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Don’t Fall Into the Greenwashing Trap: Simple Steps to Walk Your Talk With ESG

Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) promises to solve a range of modern-day problems that, if left unaddressed, could create further damage for future generations. And while many companies have started taking steps to improve how they do business, poor corporate behaviour still exists. A recent report found, for example, that companies are dumping small appliances with minor faults into landfill instead of recycling these responsibly.

Given the nature of ESG and the potential for companies to improve their brand and reputation through their actions, some businesses have, intentionally or inadvertently, acted in a way that’s contradictory to their public image of acting consciously. Known as “greenwashing”, this can cause significant reputational risk. This article outlines simple steps businesses can take to “walk the talk” with ESG.

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing occurs when a company acts in a way that doesn’t align with the values they have publicly communicated. In the realm of ESG, for example, this can look like a company saying they are committed to sustainable practices and use environmentally friendly resources but don’t responsibly dispose of devices. Further, with ESG and sustainability reporting becoming more common and companies voluntarily disclosing what they are doing to act with integrity, there’s a growing public record that can later be referenced to demonstrate bad corporate behaviour.

Clear and honest communication can address and prevent greenwashing

Companies shouldn’t be communicating that it stands for something if, in practice, they don’t make a demonstrable commitment to it. To address greenwashing, companies should ensure that any communication about their practices is correct and reflects what they do. If the company doesn’t yet have any demonstrable practices or initiatives that address ESG concerns, it is better to acknowledge areas of improvement and how and when it plans to address any issues. As with other challenging areas of external communication, transparency is key.

Make a demonstrable commitment to ESG excellence with a Quadrent Green Lease

The world generates about 40 million tons of e-waste each year, which is equivalent to throwing 800 laptops into landfill per second. Fortunately, e-waste is one of the areas where businesses can start today in making a measurable improvement to their environmental footprint. One of the easiest ways to get started is by using a Quadrent Green Lease to acquire and responsibly decommission fleets of devices and other technology.

A Quadrent Green Lease is designed to change corporate behaviour by wrapping governance around managing e-waste. It also produces positive social outcomes through initiatives such as donating second-hand laptops to schools and communities in need to increase digital inclusion for young people. Not only does a Quadrent Green Lease help companies access the latest technology, it also helps them to:

  • securely decommission and recycle devices responsibly
  • use devices when they are most powerful for everyday business use while giving those in need access to a device in its ‘second life’
  • address ESG concerns tangibly.

Access a Quadrent Green Lease as part of your ESG commitment today

E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, with around 70 per cent of it responsible for all toxic waste. To address the risk of greenwashing and make a demonstrable change to your company’s practices, consider a Quadrent Green Lease. It provides a simple and measurable way for companies to proactively start their ESG journey while delivering a positive social impact.

Quadrent works with organisations helping them to accurately manage their leases, improve IFRS 16 compliance data inputs and proactively manage their ESG risk. With a team that has in-depth leasing knowledge and specialised accounting backgrounds, we’ll help you get the most value out of your assets while addressing increasing ESG requirements.

Start your ESG journey simply and effectively with Quadrent. Click here for more information.