Companies use the labels ‘carbon neutral’, ‘environmentally friendly’, and ‘nature positive’ on products in an effort to encourage purchases.
However these terms are (purposefully) vague in how carbon neutrality is achieved. Were new materials sourced or were processes re-engineered to reduced carbon emissions? Perhaps. But often the carbon neutral claim is based on carbon offsets, which is when companies pay for their carbon emissions.
This ‘pay for carbon’ model can obscure a company’s real impact on the environment also known as greenwashing. But these claims will now be subject to increasd scrutiny.
The U.K. and EU advertising regulators are taking a stronger stance against companies who claim carbon neutrality through offsets.
Holding companies more accountable for their statements will allow consumers to make more informed decisions when they vote with their wallet.