Climate change is the defining issue of our time. Opinion polls show people all over the world are concerned and want to take action – and there is no reason to think English language students are any different. So shouldn’t we go green and shout about it too?
Not only is it essential that UK ELT plays its part in addressing climate change, but leading the way and celebrating our green ELT credentials can help us attract new students and give them a better customer experience – one where they don’t feel like they have to compromise on their values.
So what changes can you make to improve your appeal with increasingly environmentally aware students? How can you demonstrate your green credentials? What is greenwashing and how can we avoid it?
English UK invited us to lead a discussion on this topic at their September 2021 ELT Marketing Conference and we followed up with a more detailed online session of our own (see upcoming events).
Event write up coming soon!
We are writing up all your ideas and will share them here soon!
> view slides from our Marketing and Sustainability session
What is greenwashing?
Greenwashing is a PR tactic that’s used to make a company or product appear environmentally friendly without meaningfully reducing its environmental impact. And it’s everywhere from food to fuel to fashion.
Increased concern about the climate, interest in protecting nature and scrutiny from customers has helped drive change. But for many organisations, it is tempting to change appearances and promotion than to change practice. For example BP’s ‘beyond petroleum’ rebrand and promise to shift to renewable energy, Shell’s carbon neutral gas or carbon neutral flights from EasyJet or British Airways.
Like climate denial, concealing climate and environmental destruction avoid taking real action.
See the investigation by Unearthed and the Guardian, which shows the offsetting schemes to be a scam – “It’s a scam. Neither planting trees nor avoiding deforestation will make a flight carbon neutral.”