member.

“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Change needs to come from the top. We need to see companies pivot their business models to build sustainable products and services. This is an investment in the future. With increasing regulation and pressure from civil society, resulting in more scrutiny by consumers and investors, companies that are lagging in acting on their sustainability ambitions run a high risk of seeing their current business models become obsolete or inadequate in the coming years. Who would want to run an unsustainable company?”

To get access to the report, click here: https://www.capgemini.com/insights/research-library/sustainability-trends

Written with files from the CapGemini Research Institute.

Featured image credit: Getty Images


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here