#greenjacking and #sdgcherrypicking

About #greenjacking

Today I commented on the post by one of the #impactinvestors I happen to like. Just five minutes later I got a call. And we talked for about an hour discussing how the industry uses #sdgcherrypicking to hijack #sustainableideas and turn them into a parody of the original idea. Which we agreed, in turn, is pure #greenwashing. Given that it was about the packaging, we came up rather naturally with the hashtag-word #greenjacking.

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My immediate question wasn’t about ChoViva as sustainable chocolate, but about the packaging. Personally, I would have suggested alloy-foil like they packaged the chocolate hearts since back at Air Berlin.

But this packaging seems to us very much as the usual, “fancy” composite laminated paper. Given the amount of such unrecyclable packaging, the amount of #sustainablechocolate in the entire product becomes largely irrelevant. As this produces unrecyclable trash, something anything but “sustainable”.

P.S.: Planet A Foods wrote me after, that they use a “recyclable foil”. So I reached out to my caller, though we agree that again is #greenwishing if not greenwashing, as those foils are not recycled even in Germany but are being either incinerated or dropped to landfills. Usually those “foils” are paper-coated plastic composites that cannot be recycled to date. So we both still believe this to be a case of #greenjacking. We sure wish Planet A Foods success in finding a recyclable packaging for those cookies.

Orig German: Derzeit wird als Verpackungsmaterial eine recyclingfähige Folie eingesetzt. Wir arbeiten mit verschiedenen Verpackungsherstellern daran, eine Verpackung zu entwickeln, die aus Papier besteht und gleichzeitig fettundurchlässig ist. Bisher haben wir keinen Hersteller gefunden, der dies produzieren kann. Für Schokoladenprodukte existiert eine solche Verpackung bereits, für Kekse wird diese aktuell entwickelt. Wir sind aber dran, also bleib gespannt – es ist nur noch eine Frage der Zeit bis die neue Verpackung kommt 🙌
English: Currently, we use recyclable film as packaging material. We are working with various packaging manufacturers to develop packaging that is made of paper and is also impermeable to grease. So far, we have not found a manufacturer that can produce this. Such packaging already exists for chocolate products, and it is currently being developed for biscuits. But we are working on it, so stay tuned – it is only a matter of time before the new packaging arrives 🙌


As I used an image on LinkedIn to address #sdgcherrypicking lately, our discussion also circled that #greenjacking as a perfect example for that:

Cherrypicking SDGs (cc-nd, robots courtesy K.J. Pargeter)

So lets take something 100% sustainable and package it into a “jacket” of 100% unsustainable composite packaging, is hijacking a green idea or #greenjacking.

The #greenwashingindustry vs. #impactinvestors

The #panaceadistraction - While searching for the panacea, non-decision-makers keep running their business as usual.This is another example how the #greenwashingindustry hijacks #greenideas and turns them into a parody of their original intention. My usual example of #greenwashed “novel ideas” that proof as #panaceadistractions, or those fancy (fashionable?) green IT and #greentech investments that have an energy footprint that they expect to buy from the grid and compensate with carbon-certificates is now having another example.

Other examples are Delivery Hero, Uber and the likes, making big business but paying their most important “riders” minimum wage (or even less).

Power from the Plug Greenwashing

And yes, we also discussed the funding of Kolibri and why I keep explaining why we have to do this “holistic”. Either right or wrong. If you want to do it right, a holistic approach is the thing to do. i.e. we couldn’t make fossil-free flying a business case nor realistically happen within 10 years by waiting for “the industry” to provide us with enough and affordable SynFuel. But thinking outside those boxes and looking how we can make this profitable and possible, it’s really a no-brainer.

So my recommendation to #impactinvestors and those armies of investors who want to be … Make sure you look at the entire life-cycle. And make sure those fancy #sustainablechocolate cookies are being packaged in a recyclable way and not into #unrecyclablecomposites.

Food for Thought
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Note 1: The SDG Cherry Picking image may be used “as is” (ND > no derivates) including the reference to KJ Pargeter (for the robots), having kindly approved that use.
Note 2: The ChoViva chocolate is vegan, but the cookie dough contains whey powder, so not vegan… That also was an issue for discussion 😳