Greenwashing misleads FSI customers

More than half of financial services professionals claim competitors are ‘greenwashing’ to mislead customers about their environmental practices according to research by the global data-driven thought leadership agency, iResearch Services (www.iresearchservices.com).

The findings reveal that more than a third (38%) believe every business is operating in an unethical fashion by claiming to be operating sustainably.

Greenwashing is the practice of an organization disseminating disinformation to the public to present themselves as environmentally responsible or detracting from other, less sustainable practices by focusing on new initiatives that appear more green or ethical.

Reasons stopping their organization becoming sustainable included: costs (45%%); still managing the short-term impact of COVID-19 (36%); and lack of resources (36%).  Many were deliberating waiting for regulation to be brought in to force them to become sustainable (30%), while 18% of respondents say they have held off because they don’t see the value in becoming sustainable.

“There is a clear lack of trust within financial services that businesses are talking the talk, as well as walking the walk, when it comes to adopting a more environmentally-friendly business model,” says Kevin Anthony, Associate Director of Sales – Thought Leadership at iResearch Service.

“Perhaps the most striking statistic is that less than one in five said they had held off adopting sustainability practices before they saw no value in it.  As sustainability initiatives are heading to the top of the agenda across the public and private sector, firms operating in the financial services industry would do well to understand the impact it has, not just on the environment, but on their bottom line.”