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Climate Cooldown

Confusion + 'credits' = crackdown


The Climate Cooldown newsletter is a monthly roundup that focusses on positive business and marketing-related climate news, steering away from the doom and gloom.

The great news this month is the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) decision to crack down on greenwashing by effectively banning the use of buzzwords like “carbon neutral”, “net zero” and “nature positive”.

Mainly because they rely on questionable ‘offsetting’ to get there. The Guardian’s recent research and report showed that over 90% of rainforest offsets are worthless.

And it would seem that these stricter regulations are already coming into effect, with Shell’s adverts recently being pulled due to misleading energy claims.

So why are businesses getting it so wrong? Most are just genuinely confused.

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Green sells

‘Green’ clearly sells, and there are loads of opportunities for those that get it right - whether you listen to Larry Fink of Blackrock or one of the large consultancy firms.

In Fink's words, "Every company and every industry will be transformed by the transition to a net zero world. The question is, will you lead, or will you be led?"

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The danger of not knowing

But, the sustainability terminology is complex and there’s little consensus on their meaning; the very reason for the current crackdown. In fact, the greatest challenge for businesses to get ahead is a lack of knowledge - and a sense of urgency.

Unless organisations are genuinely and deeply engaging in why it all matters in the first place, they are very unlikely to get it right. Stuck in ‘box ticking’. Capitalising on the huge opportunities in the green economy, but only as a marketing tool.

And that’s simply not going to wash.

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Keep up, or get left behind

Consumers and buyers are getting savvier by the day and guidelines, regulations and legislation are ramping up at speed. Businesses that don’t get to grips with the challenges we’re all facing fast, will simply fall by the wayside.

Because, the majority of consumers think it’s our responsibility to solve the environmental crisis - not theirs - according to a study by Kantar.

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What can you do?

The better news is that it’s never been easier to get clued up. To name but a few The UN has a free climate and green economies portal and the BBC has another useful resource centre.

Plus, we run regular free webinars as well as our own accredited Net Zero Masterclass developed especially for sales & marketing teams.

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What we've been reading & listening to this month

  • Short read: 'Greenwashing, and how to avoid it' - our simple step-by-step guide.
  • Long read: 'The Solutionists: How Businesses Can Fix the Future' - a collection of inspiring stories from leading entrepreneurs and organisations on the steps, mindsets and strategies that can help us work towards a more sustainable future.
  • Great listen: 'Can Marketing Save the planet?' Inside the Green Claims Code with Cecilia Parker Aranha, director Competition and Market Authority: Michelle Carvill and Gemma Butler dive into the dos and don’ts of ‘sustainable marketing’ getting the load down straight from source.

Stay positive!



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