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Worrying trend has companies scrubbing their websites of crucial information: 'We need it to be disclosed'

Some CEOs are choosing to stay mum on green goals to avoid blowback.

Some CEOs are choosing to stay mum on green goals to avoid blowback.

Photo Credit: iStock

Companies trumpeting their environmental achievements has become a familiar tune in recent years. But lately, that melody seems to be fading out.

A growing number of businesses are actually piping down about their planet-friendly practices, a trend some call "greenhushing." What's behind this shift, and what does it mean for our overheating Earth?

What's happening?

A growing trend dubbed "greenhushing" has companies quietly backing away from publicizing efforts to help the climate, according to Inside Climate News. Investment giant BlackRock, for example, removed net zero commitment references from its website, according to the Washington Post. Many consumer goods brands are taking eco-actions without publicizing them, Grist wrote.

This comes as public demand for sustainable products surges. So what gives? Experts say a few factors may be at play.

Why is greenhushing concerning?

Companies have lately faced lawsuits and backlash from the left for greenwashing and the right for "woke" climate campaigns. Caught in the middle, some CEOs are choosing to stay mum on green goals to avoid blowback.

But greenhushing has risks, too. As companies go quiet on eco-pledges, monitoring progress gets tougher.

"We really, really, really need a lot more disclosure of all the environmental actions that companies are taking, and we need it to be disclosed regularly and transparently, and we need it to be disclosed quantitatively," Austin Whitman, CEO of climate watchdog Climate Neutral, told Grist.

Consumer reactions to "sustainable" products can also be mixed. Most shoppers say they value sustainability, but experiments show that "green" labels can raise doubts about quality, as Inside Climate News reported. Companies may need to highlight other selling points.

What can I do about greenhushing?

As a consumer, you have power. You can reward companies quantifying their climate goals and progress with your purchases.

Look for other responsible practices, like recycled packaging, using clean power, or local sourcing. Apps like Uber and Skyscanner now compare the pollution of transit options.

When you find brands doing good, spread the word. Your daily choices can fuel a race to the top in corporate climate action, and the planet will thank you.

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