Avoid Greenwashing 101: Learn from Colgate’s Mistakes.

Jamie McIlhatton
5 min readMar 31, 2024
Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

What is ‘Greenwashing’?

It’s a term that’s becoming more common by the day, and is used to describe companies who deceptively inflate their environmental credentials. Doing the bare minimum to be able to market themselves as ‘Sustainable’.

With 88% of Gen-Z shoppers now distrusting brands’ environmental, social, and governance (ESG) claims, according to McKinsey, it’s clear the approach to greenwashing has shifted. Many consumers would even boycott businesses that either actively Greenwashed through marketing, or weren’t taking action to fix their downfalls.

In recent news, customers are suing Colgate for Greenwashing, and rightly so…

Colgate-Palmolive must face lawsuit over toothpaste tube recycling claims | Reuters

The case has come about because Colgate have audaciously plastered sustainability claims all over their toothpaste packaging (as seen in the image below) and have just not backed up those claims.

Google Images

Up to now, green marketing has been a lawless land. If you walk down the aisles in supermarkets, as far as the eye can see, there are…



Jamie McIlhatton

Sustainability Consultant & Hospitality owner. Just trying to take my own advice...