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green·​wash·​ing ˈgrēn-ˌwȯ-shiŋ How to pronounce greenwashing (audio)
: the act or practice of making a product, policy, activity, etc. appear to be more environmentally friendly or less environmentally damaging than it really is
The practice of greenwashing appears more common as firms attempt to better position themselves in a global marketplace growing more concerned with corporate sustainability.Timothy W. Aurand et al.
Not only is greenwashing bad for the environment, but it's misleading to consumers who want to invest in products that aren't harmful to the planet.Jennifer Manfrin
The greenwashing allegation … adds to efforts to heap pressure on some of the world's biggest polluting companies as regulators take an increasing interest in climate change.William Mathis and Austin Weinstein Bloomberg
A lack of rigorous measurement means that greenwashing is rife and bogus claims go uncontested.The Economist


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present participle of greenwash

Examples of greenwashing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Meanwhile, companies falsely claiming to lead on the transition—greenwashing, in other words—will have their deception revealed. Justin Worland, Time, 5 Oct. 2023 Advertisement While intended to prevent greenwashing, these rules could actually encourage greenhushing among U.S.-headquartered companies that want to sell products in Europe, said Xavier Font, a professor of sustainability marketing at the University of Surrey in England. Maxine Joselow, Washington Post, 13 July 2023 To avoid dubious methods, corner-cutting and greenwashing, carbon storage will have to be held to high standards. Klaus Lackner, The Conversation, 16 May 2023 Otherwise, claims of greenwashing and corporate waste may be legitimate. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 20 Oct. 2023 And a lot of the time that's kind of cutting back on some of the greenwashing and making sure that the changes are actually real. Abc News, ABC News, 1 Aug. 2023 Perhaps the bigger issue is that there’s some evidence that companies in ESG funds do not actually have better environmental practices: There’s a lot of greenwashing going on. Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic, 13 Oct. 2023 So is the likelihood that you’ll—rightly—be accused of greenwashing. Peter Vanham, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2023 Here’s how greenwashing is misleading consumers about how sustainable products and services are. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, 16 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'greenwashing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



greenwash entry 1 + -ing entry 1

First Known Use


1990, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of greenwashing was in 1990

Dictionary Entries Near greenwashing

Cite this Entry

“Greenwashing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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