Lesson in Greenwashing: Monsanto and their Environmental "Showcase" Project

In the twenty-first century, several companies–most recently Deutsche Bank’s DWS– have come under scrutiny for "greenwashing" or misleading consumers about their environmental impact for the benefit of company image. While “greenwashing” is a relatively new term, this phenomenon has occurred for decades.

Today, we are highlighting documents that illustrate how Monsanto practiced greenwashing in the early 1990s. The subject of this 1995 memo is “Environmental Giving, “showcase” Project” which details “potential environmental (sustainable) “showcase” projects for long-term funding” by the business and Monsanto Fund.


The potential projects include:


In the description of “Criteria for Environmental “Showcase” Project,” the first criterion outlined of ten is “1. Company benefit (image or product).” Despite the show of effort, Monsanto’s claims of environmental beneficence often fail to align with their products and practices. Though Monsanto is not alone in greenwashing their image, their corporate behavior serves as an exemplar of what can happen when companies mislead the public about their own environmental impact for the benefit of company image or product.

To view the document, click on the link here!