Carbon neutral: plant a tree?

Offsetting carbon emissions: why it is misleading

The carbon neutral definition may induce people to think that a brand that claims this practice is sustainable. But, planting trees isn’t enough to solve the climate change issue.

Indeed, it’s always interesting to read how the fashion industry is involved in sustainable practices. Which, now, we can place under the umbrella of corporate change. We get itchy just thinking about it! There is no company that doesn’t talk about its eco-friendly policies. The bigger they are, the more they blurt out promises they cannot keep.

Sustainable brands

According to the Circular Fashion Index 2023, Gucci is the most sustainable among luxury brands. Kearny, a strategic consultancy company that analyses the impact of the circularity of brands, operates this ranking. They rank fast fashion brands, too! So, fast fashion has sustainable practices – really?

We feel a little disappointed when agencies release these rankings because of the misleading impact. In fact, we think industries use the word sustainable too much. After checking out those rankings, our question is: how can brands structured on an overproduction model be sustainable?

Carbon neutral or greenwashing?

But, while some magazines posted the list of the most sustainable brands or sustainable mega entities, The Guardian released an article that dampens enthusiasm. 

“Adverts that claim products are carbon neutral using offsets are to be banned by the UK’s advertising watchdog unless companies can prove they really work, the Guardian can reveal, as Gucci becomes the latest company to struggle with a high-profile environmental commitment based on offsetting.
Amid growing concern that firms are misleading consumers about the environmental impact of their products, the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) is to begin stricter enforcement around the use of terms such as “carbon neutral”, “net zero” and “nature positive” as part of a greenwashing crackdown later this year after a six-month review.”

The Guardian

Offset CO2 emissions: what does it mean? 

Offsetting CO2 emissions means balancing the amount of CO generated by any activity through reforestation, parks and natural reserves protection. These projects generate carbon credits.

“In January, a joint Guardian investigation found that many rainforest offsets certified by Verra, which operates the world’s leading carbon standard, had little impact despite being widely used by major companies for environmental claims, also finding evidence of forced evictions at a flagship project in Peru used by Disney and Apple.”

The Guardian

Specifically, The Guardian revealed that more than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets by the biggest certifier are worthless!
Therefore, planting trees isn’t helping with climate change.

When big brands, corporations and millionaires talk about sustainability and carbon emissions, always be careful. They are the problem. And if they want to be part of the solution, they must change their overproduction model and lifestyle first. 

Changing marketing isn’t enough. Carbon-neutral and sustainable claims are just smoke and mirrors.

Carbon neutral: plant a tree? Read More »

Corporate change & sustainability: this is greenwashing!

The era of branded change: how corporations deceive people

We are facing a new wind called corporate change: an intersection of sustainability and change. Specifically, corporations do it by advertising, sponsoring, hosting panels, summits, and so on. Which, in other words, sounds like branded change. 
Either sustainability needed marketing to reach a wider audience. Or, we can clearly say this is greenwashing! Smoke in the eye to make money.

The conversations on sustainability encounter the favour of corporations. Indeed, the more the discussions multiply, the more they need to get involved. Fingers in the pie! But since our planet has reached the point of no return, the narrative turns out as dangerous. And even if facades are beautiful, questions should arise.

Every day a new greenwashing candy!

Eco-conscious movements sponsored by big conglomerates.
Corporations like Coca Cola sponsoring COP27. 
Fashion Group Inditex (Zara) partnering with WWF. 

It sounds weird. Don’t you think so?

And what about the fresh new one: UAE names oil chief to lead COP28 talks! Yes, an oil boss will lead the climate summit! 

Does it make any sense? Can we trust them? 

They make millions exploiting the planet, but they promote a conference to address climate change. It seems like one single institution sells the poison and the cure. All at the same time! 
There’s a name to call these practices, a definition understood internationally: conflict of interest. Perhaps corporations or top managers aren’t familiar with it!

How can we trust those who created the environmental destruction we ended up in? And still, they make money out of it! In order to prioritise profit and growth, corporations have taken deliberate decisions ignoring the side effects on the planet and on the people. 

Now they can even lead summits on the climate emergency, but they aren’t the ones who will ever bring effective solutions. 

Corporate change? This is greenwashing!

However, you might think what counts is spreading the conversation on sustainability, no matter who puts the money in to support it. Well, no! Those who say that have other purposes than change.  

We quote – “Can we trust corporate sustainability reporting?”:

“corporate or business sustainability is simply NOT planetary sustainability.”

And so, firms can invent stories to make the narrative engaging, but that doesn’t mean those stories are real. There’s a gap between talks and practice. All these people can do is keep an outdated system going.

Eventually, we can easily explain, in a few words, this new wind of corporate change & sustainability: this is greenwashing!

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