Glossary term

Competency Greenwashing

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Definition 1

Competency Greenwashing means intentionally or negligently misrepresenting an organisation's or individual's competence or expertise relating to sustainability or ESG activities or issues.

Drafting notes and guidance

Dr Kim Schumacher claims to have coined the phrase 'competence greenwashing' which he defines as 'the practice of intentional or negligent misrepresentation of knowledge, skills, competences, or expertise relating to sustainability or ESG-related activities.'

Competency greenwashing involves organisations claiming they are sustainable by giving ESG-related titles to people who lack sufficient expertise. Awareness must not be confused with expertise and the complexities of ESG risks and ESG strategies that require specialist knowledge.

An indicator of competency greenwashing is the inability to substantiate claims by reference to recognised standards or qualifications such as those offered by the Institute for Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA).

As competency greenwashing is closely related to Greenwashing, it may be subject to the same rules and guidance where relevant, including:

All of the above require that any statement made must be truthful, accurate, clear, unambiguous and must not omit or hide important information.

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