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Nespresso And Greenwashing – How Were They Able To Successfully Do It?

If you aren’t familiar with greenwashing, it is the process of a company portraying a product through marketing in a way that indicates they are environmentally conscious. In reality, they are doing very little if anything to help the environment.

Such marketing can inspire consumers to buy that product over other options. They love the idea of getting the product or service they desire. At the same time, they feel good about helping the environment. It is misleading and the process has many consumers mad about it! They feel the company tried to manipulate them.

Such is the case of Nespresso, and they are a top example of how greenwashing can have an influence on the decisions of customers. Consumers are encouraged to conduct research about an entity if they plan to buy from them mainly because of how they portray giving back to the environment and/or being environmentally conscious.

What did they Claim?

Several environmentally-friendly advocates and groups have called Nespresso out on their greenwashing claims. They feel they grossly over represented their espresso pods for single use and presented them as being a good alternative for the environment. Such espresso pods offer convenience as consumers can use them quickly to make a delicious cup of coffee. It is hassle-free and mess free.

Instead of the typical plastic containers that most coffee pods are sold in, Nespresso offers them in aluminium containers. They have done so since 1986, this isn’t a new business by any means. However, the use of them has exploded in recent years. In 2015, Nespresso started pushing for an eco-friendly relationship with espresso drinkers. They encourage consumers to recycle these pods.

If you check out videos on YouTube and TV commercials, you will notice Nespresso started using that tactic in their promotions for the espresso pods. This big push took place a few years ago, and their sales went through the roof! You can also type in Nespresso Capsule Recycling Program into Google to find out all the details of their claims. Consumers like this idea and they like the informational side of things, rather than always getting a sales pitch. It definitely worked to the company’s advantage!


There is no question Nespresso has been around for a long time. This gives it credibility as it is a name most households are familiar with. Add to the mix, George Clooney agreeing to be in their advertisements, and people didn’t think twice about what Nespresso claimed. Clooney is highly-regarded as an actor. He is also known as a humanitarian, and the thought that he would take part in promoting a company that was involved with greenwashing didn’t cross the minds of consumers. All of this was cleverly designed to create the image Nespresso had a sincere desire to make a difference and create a healthier world for us all to live in.


A person has to wonder why Nespresso would go this route. Why try to fool the consumers they are trying to appeal to? Experts believe it is due to the negative stereotype that surrounds the use of one-time disposable coffee pods. The owner of this brand is Nestle, and they don’t have a good reputation for regard to human rights. When it is all broken down, their pods can be recycled but have to be taken to assigned drop off points. They can also put them into assigned bags and then drop them into a recycling container.

It is true, the materials they make them from are less of an issue for the environment than those pods made out of plastic. Even so, the company hasn’t shown in any shape or form that they are working hard to better the environment. The marketing efforts are designed to portray such thoughts and evoke positive emotions about that gain from the audience. In turn, this entices them to buy the product.