How to reward quality
and spot greenwash
The whole picture?
Greenwash is essentially conveying a false impression, or providing misleading information about how environmentally friendly something is. You might have seen this term coming up in the news with critical voices calling out issues such as pollution or slavery in a range of industries like fashion, electronic goods or food and drink production. Although some of the environmental claims might be partly true, greenwash exaggerates or does not provide the whole picture.
To think about this in terms of education, greenwash might be claims that ‘100% of courses have sustainability learning’ but this might just be from the keywords in course promotions mentioning one UN global goal and have no joined-up learning that links in with the planet. Or, perhaps the course claimed to have sustainability but the reality didn’t live up to the promise.
Find out more in the film below:
Test your educational greenwash knowledge
Of over 130 students who tried our training and rated their courses using our principles 51% were entirely positive towards the quality principles; 23% mainly positive but added suggestions to help with understanding them (which you’ll find in the next section); and 25% were neutral, and just 1% critical.
“I think this was an effective rating system to assist sustainable learning by analysing all the major corners of a student’s education, better highlighting the key issues and needs for change“ – Student tester
Our quality principles
- Joined up sustainability learning – Sustainability must be connecting social, environmental, and economic issues – mentioning global goals once or twice isn’t enough to consider a course as sustainable.
- In a compulsory module – It shouldn’t be optional! We can’t ensure everyone will make better choices if only a few students choose the modules with the best bits.
- From the first year to the final year – Really great courses will embed sustainability throughout first year to final year to ensure the learning is consolidated.
- Assessed is best! – The best skills are developed when they’re applied in practice and made relevant to real-world solutions through assessments.
Quality sustainability learning in practice
University of Gloucestershire – Events Management Course – Event Design and Production module
Click for transcript