We are receiving more and more requests for sustainable investments. Even so, not every fund or ETF that is designated as sustainable is 100% green. Green is not always green, but green sells better. Many corporations take advantage of this. More and more companies present their products as environmentally friendly as possible in order to sell them more expensively. This eco-trick is known as “greenwashing”. We find the best examples of this at the well-known large corporations such as Apple, Amazon or Nestle, which make profit worldwide with their supposed environmental friendliness.
McDonald’s is also one of the greenwashing candidates. The fast food chain has never been known for its sustainability. Nevertheless, the burger giant is giving itself a more positive image with greenwashing. The company is launching the “Scale for good” campaign. The group wants to produce 30 percent less carbon dioxide by 2030. To do this, they are obviously tackling the biggest climate sins in their area: meat and plastic packaging. Plastic straws should be replaced by tubes made from apple pomace. And the burger is then put on the table in a package made of grass fibers. The meat for the environmentally friendly packaged burger comes from Germany, writes the franchise chain. But they don’t say where the animal feed comes from. The animal feed consists of soybeans from “Cargill”. According to a study by “Mighty Earth”, the feed supplier has cleared 800,000 hectares of rainforest for the beans in the Brazilian savannah and the Bolivian Amazon basin since 2011. Sustainability looks different.
Sustainability has to be more than an advertising promise. It is therefore crucial whether investments actually lead to more sustainability. The great danger for consumers is that providers promise the green of the sky without actually moving. Politicians must therefore put a stop to false sales and advertising promises. Investments should only be described as sustainable if they make a measurable contribution to sustainability goals. But you shouldn’t expect that in the near future. It is therefore all the more important that consumers proceed very carefully when choosing a sustainable investment or that they seek help from an expert.
Basically, however, we also see a trend towards sustainable investments, which will also increase in the future. It is therefore worthwhile to take a close look at the philosophies of investment fund providers. It often happens, for example, that only a few controversial sectors such as the arms industry and tobacco are excluded from some funds, but not necessarily the entire fund is ethically in order – even if the name of the product sounds like that.
If you invest some research time, you can see greenwashing from many providers. Nevertheless, not every form of greenwashing is recognizable for consumers because the information provided by the providers is complex and difficult to verify. This requires regulation and supervision. Assessing financial products for their sustainability should become easier in the next few years. To this end, EU-wide tools are being developed to make investment decisions easier. Until then, we will be happy to support you in choosing the right sustainable investment.