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Case Studies: Lessons to Avoiding the Greenwashing Trap

Agostino Vollero (Università degli Studi di Salerno, Italy)


ISBN: 978-1-80117-967-6, eISBN: 978-1-80117-966-9

Publication date: 23 May 2022


The chapter aims to bridge theory-practice by proposing an in-depth examination of three cases of companies accused of greenwashing, namely Volkswagen for Dieselgate, Nestlè and Golden Agri-Resources (a palm oil plantation company included in DJSI). The chapter thus reflects on deliberate communicative practices and organisational processes that lie beyond the most visible manifestations of greenwashing. Drawing on these cases, common communication errors and practices of corporate misconduct in corporate sustainability are disclosed. Readers, such as practitioners, who are not interested in academic mechanisms and more in the practical effects of the phenomenon can appreciate the analysis of the cases linked with the presentation of a series of principles and guidelines. Managerial solutions to contrast the different types of greenwashing risks, and to reduce associated negative effects on corporate image and reputation, are presented.




The author gratefully acknowledges all the members of Sustainability Communication Centre (SCC) of University of Salerno, and particularly prof. Alfonso Siano, prof. Francesca Conte, dr. Sara Amabile for collecting the data, analysing, and providing useful insights for the elaboration of the Volkswagen case study. The Author is also grateful to former master students Antonella Genua and Roberta Guzzon for helping with the collection of data for Nestlè and GAR cases.


Vollero, A. (2022), "Case Studies: Lessons to Avoiding the Greenwashing Trap", Greenwashing, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 65-93.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Agostino Vollero. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited