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Smoke and Mirrors: Cannabis Brands and the Illusion of Sustainability

All around, the business world is full of talk about environmental sustainability and making the world greener. These are the prevailing trends, and for good reason! However, simply espousing these buzzwords is often enough for a company to appear proactive and progressive. This means that the global market has become inundated with so-called “greenwashing.”

“Greenwashing” is a deceptive marketing technique in which a company or organization misleads its audience into believing that its products, services, or operations are environmentally friendly, when the truth is quite different. It’s a destructive and dangerous version of the old corporate technique of saying one thing while doing something else. 

The real danger in “greenwashing” is that it can obstruct actual progress in the fight against climate change and the promotion of authentic sustainability. Not only is it unproductive, but it’s counterproductive, as it can promote unhealthy practices while also providing a false sense of security that real steps are being taken to mitigate true global problems.

This phenomenon underscores the importance of serious research and clear-eyed vigilance in distinguishing true eco-conscious practices from cynical marketing ploys.

Let’s take a closer look at greenwashing practices, exploring both common and familiar tactics, and those specifically employed by cannabis vaping companies. We'll also highlight keys you can use to ensure you’re choosing a brand or supplier that follows true eco-friendly policies- in actions, not just words.

Is Your Go-To Brand Truly Environmentally Responsible?

Not all environmental claims are created equal. Here are some common generic greenwashing tactics to watch out for

  • Vague Terminology: Brands may use broad and undefined terms like "natural," "eco-friendly," or "sustainable" without providing specific details or certifications to support these claims.
  • Selective Highlighting: Some companies may emphasize highly specific green initiatives, such as minimalistic packaging, while downplaying or omitting any information about any other parts of the overall product.
  • Unsubstantiated "Natural" Claims: Brands may label their products as "100% natural" without providing verifiable certifications or detailed ingredient lists, potentially misleading consumers.
  • Recyclability Assertions: Companies may label their products as "recyclable" without providing clear instructions on how to recycle them or if the materials are widely accepted by recycling facilities.
  • Focusing Solely on One Aspect: Brands might put a heavy emphasis on reducing carbon footprints, while ignoring other critical environmental issues like water usage or pollution. This is not sustainability, it’s a slogan.

Image Source: Investopedia

So What About the Cannabis Industry? 

“Going green” is good for business, and the cannabis industry is no exception. With a rising consumer preference for eco-friendly products, numerous cannabis companies have swiftly positioned themselves as environmentally conscious entities. Unfortunately, the industry's current lack of standardized regulations provides fertile ground for greenwashing practices, allowing companies to make exaggerated claims without thorough scrutiny. 

Among vaping device manufacturers and other vaping brands, here are some greenwashing tactics you might observe:

  • Inadequate Transparency: Failing to disclose important information about their supply chain, manufacturing processes, environmental impact, sourcing, or disposal methods, making it difficult for consumers to make informed decisions.
  • Overstating Environmental Benefits: Making carbon-neutral or low-emissions claims that only account for certain aspects, not total emissions from raw materials, manufacturing, and product disposal.
  • Neglecting Responsible Battery Usage: Some vape manufacturers utilize lithium batteries in their disposable products without implementing a clear and accessible recycling program for these batteries. This oversight not only contributes to electronic waste, but also fails to address the environmental impact of battery disposal, highlighting a significant gap in sustainable practices within the industry.
  • Packaging: Companies may highlight their "minimalistic" or "sustainable" packaging, suggesting an eco-conscious approach. However, if they fail to address the use of foam and plastic materials, or if they employ misleading terms, it can be considered a greenwashing strategy. 
  • Lack of Third-Party Certifications: Not seeking or obtaining recognized third-party certifications, which can provide independent verification of sustainable practices.

Take a stand against greenwashing: discover how Aveo is genuinely committed to sustainability

Aveo is committed to genuine sustainability, a principle we uphold at every level of our operations. In an era where environmental claims can be overwhelming, customers are becoming increasingly skeptical, and with good reason. We recognize the importance of transparency and action. 

Here's how Aveo walks the talk:

Top-to-Bottom Commitment: We've cultivated partnerships with hemp farmers to ensure that every part of the plant serves a purpose, minimizing waste and maximizing its potential.

Innovative Materials: Our URTH2 is crafted from hemp-reinforced plastics, incorporating 60% recycled materials. We've introduced a biodegradable enzyme, expediting decomposition and reducing product lifespan from 100+ years to under 3 years.

Battery Efficiency: We've developed a reduced battery cell that minimizes the use of lithium, a move towards a more sustainable power source.

User-Friendly Battery Disposal: With the modification of our URTH2 end cap, disposing of the lithium battery is now effortless. No special tools required, just a simple coin or penny.

Academic Collaboration: We're actively engaged with research universities, focusing on ESG practices and exploring the versatile applications of cannabis.

Supply Chain Stewardship: Through rigorous control and audits, we ensure that every step in our supply chain aligns with sustainable practices, from sourcing to production.

Empowering Education: We place a premium on education, extending from our employees to budtenders. By fostering a deep understanding of sustainable practices, we aim to drive positive change across the industry.

At Aveo, we're not just making claims – we're making a difference. Our commitment to sustainability is woven into the fabric of our company, ensuring that every aspect of our operation works seamlessly towards a more eco-conscious future.

Be part of the solution, not the problem and switch to URTH2 

The journey towards a greener planet is the fight of our generation. We will continue to play our part within the cannabis industry, and we invite you to join us on this journey by serving as a wholesaler of our products. Learn more about Aveo and URTH2 by clicking here

AVEO Team
October 24, 2023

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