FRONT PAGE: Firms warned over 'greenwash'

Companies that fail to live up to their green promises risk greater reputational damage than companies that do not even present themselves as green, a new survey suggests.

M&S: topped the green poll
M&S: topped the green poll

The Chatsworth Communications' research shows that Marks & Spencer is perceived to be the FTSE100 company with the greenest credentials.

At the other end of the scale, BP and Tesco were the most likely to indulge in ‘greenwashing' - promoting themselves as having a green image but not backing it up with real action.

Furthermore, ten per cent of those polled considered M&S to be guilty of greenwashing.

The research found brands with the most well-publicised campaigns were often thought of as ‘greenwashers' - suggesting that once a company positions itself as green, it must follow through on its promises or face potentially greater criticism.

The Chatsworth FOOTSIE 100 survey polled 1,500 national and trade journalists, sustainability experts and political groups.

Chatsworth director Nick Murray-Leslie said the rep­ort showed ‘the correlation between investment in publicity and a positive perception by the public does not necessarily always apply'.

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