How to do Greenwashing
After reading that the aviation industry wants to reduce their CO2 emissions by 500.000 tons a year I thought: this is wonderful. Now even an official UN-website – which showed this news – is helping bigtime-climatekillers in greenwashing their image. Everybody should be able to do this. Who cares for honesty? Honest and right is what is not wrong – so use facts and build a truth!
Step 1: Know where you have your Climate weakness. If you are an aviation company, your weakness is clearly being the most dirty transportation business in and over the world. You are available to the rich 5% of the planet only. You are in large parts not necessary except for leisure-reasons. You can not be taxed fairly and ecologically, because you operate beyond national borders. Everybody knows how dirty you are.
Step 2: Gather numbers. Staying with the example of aviation, you should now some numbers. By changing the way a plan lands, you save 450 kilograms (992 pounds) of CO2. If this is the number of a jumbo, it makes 1kg per person. A flight from Berlin to nearby Brussels (7h with train) makes an emittance of 190kg CO2 per person. From London to Tokyo, one flight (no return) makes you emit more than the total budget (about 3.000kg) you would have if every person is allocated a „sustainable carbon-budget“. But if you calculate those 450kg together with all possible flights (total: 2,433,946 flights in 2008), you get a high number. (>1billion tons a year)
Step 3: Chose the message. Numbers in your favor should be big. If you have big numbers and facts against your green image, try to find numbers of others (competitors, other sectors) to show how you are better in relation (it’s ok to compare apples and oranges!). If nothing works, try to show that this is „the only way“ possible (relate to livestyle or destiny…) – but usually you should find the right numbers. If you cannot – make your own numbers. There are special businesses helping you finding your nice data (e.g. FORSA in Germany, who showed that Germany is pro-nuke, even though it is really not).
Step 4: Use the dumb. Try to get some famous climate-scientists to join your congress, your „scientific advisory board“ or make them give you something of their credibility. (The German energy-oligopolist EnBW is very good in this). Even though Al Gore costs 50.000€ (an hour) – buy him!
Step 5: Talk about it. Make campaigns. Go to TV. Tell green people that you are now also green. Look happy and maybe try to communicate a certain sense of regret you didn’t do it earlier. But in any case…
Don’t loose the aim of all this stuf: keeping profits high.