What is green botching?

worried corporate professional - green blotching

While we always advocate for green, it may not always mean better. The surge of green measures has resulted in an unpredicted phenomenon referred to as ‘green botching’. You’ve heard about greenwashing and green-hushing before, but green botching is where well-intentioned environmental actions or practices end up backfiring or are poorly implemented. 

Incorporating a robust sustainability strategy is crucial to avoid such pitfalls. Just as greenwashing and green-hushing can undermine business growth and sustainability efforts, green botching can similarly derail progress. It’s a relatively new term, but one that businesses must understand to ensure their environmental initiatives are effective. Continue reading to discover the pitfalls of green botching and how to avoid them.

About green botching 

Green botching is a phrase popping up all over LinkedIn and surrounds well-intentioned eco initiatives or actions backfiring or being poorly implemented. A good example of green botching is recyclable pizza boxes. Initially, it seems like strong green business behaviour to recycle a pizza box covered in melted cheese. 

However, the food left stuck to the inside of the box causes more harm than good because it contaminates the entire recycling batch. An additional example of green botching, in business, surrounds electric vehicles (EVs). These vehicles are being advertised as the solution when it comes to moving away from fossil fuels for driving.

However, there is a practicality issue here because there is an extreme lack of reliable charging networks available. While many governments have supported this sector with regulations and subsidies, they have failed to offer a sufficient number of charging stations. This has resulted in a major consumer backlash. 

Not to mention, it has hampered green vehicle growth in a lot of countries around the world. Sales of these vehicles have risen, which has eased some climate anxiety among individuals, and this anxiety has been supplemented with charging anxiety. Even in the EV mecca of California, where 40 percent of US zero-emission vehicles are sold, there have been issues. 

A study of the Greater Bay Area revealed 23 percent of public charging points did not work properly last year due to payment failures, dodgy screens and other various glitches. Another 5 percent uncovered that the cables were too short to reach the car’s charging point. It’s a very serious case of green botching, and while the backlash is bad news for the makers of these vehicles and the investors, it is far worse for the planet. 

The negative impacts of green botching 

Now that you understand what green botching is, you are probably wondering what exactly is wrong with it. From the outset, the downside of green botching may seem to be unsuccessful initiatives. However, it is much more than that because these poorly implemented practices or actions that backfire can cause significant consumer backlash.

This backlash not only affects brand image and company reputation, but it also stems further and impacts the image of sustainability. When consumers decide to back these actions, they support the cause, and when difficulties arise, they become easily frustrated and start to think sustainability means poor products and services. Therefore, customers may be less likely to support businesses that have genuine green credentials and initiatives.


Green botching is a relatively new idea, but it has the potential to seriously stall progress on the green transition. It can lead to customers losing trust in brands and environmentally friendly products and services. With that in mind, green botching is bad news for the planet, and we must help businesses to better their sustainability efforts. 

We urgently need action on this and strong environmental measures. We believe education is a key lever to achieving change. Enrol in one of our corporate sustainability trainings today to discover how to embed sustainability into your organisation. You will receive the practical insights, tools, and expert guidance you require to ignite genuine change. 


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