Corporate Sustainability between Aspirational Talk and Greenwashing

Thursday, April 27, 2023 - 14:00 to 16:00

Coorporate Sustainability

We live in times of urgency regarding corporate sustainability and green transition. Businesses are, on the one hand, urged to set ambitious goals for their sustainability efforts (Net Zero), while, on the other, they are instructed to avoid greenwashing (and other forms of washing). How do businesses navigate these dual, and potentially conflicting, imperatives? This seminar explores the tensions between aspirational talk and greenwashing, with contributions from leading academic and professional experts in the field.

The seminar addresses both international and national developments. At the EU level, the EU Taxonomy is meant to provide a more transparent information infrastructure that can serve to combat greenwashing, while the Danish Consumer Ombudsman is increasingly clamping down on unsubstantiated uses of terms such as “green” or “sustainable” in marketing. Is there perhaps a danger that such restrictions will be a constraint on corporate efforts to talk and act ‘outside the box’ and formulate ambitious and inspiring sustainability goals and strategies? This is one of the conundrums that the seminar will address.


Presenters (in order of appearance):

Associate professor Steen Vallentin, CBS Sustainability Centre, MSC

Professor Esben Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen, CBS Sustainability Centre, MSC

Professor Lars Thøger Christensen, Communication and Organization Group (COG), MSC

Claus Barrett Christiansen, Partner, Bech-Bruun


Location: Dalgas Have 15, DH.V.2.88


Register here


14.00 - 14.10: Steen Vallentin introduces the theme of the seminar

14.10 -14.30: Esben Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen presents some of his own current research on greenwashing and discusses the general level of scholarly understanding of  this phenomenon

14.30 - 14.50: Lars Thøger Christensen, who (together with Mette Morsing and Ole Thyssen) coined the notion of “aspirational talk” 10 years ago, reflects on academic and popular uses of the concept and corrects some common misunderstandings

14.50 - 15.00: Short break

15.00 - 15.20: Claus Barrett Christiansen, who is one of the leadings professional experts on greenwashing in Denmark, presents the legal perspective on current developments

15.20 - 15.55: Panel debate and Q&A

15.55 - 16.00: Closing remarks  

The page was last edited by: Sekretariat for Ledelse og Kommunikation // 03/27/2023