Greenwashing in spotlight as report finds 40pc of green claims untrue

A global study of online environmental claims conducted by the International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network recently found 40% to be false or misleading. Now, sustainability certification firm, TCO Development, is making the case for transparency and verification in validating sustainable procurement efforts, and ultimately, reputation.

As reported in the current issue of CIR Magazine, directors have been urged to keep in mind that scrutiny over perceived greenwashing is increasing. Internal and external stakeholders alike are keen to know how reliable businesses’ green statements are – not just in regard to supply chain but to any aspect of their operations.

The risk is such in the investment space that an independent group of experts has been appointed to oversee the UK Government’s delivery of its green taxonomy framework to ensure that investments that can be defined as environmentally sustainable and prevent greenwashing. The Green Technical Advisory Group, or GTAG, will provide independent, non-binding advice to the Government on developing and implementing a green taxonomy in the UK context, clearly defining which economic activities count as environmentally sustainable.

Social and environmental risks also run high in the information technology product space, according to TCO Development.

“The millions of workers in the supply chain often face poverty wages, dangerous and unsafe working conditions, and stand without social protections. This has clearly been identified within electronics and IT," says Parul Sharma, CEO of the Academy for Human Rights in Business, and a contributor to TCO’s research in the arena.

“It’s critical that organisations get independent proof of environmental and supply chain impacts connected to the products they source,” added Clare Hobby, director of purchaser engagement at TCO Development. "Reputations, stakeholder credibility and accuracy are on the line more than ever."

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