How to Avoid Greenwashing with the Right PIM Solution

Demand for products that are sustainable, ethically sourced, and eco-friendly is on the rise. This has some companies tempted to stretch the truth about their products’ “green” cred a little to help sell products. This has become known as “greenwashing.” Companies have to keep in mind that today, customers are not just concerned about environmental issues but also quite knowledgeable about green manufacturing, material sourcing, ethics and all the things they look for in a socially responsible brand. Comprehensive product data, down to the component level, is your most powerful weapon to avoid greenwashing.

Greenwashing is not only false advertising but also a compliance breach. Therefore, you need to ensure you can back up green claims with evidence/data to build trust and avoid compliance issues. This tactic calls for the right product information management (PIM) solution to ensure you are presenting honest, consistent product data.

Here’s how you can avoid greenwashing with the right PIM.

1. Specifics keep you credible

The more accurate your product information, the more credible your brand becomes. When your customers know exactly what they’re getting with every product purchase, you avoid greenwashing and just lay out the facts. A PIM enables you to streamline the content development process with accurate, detailed product information that is factual and evidence-based.

This ensures regardless of where you collect data (i.e., manufacturers, vendors, or your own team), you do a thorough scrub of the content to make sure it is squeaky-clean-honest. If your products are green, be specific about why they are green. Instead of just using generic terms like eco-friendly, outline important facts as opposed to using terms you think will resonate with customers. Explain how you help lower emissions or choose ethically sourced sustainable materials. These details not only provide credibility but also help tell a story about your brand.

2. Let customers know exactly what they are buying

Highly conscious consumers want to know they can depend on you to sell them products that align with their beliefs. A PIM enables you to provide the granular details required by new legislation with full transparency about your bona fide green initiatives. Your PIM can include important details eco-conscious consumers desire, including:

  • Pre-purchase information: How your products are sourced and what they’re made from.
  • Key product details: Granular details on product makeup, manufacturing methods for materials used, etc.
  • Delivery details: How the delivery methods used reduce CO2 emissions across each step of the supply chain.
  • Post-purchase considerations: Details on information such as after-care instructions to extend the lifespan of products, repair tips, etc., that enable customers to avoid sending your products to the local landfill.

3. Learn how you can improve

A PIM doesn’t just enable you to standardize product data to ensure you stand up to reporting standards. It also tightens up workflows that specify rules that ensure all your product data avoid greenwashing. The details outline what product data should look like, so all data sources only reach customer-facing platforms when they conform to your criteria. You can change specific business requirements as you adopt better approaches to reinforce accuracy and consistency.

Improvements might include various digital assets such as video showing actual workers in the factory using green methods. It could be interviews with employees who talk about how you provide chargers for their electric cars or anything that provides full visibility of your supply chain. Because your PIM provides massive storage capabilities, you can afford to store as many media files as you need to build your green credentials.

4. Supply chain visibility

Provide more visibility into your supply chain to ensure you understand your own process. This is important as some companies don’t realize they have contradictory steps that cancel out green efforts. While one might argue Pinocchio’s nose was made of wood and, therefore, quite sustainable, the lies that help sustain that wood is extremely damaging to his brand. Your environmental claims have to be based on the full lifecycle of your products or at least be honest about the limitations of your lifecycle. Steps such as these are integral if you want to totally avoid greenwashing.

Share detailed evidence, such as objectives you’ve set and how you are meeting those goals. Be sure you don’t omit key information that could make it look like you are hiding details. The more qualifying data you provide, the more people will trust your brand. Information you choose to advertise must also align with laws, regulations and codes.

All these details are made easier with the massive storage and efficient information vetting capabilities of a PIM.

5. Staying green with market-specific updates

Easily update data, including the makeup of your products as they change. Everything you add or any processes that change can be added to your product data easily with a PIM. This includes expanding to new channels and marketplaces where their regulations differ. With a PIM, you can ensure the right data is presented with updates specific to that channel or geography, including regulatory compliance and industry-standard certifications.

A PIM enables your brand to build your green credentials. You can provide detailed information while avoiding terms today’s consumers flag as greenwashing.