January 2022:Winners: HS2

February 2022: Winners: Luton Council

March 2022: Winners: N London Waste Authority

April 2022:Winners: The UK Government

May 2022: Winners:  Jet2.com

June 2022:Winners: Vanguard Asset Management

July 2022:Winners: MCC / Lords Cricket

August 2022: Winners:  WPP (advertising / PR)

September 2022: Winners: Standard Chartered Bank 

October 2022:Winners: HSBC 

November 2022: Winners: 

December 2022:Winners: 

hsbc at it again

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The UK's advertising regulator has banned two HSBC advertisements for being "misleading" about the company's work to tackle climate change.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the banking giant can no longer run the ads which promoted its plans to reduce harmful emissions.

The watchdog said that the posters "omitted material information" about HSBC's activities.

It marks the ASA's first action against a bank for so-called "greenwashing".

An HSBC spokesperson told the BBC that "The financial sector has a responsibility to communicate its role in the low carbon transition to raise public awareness and engage its customers."

"We will consider how best to do this as we deliver our ambitious net zero commitments," they added.

Greenwashing - branding something as eco-friendly, green or sustainable when this is not the case - misleads consumers into thinking they are helping the planet by choosing those goods or services.

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oct 
winner

vanguard asset management

Roll up, roll up .... at Vanguard we have some fantastic Sustainable Life Funds for you ... you can invest with us safe in the knowledge that our Sustainable Life Funds will not be investing in any fossil fuels. Not much to expect but .... hang on a minute ....

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June winner

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Sometimes you don't even have to look very far to find a beautiful example of greenwash. We've got used to airports claiming to be sustainable (as long as they don't count the flights from the airport) but this is an even better .... an airline claiming to be sustainable as long as you don't count their flights. And as long as you allow for the usual nonsense about Sustainable Aviation Fuels (um ... there's no such thing) and ofsetting. SUSTAINABLE AT EVERY STAGE OF THE JOURNEY.

Thanks to the Stay Grounded Network for the nomination. If you'd like to know more about flying - the facts rather than the stories the airlines and airports woudl have you believe, have a look at our pages on the airline industry

greenwasher of the month

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may winner

our old friend the uk government...

Where to start? A good place would be summer 2019, the Government jumped on board along with most of the Councils in the country in declaring a CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY. But what has that actually meant? We know they  can respond to an emergency, they did so with COVID, so why are they sitting on their hands with the CEE? Worse than having done virtually nothing, including hosting the disastrous COP26 in Glasgow, they are now backtracking - new drilling licences, more fracking, refusing to invest in insulating homes, more roads, more airports..... more growth...  It's more important to do what your friends want than what the people who you are supposed to be helping .... and use the tactics of GREENWASH to make it seem like you're helping.

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The govt puts out a press release saying 'window for action is closing fast' Then they close it. 

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Read some of the evidence here 

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April winner

North london incinerator / north london waste authority

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Read the story here, thanks to the Camden New Journal

Lots of Rubbish in London - what's to be done? How about telling the truth? Maybe that's a bit much to expect. So,

  1. Spread some untruths about when the contract was signed

  2. Double speak (incinerator is apparently not the right term to use... try energy recovery facility)

  3. Argue landfill is the only alternative

  4. Claim incineration is climate friendly.

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Maybe there's a ministry of truth in Camden? Right next to the ministry of Greenwash.

And just in case you doubted that they do care about the environment - here's a bit of helpful advice.

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march winner

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or maybe

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a sustainable airport .....

The proposal is to increase the capacity of the airport to 32 million passengers per year, by building a new terminal and making the best use of the existing runway.

 

Councillor Javeria Hussain, Chair of Luton Rising, said: “Our proposals will reflect the sustainability values, both of Luton Rising, and our sole shareholder, Luton Council. We want to maximise the social and economic benefits of growth and we firmly believe there is a way to grow an airport in a sustainably responsible way. 

never mind that flying can never be sustainable - as long as there are economic benefits then who cares about the consequences. Sound familiar?

Luton Airport currently emits c2.2million tonnes of CO2 plus another c200,000 tonnes of other greenhouse gasses. The projection is for this level of pollution to almost double with planned expansion in operation.

Cllr Derrick Ashley, executive member, growth, infrastructure, planning & the economy said: “We remain extremely concerned over the impact of an expanded Luton Airport both on residents through inadequate access and particularly on the wider environmental impact of noise and pollution. In the current climate, low cost flying is not an option for a sustainable future”.

Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden added: “London Luton Airport’s plan to work around previous planning conditions to increase passenger numbers from 18 million to 19 million is poorly timed and ill-judged. I am firmly opposed”.

Herts Advertiser 2020

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Feb winner

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jan winner

​​The “green” case for HS2 – poor research and the romance of big promises

Read all the relevant facts here - HS2 Rebellion and Stop HS2

'The HS2 Minister has made a commitment trains on HS2 will be zero-carbon energy from the outset, driving the government’s goal to make HS2 net zero from 2035 and supporting the government’s 2050 target to tackle climate change.'

 

That's as long as they don't use electricity generated at the DRAX power station. All too little too late.

According to HS2’s own forecasts, even over 120 years, its overall construction and operation cause carbon emissions of 1.49m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. HS2’s construction requires vast quantities of concrete and steel, as well as diesel-powered machines moving millions of tonnes of earth. Read this Guardian article for more information on whether HS2 will cut the UK’s emissions.