“Green silence” or greenhushing is a term that describes the trend of some companies not communicating or emphasizing their environmental initiatives.
There are several reasons why companies might prefer to keep a low profile on their green actions:
- They may not be sure how effective or significant their environmental commitment is and may therefore prefer not to advertise it;
- There is fear of criticism or not being credible if the green initiatives are not sufficient or if the business practices are not completely sustainable;
- They may not see their environmental actions as a key factor in attracting customers or differentiating themselves from their competitors. In these cases, they may prefer to focus on other aspects of their business, such as product quality or price;
- They don’t have the information or internal know-how on how to effectively communicate their sustainable actions in a correct and credible manner;
- There is concern that advertising environmental initiatives may increase expectations and pressures on the company to continue to engage in this direction. This could involve significant costs and efforts for the company and may not be considered a good investment.
The “green silence” can be seen as a missed opportunity for companies: not only do they not do anything to influence consumers’ choices towards more sustainable options, but they also lose the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition and to gain the respect and trust of consumers. Furthermore, companies that do not communicate their green actions can be perceived as not committed to these issues, which could result in losing customers and investors who are becoming increasingly sensitive to these issues.