Everyone is going green!?
The last few years have seen a massive uptake in businesses prepared to lead the way on sustainability. 90% of the largest 500 companies by market cap in the Russell index published sustainability reports in 2019.
This is driven by a range of new trends. Upcoming legislation such as the UK Environmental Bill and Mandatory Climate Disclosures (which will require companies to report their GHG emissions) and November’s COP26 are creating a new sense of urgency. There is also pressure from within the company from shareholders and even employees (for example Amazon employees who joined the climate strike).
Perhaps the biggest trend is from customers, who are increasingly motivated to make environmentally conscious decisions towards which products they purchase or how they are delivered. Research shows 79% of customers say they are switching to businesses that promote social responsibility and sustainability.
In short, ‘going green’ means ensuring you are legislation ‘future-proof’, attracting and pleasing shareholders and staff whilst generating more sales on your green credentials. Sounds great! But what happens when these claims are not backed up by real change. All talk, no action!
Greenwashing – the elephant in the room
Given there is such a huge incentive for businesses to present themselves as green and sustainable it should not come as a surprise that not all of these claims are backed up by evidence of improvement.
In fact, the problem has gotten so bad the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has released their anti-greenwashing code to crack down. The CMA found that 40% of green claims could be misleading. A similar effort is underway in Europe. In fact, the European Commission found that 42 percent of cases studies “green” claims were “exaggerated, false or deceptive with 59% failing to provide evidence of their claims.
In 2021, making press releases and media statements about environmental commitments is no longer enough! Consumers are catching on. 49% of consumers say they do not have any information to verify retailers sustainability claims and worse yet 44% say they do not trust product sustainability claims.
Making unfounded claims can actually be damaging to a business. It can damage your reputation as a brand and also mean you are falling foul of the CMA’s new anti-greenwashing code!
Making sustainability authentic
This latest crackdown by the CMA, and similar efforts in Europe is encouraging. For too long, being “green” has covered a range of sins. This hurts companies who actually give a damn and are trying to make real change.
The real way to address this is through evidence. Being able to scientifically evidence and demonstrate a sustainability approach at all levels of the organisation is a way for businesses to meaningfully engage with their customers and differentiate themselves from competitors.
To do this, businesses need real-world evidence and data. They can evidence improvements, test new approaches, and see what actually works.
EMSOL is on a mission to give businesses this data and end greenwashing. Freddie Talberg, CEO and Founder of EMSOL said “for too long businesses have been getting away with greenwashing which harms the sustainability agenda for everyone. We have been working with some amazing companies who are desperate to get their hands on scientific data so they can start having a real impact. We are giving businesses early opportunities to reduce pollution, identify what vehicle is causing it, and our customisable reports easily, and scientifically, evidence their progress.”
Businesses need a way to easily identify pollution and then reduce it. EMSOL’s approach has been to make pollution actionable through combining air quality data and identifying the vehicle responsible. We are on a mission to stop greenwashing and empower businesses to make real reductions in pollution.
Working with household names such as John Lewis, HS2, CEVA logistics, Croydon Council and Guys & St Thomas’ hospitals we are looking to make a real difference in how pollution is managed.
EMSOL has now launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs to support our mission of tackling pollution. https://www.seedrs.com/emsol (Capital at risk. Approved by Seedrs).
Address: Ben Fielden, EMSOL, 25 Lavington Street, London, SE1 0NZ
Call: 020 3982 9440