green·​wash·​ing | \ ˈgrēn-ˌwȯ-shiŋ How to pronounce greenwashing (audio) , -ˌwä- \

Definition of greenwashing

: expressions of environmentalist concerns especially as a cover for products, policies, or activities

Examples of greenwashing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Philipova says that there is a lot of concern in the investment community around the DEI equivalent of what greenwashing is to climate change. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "Companies are missing a critical first step when it comes to progress on diversity," 5 Mar. 2021 No longer should that industry be given a get-out-of-jail-free card on its mealy-mouthed greenwashing. Lydia Millet, The New Republic, "Why Biden Should Declare a Climate Emergency," 7 Dec. 2020 And the company’s recent years of press releases have been an object lesson in greenwashing. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "The Problem With Putting a BlackRock Alum in Charge of Greening the Economy," 1 Dec. 2020 But as the importance of sustainability grows in the investing world, a trend has emerged: greenwashing. Simon Constable, WSJ, "What Is Greenwashing? Here Is What Investors Need to Know," 9 Nov. 2020 The sport is already planning a switch to carbon-neutral biofuels, and accelerating that switch would provide the necessary greenwashing to convince people that F1 cares about the future. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Red Bull could quit F1 if new engine rules don’t happen," 16 Oct. 2020 Instead of poking holes in the science, denial today increasingly takes the form of greenwashing — crafting an image that makes corporations seem more environmentally conscious than their business practices would indicate. Whizy Kim,, "Individuals Can’t Heal The Climate When Capitalism Is The Virus," 25 Sep. 2020 Misleading information is everywhere, from corporate greenwashing to the notion that all women are empowered by eco-conscious choices. Georgia Murray,, "Meet The Women Decolonizing Sustainable Fashion," 25 Sep. 2020 Now six months into a 36-month development phase, Travalyst is using gatherings such as today’s event to gain further insight to truly reach and inform consumers while avoiding greenwashing. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry’s Bold, New Travel Initiative Offers a Look at His New Chapter," 26 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'greenwashing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of greenwashing

1989, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for greenwashing

green entry 1 (environmentalist) + brainwashing

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Time Traveler for greenwashing

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The first known use of greenwashing was in 1989

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Statistics for greenwashing

Last Updated

18 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Greenwashing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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