What is Bluewashing?
Bluewashing is a form of greenwashing. Bluewashing is marketing by companies (and organisations) that deliberately uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals to promote selected responsible practices that are at odds with the reality of their core operations.
Bluewashing is made possible by the operational gap that exists between the SDGs and ESG. This operational gap opens when firm-level, micro objectives, strategy and responsibilities are aligned with the network of macro political targets that make up the SDGs.
For example, it is misleading for a food manufacturer to claim that they are contributing to Goal #2 just because they produce food. It is virtually impossible to know the net effect of the company’s production methods on world hunger – there are too many variables between the cause (firm activity) and effect (zero hunger). It may be that the company’s production methods actually increase hunger.
Like greenwashing, bluewashing is marketing designed to signal a firm’s green credentials to the market without any real substantive change in their environmental or ethical performance.
ESG Audits – the antidote to bluewashing
ESG accounting is the practice of measuring, analysing and auditing a company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts and the financial value created, or at risk, in line with International Auditing Standards (ISAE 3000).
Certified Public Accountants or Chartered Accountants (also certified in ESG) are the only professionals licenced to independently audit ESG data and results with the same professional standards of security, confidentiality and accuracy as financial accounting.
ESGgen clients can be confident that their ESG accounting complies with professional standards, applicable laws and regulations, and the Code of Ethics of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.