Eco-friendly boasts risk being called out for ‘greenwashing’

E want, we need, businesses to be greener, to launch planet-friendly initiatives. But they must beware. Being caught peddling false or misleading claims can hurt enormously.

This isn’t only a PR issue; regulators are cracking down. The International Sustainability Standards Board has published a set of G20-backed rules aimed at outing and penalising “greenwashing”. This comes after a European Commision directive on green labelling and a new “green claims code” from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

Companies run the risk of falling foul of the watchdog concerned, frequently in the UK that means the Advertising Standards Authority or facing actual litigation or being shamed in the court of public opinion.

The ASA has brought more than 20 enforcement actions against greenwashing. Etihad claimed it was “taking a louder, bolder approach to sustainable aviation”. Read More

Chris Blackhurst is the author of Too Big To Jail: Inside HSBC, the Mexican drug cartels and the greatest banking scandal of the century (Macmillan)

Chris Blackhurst

?Sustainability & LEED