November 15, 2022

Two and a half years ago, we reported on the negative reaction oil companies were getting in response to commercial sponsorships where environmental groups tried to make those links socially unacceptable.

We predicted that at the current pace, airlines and the global aviation industry would soon be placed in the same reputational pot.

Fast forward to September 2022, and many of the groups, which formerly had oil companies in their sights, organised an anti-aviation guerilla advertising campaign in 15 European cities.

The crux of their argument was that airline sustainability campaigns are nothing more than ‘greenwashing’, and that airline advertising should even be banned.

This follows a number of high-profile court cases across Europe, where environmental campaign groups have been taking airlines to court for what they say are misleading environmental claims.

Occasionally, the reaction to this has been to assume a defensive crouch, where it’s seen as safer to say nothing.

Sustainability communications master class

We think that’s the wrong approach. For one thing, these groups are going nowhere and their arguments need to be engaged with. More to the point, we do think it’s possible to tell your sustainability story in a compelling way without being accused of greenwashing.

In our brand new report, we’ll look at how and why climate activists are starting to target airlines, what their main claims are, and how airlines are often getting it wrong.

With a lot of positive work actually going on in aviation’s journey to net zero, we’ll then suggest a way forward.

Finally, if after reading this report you want to go one stage further, we’re holding a limited number of sustainability communications master classes next year. You’ll find more details at the end of the document.

Download ‘Avoiding the Greenwashing Trap’ for free here.

Previous Newsletters

In Conversation: Jeremy Bowen, Cirium


In Conversation: Adam Goldstein, Archer Aviation


In Conversation: Airbus’ Amanda Simpson


Report: The Rise of Green Travel 2023 – 2028

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