Case Study

Distinguishing greening from greenwashing (Mini case)

3 pages
May 2020
Reference: IMD-7-2196

This case explores the phenomenon of ‘greenwashing’ and how many companies communicate that they are serious about sustainability but how, in reality, they are less green than they actually are. The case challenges students to think about who we can trust and whether ‘credible signals’ could help to distinguishing those who are ‘greening’ from those who are ‘greenwashing’. The case illustrates with sustainability announcements and asks how can you validate credible claims from those that aren’t?

Learning Objective
  • How can we distinguish statements that are ‘green’ and sustainable from those that are simply ‘greenwashing’?
Greenwashing, Greening, Signalling Theory, Business, Business-Society Collaboration
Published Sources
© 2020
Available Languages
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics