Some companies have long sought to mislead the public about their commitments to sustainability, but greenwashing has become more widespread and sophisticated in recent years. Now, regulators and investors are fighting back.

The term “greenwashing” was coined in 1986 by American environmentalist Jay Westerveld, after a visit to a tropical resort. The hotel left notes in guest rooms asking them to “help us help the environment” by re-using towels, even as it was building new tourist bungalows over threatened coral reefs.

Have a premium account? Sign in to continue reading.

Unlimited access to all stories from $99.9/year*

The latest reporting and analysis from business and investments to news and views on social issues.


  • Simultaneous logins across all devices
  • Instant access to past digital issues
  • Unlimited access to The Edge Malaysia
  • *For annual subscription plan only. T&Cs apply


Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook