"‘Climate-Controlled’ Sausage? Courts Crack Down on ‘Greenwashing’"

"From airlines to pork sellers, corporate brands face legal and regulatory challenges for misleading the public with lofty climate claims."

"A “climate-controlled” sausage. New trousers labeled “recycled.” A “sustainable” airline ticket.

More and more, big brands are using taglines like these to cater to their green-minded customers. And more and more, they are under fire from courts and regulators for making climate promises they can’t keep.

Researchers at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment last year identified “an explosion of ‘climate-washing’ cases,” using existing national laws and regulations. Between 2020 and 2022, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the number of cases challenging the “truthfulness of corporate climate commitments" more than doubled, their tally found.

This year, this dynamic is playing out in several countries.

In Denmark, a national court in March told Danish Crown, the country’s biggest pork producer, that it’s misleading to label its pork “climate-controlled,” though it declared that it’s fine to assert that Danish pigs “are more climate friendly than you think.”"

Somini Sengupta reports for the New York Times April 12, 2024.

Source: NYTimes, 04/15/2024