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Businesses guilty of ‘greenhushing’

Kyocera has highlighted research showing that businesses are underplaying their green credentials

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Kyocera has suggested three key areas to focus on to prevent greenhushing

Kyocera Document Solutions (UK) has encouraged businesses to be transparent about their sustainability efforts after research has found medium and large business have been guilty of ‘greenhushing’.

The term refers to the act of deliberately downplaying sustainability credentials for fear of public backlash. 

Research from environmental charity Earthwatch shows that almost 25% of businesses have engaged in greenhushing, potentially due to the fear that celebrating sustainability initiatives will lead to criticism or accusations of hypocrisy or greenwashing.

Kyocera is currently offsetting to carbon neutral while continually striving towards a net zero target. The company has also launched a series of printers in the ECOSYS and TASKalfa suite of devices which include a range of environmental credentials including its first carbon-neutral printers.

In regard to preventing greenhushing, Kyocera recommends honesty, transparency, and practicing what you preach, internally as well as externally. 

Group head of marketing for Kyocera Document Solutions UK, Steve Pearce, comments: “Regardless of the motivation for it, greenhushing threatens to be a major barrier to the advancement of sustainable business. 

“A fear of backlash or criticism is understandable, but to move their industries forward, organisations must be willing to put their heads above the parapet. After all, if you’ve made genuine efforts to become more sustainable and have concrete evidence to demonstrate your initiatives and their results, you have every reason to celebrate your achievements, while remaining open about where you need to improve further."

Kyocera encourages businesses and individuals to be honest about the obstacles you are facing as well as establishing trust to not make it seem like you have something to hide.

Pearce adds: “By prioritising transparency, a company can become a role model for others to follow and inspire further sustainability initiatives across their industry.”

The company says that many companies resort to greenhushing as they can’t confidently back up the bold statements they make. To overcome this Pearce encourages the use of annual sustainability reports to better track your progress.

“Sustainability initiatives should permeate the entire organisation and all employees need to feel involved and included in the process,” says Pearce, concluding:

“Any customer-focused green schemes should be backed up by employee-focused initiatives too, such as cycle-to-work schemes and the provision of environmentally friendly office spaces.  

“This enables you to speak publicly about your achievements without fearing criticism or claims of insincerity. 
Practising what you preach will go a long way in demonstrating your commitment to sustainability.”

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