Folks at BSR and Futerra have joined forces for a useful little business guide titled Understanding and Preventing Greenwash. The publication focuses on preventing questionable or outright bogus environmental messages, for good reasons. Money quote:
“[T]he consequences of getting it wrong and being seen as purporting a fraud—or, “greenwashing,” a term now in the lexicon of most industries—are growing. Whether real or perceived, when consumers see greenwashing, they are likely to punish companies with less sales. When NGOs see it, they are motivated to drive negative campaigns and press. And when regulators see it, they can determine that an environmental claim is a “deceptive practice” and fine companies.”
Needless to say, the same applies when it comes to messaging around human rights or labour standards.