Greenwashing has become an all-too-common practice among companies looking to cash in on the growing interest in sustainability.
It is defined as making misleading or false claims about the environmental benefits of a product or service.
This practice not only undermines the trust between companies and consumers but also harms the planet as it can lead to a lack of genuine sustainability efforts.
The UK Government's Green Claims Code and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have introduced strict regulations to prevent greenwashing.
The Green Claims Code has laid down a set of rules for companies to follow when making environmental claims.
The ASA investigates complaints of misleading claims made by companies and takes appropriate actions against them. These regulations have helped to increase transparency and reduce the prevalence of greenwashing.
We aim to avoid any greenwashing at all costs and strive to provide products with measurable sustainability benefits
The need for transparency
As a conscientious company, we understand the importance of transparency and genuine sustainability efforts.
We know that greenwashing can harm our reputation and result in a lack of trust from our customers.
Therefore, we aim to avoid any greenwashing at all costs, and instead, strive to provide products with legitimate and measurable sustainability benefits.
Buildings and construction are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 39% of global emissions. Therefore, it is essential to make sustainable choices in this sector.
As a heat pump manufacturer, we are in the position of being able to offer genuinely sustainable solutions for heating and cooling buildings.
Heat pumps harvest renewable energy from the air, ground, or water to provide heating and cooling and emit significantly less carbon than traditional fossil-fuelled heating systems.
By choosing a heat pump, homeowners and businesses can make a significant contribution to reducing their carbon footprint, helping the UK achieve its net-zero target by 2050.
The installation of a heat pump is a tangible and measurable action towards sustainability and can provide an opportunity for companies to showcase their genuine sustainability efforts.
Counting carbon properly
As a conscientious company, Mitsubishi Electric recognises the importance of avoiding greenwashing at all costs.
One way to do so is by taking a whole life carbon perspective to making green claims.
This approach involves considering both the embodied carbon and operational carbon of products over their entire lifetimes.
While it may be difficult to convey the nuances of this information to consumers without oversimplifying it, transparency is key.
To this end, Mitsubishi Electric has adopted the TM65 calculations from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and publishes the information in an easily understandable format for our customers.
This type of information is particularly relevant to the buildings and construction industry, where the opportunities to reduce carbon emissions are significant but complex.
By being transparent about whole life carbon, we can help our customers make informed decisions and avoid greenwashing.
Greenwashing is a significant issue that undermines the efforts of genuinely sustainable companies.
The strict regulations introduced by the UK Government's Green Claims Code and the ASA have made it easier for us to achieve transparency and avoid greenwashing.
By manufacturing products like heat pumps with genuine sustainability benefits, we are not only contributing to reducing carbon emissions but also providing an opportunity to showcase our genuine sustainability efforts.
Jack Bain is a member of the Sustainability Team