What is greenwashing?
Greenwashing is a form of misleading marketing or communication, where a product, service or company is presented as “better” in respect to climate change, the environment or human rights issues, without proper documentation to back this claim.” (source: skift)
The Guide against Green Washing suggests ten principles to make it easier and more measurable to follow.
Our take on these guidelines
1. Be honest and accountable
We commit to being honest, accountable and transparent in our CO2-reduction efforts and everything else.
We commit to report on openly on all our emissions through a yearly ESG report that follows the GR standard (GRI). Data Respons has also been a member of the UN Global Compact initiative since 2018, and thus adopting its reporting requirements.
2. Make sure sustainability efforts are not limited to your communications and marketing departments
Sustainability efforts are not limited to marketing and communication departments but integrated throughout in the company structure. We map our carbon emissions every year, and every daughter company in the group is involved in that process. There is also monthly and yearly reporting on a number of ESG factors in the group that measures the effects of all relevant actions and ambitions.
3. Avoid talking about the importance of sustainability, if your company has not made serious efforts on these issues
We have set ambitions and concise targets for our sustainability ambitions. In 2019 we counted more than 70 customer projects that had a positive and direct impact on the UN SDG’s. Among a long list of projects, we have helped windmills produce more energy through better software. We have enabled the possibility to both share a car, and car chargers. In addition to that we have reduced the fuel needed in both trains and trucks, and we have developed first aid technology that saves lives on a regular basis.
4. Do not under-communicate your company’s own emissions and negative impacts.
We are fully transparent on our emissions in our yearly ESG report.
5. Be careful using a big share of the marketing budget on small measures that do not affect your company’s footprint significantly.
Sustainability is a continuous process, and we believe in the importance of integrating it in every aspect of our business.
6. Avoid buying a clean conscience (i.e. through climate quotas.
We only buy carbon offsets for emissions that can’t be avoided. But we strongly believe that buying carbon offsets are an important tool for the world to reduce its emissions.
7. Use established labelling
We have used a comprehensive ESG reporting format for our yearly integrated reports and a strict use of the UN SDGs.
8. Be careful using terms such as “better for the climate, nature, and the environment”.
We have a dedicated focus on not using these terms in our external and internal communication to make our efforts look better than they are. Instead, we seek to report honestly about our projects and draw the connection to the FN sustainability goals where it is appropriate.
9. “Cherry Picking” from the UN sustainable development goals can lead you astray
We always strive to have a holistic point of view on the impacts of our work, both negatively and positively. We use the UN sustainable development goals as continuous guidelines and refer to them when appropriate.
10. Donations and sponsorships are great, but not a proof that you are working on sustainability-issues
Donations and sponsorships are used strategically to support the UN goals. Among others, we support homeless children in Nepal to educate the next generation and avoid human trafficking in the long term.