“Tech for Good”, the new greenwashing tool?

Between Vivatech and the new summit launched by the French government, the terms “Tech for good” is all we hear about. This is the most trendy subject in tech at the moment. If you want to be successful, you gotta be doing something “good”. For the people, for the planet.

Or at least, pretend you’re doing something good… Because when Deliveroo claims to be doing “tech for good” it kind of reminds me of H&M doing sustainable fashion. The only thing that comes to my mind is… incompatible. So it made us wonder, is that the new trendy expression for greenwashing? What is even tech for good?

“Tech for Good”, the new greenwashing tool?


Here’s the definition we found on the official website:

“Here’s where we are at with our principles in determining what  “tech for good” is.

At its heart, it’s all about people. People using the power of tech in myriad ways, both simple and extraordinary. This can be a combination of many things – to help redistribute power, give agency to people, help people make more informed decisions, create ways for people to connect, participate, address health or care needs and save energy. It can even make life-saving information and resources more discoverable.”

“Tech for Good”, the new greenwashing tool?

What principles does it include?

A company that is doing tech for good, needs to respect several principles.

  • First, in the long term, the product created needs to benefit 99% of people and not just the happy few.
  • Then, it has to reply to an already existing issue, trying to solve it. We don’t need more materialistic stuff in this world.
  • DATA. Of course, technology implies data. And this data has to be managed ethically. Users have to know how their data is being used and make a conscious choice about it.
  • To be really in line with the tech for good principle, the idea is really to transform the existing system, challenge the status quo, not only make the existing easier.
  • It has to be bold, not scalable.
  • It doesn’t have to be new, it can be an existing technology applied to a new context.
  • Transparency is key. When creating a new product or technology, the provenance of it has to be well detailed and explained. As well as the entire creation process. Where has it been created, why, by whom…
  • The product or service has to provide assisted digital policy.
  • Those principles of tech for good have to be shared throughout the entire team, including the founders AND the investors. Transparency again is key, who’s funding the technology and how?

And this list goes on. It evolves as the society evolves.

“Tech for Good”, the new greenwashing tool?

Consume, but consume consciously

Knowing all those principles, how can we believe and agree when the founder of Deliveroo says that Deliveroo is doing tech for good? Indeed, Deliveroo is actually well known for pressuring his employees. How come the guests of the Tech for Good Summit of the Elysée are mainly from the Gafa? How come the start-ups and founders or REAL tech for good companies aren’t even invited?

Many of the companies that use this term aren’t respecting half of those principles. It’s our duty, as consumers to sort out the true tech for good companies than the one that is just using this term in their marketing strategies.

Knowing what really tech for good stands for allows us to do our choice consciously every time we buy or consume.


Read my other article here, on how to take advantage of your phone and use it as a tool to become smarter!