We recently explained why claiming “carbon neutral” status for your products could undermine your credibility. But if your business is taking steps to cut emissions and reduce its impact on the planet, you should still celebrate and share that progress. There are three golden rules for making green claims on behalf of your business.
- Keep your claims specific and backed up by the evidence. Use actual numbers where possible and give people the context they need to understand the claim.
- Align with recognised standards and frameworks, whether that is the Science-Based Targets initiative, the ISO Net Zero Guidelines or the Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards. Seek external validation and certification from recognised bodies.
- Don’t ignore Scope 3. Some of the most flagrant examples of greenwash come from businesses pretending Scope 3 doesn’t matter – like airports ignoring the climate impact of the flights, or fossil fuel companies trying to forget that their oil or gas will be burned.
Here are some examples of how you can turn greenwashed claims into positive but honest publicity for your business.
Credible claims usually involve more detail than simply slapping a “carbon neutral” or “net zero” label on your business. But taking the time to come up with evidence-based statements means that you can share positive stories about your impact on the environment, without leaving your business open to accusations of greenwash.